Eyelid surgery consists of removing excess fat, skin and muscle from above and/or below the eyes. The surgery may be performed in an outpatient setting on patients under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthetic. Very occasionally, brief hospitalization may be required. The duration of the procedure is one to three hours, depending on whether all four lids are done.
Tightness of the lids is a normal side-effect after eyelid surgery, and some discomfort is likely. The patient will experience bruising and swelling, particularly at the corners of the lids, that may persist for two to three weeks. Dryness, itching and burning may last about as long, and the patient may have temporary eyesight problems, such as double or blurred vision. Excessive tearing and sensitivity to light and wind are common, but should disappear within a few weeks. Tiny whiteheads, called milia, may appear, but they are easily removed, and often disappear on their own.
After eyelid surgery, the patient must refrain from wearing contact lenses for at least two weeks. Eyedrops may be necessary to lubricate dry eyes. The patient can resume reading and watching television in two to three days, go back to work after a week or 10 days and resume strenuous activities another week after that.
The effects of eyelid surgery will last for several years, and in some people, they are permanent.
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