Eyelid surgery

Eyelid surgery

Eyelid surgery or Oculoplastics is a branch of Ophthalmology that deals with treatment of eyelid conditions. These are varied but there are two aspects that are important. First, if the eyelids obscure vision (for example due to droopy eyelids), this can be corrected with surgery. Second, if the eyelid position is incorrect, it may not allow the eyelid to sufficiently protect the surface of the eye. For both of these conditions, it is certainly reasonable to consider having surgery. Third, there may be concern about the appearance of the eyelids, often due to lumps or bumps or saggy skin of the eyelids, and this can also be corrected surgically.

Surgery can be performed using local or general anaesthetic and this would usually be decided prior to the date for surgery. Important factors to discuss before eyelid surgery also include bleeding tendencies and blood thinning medications such as Aspirin or Warfarin. These may need to be stopped but this will again be decided prior to the day of surgery.

The operated eye, or eyes, will be padded after surgery. This is to help reduce swelling and bruising after surgery. It is best to arrange transport to get home as it will be difficult to drive with one or two eyes padded.

The eye pad is usually safe to remove after one day. For certain operations, these stay in place for longer and this will be advised after the time of surgery. After the eye pad is removed, an antibiotic ointment will be provided to be used twice a day for 5-7 days to prevent the risk of infection.

Cool compresses can be applied in the form of an ice pack wrapped in a clean flannel for ten minutes several times a day in the first week and sleeping more upright with the use of two or more pillows, can help speed recovery.

Within 2 weeks any bruising is normally resolved and mild swelling can persist for 6-8 weeks.

You will usually have follow up arrange once or twice within the first 2 weeks postoperatively. Stitches may need to be removed although mostly absorbable stitches are used and these do not need to be removed. If your stitches are not ‘absorbable’ then you will be informed and a date for removal will be arranged, usually within 7-10 days. Follow up may also be arranged at 6-8 weeks for a final review.