Blepharoplasty (eyelid correction) in the Döbling Private Hospital, Vienna

Droopy eyelids can be a result of skin aging or they can also be congenital. With the help of an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) you can achieve a fresher, more vital appearance. Severe cases in which the upper eyelid droops over the eye can also lead to a restricted field of vision. In these cases, it is particularly advisable to have an eyelid correction carried out.

Assoc. Prof. Priv. Doc. Dr. Roman Dunavölgyi

Specialist in ophthalmology

Prof. Dunavölgyi, what can you expect from eyelid correction and what not?

The desire for a fresher and younger appearance is the most common wish expressed by patients, whether women or men, and which can usually be fulfilled with blepharoplasty. However, it is very important to examine the entire so-called “periocular” area before the operation, i.e. not only the excess skin or excess fatty tissue, but also, among other things, the position of the eyebrow lids. If the eyelids are misaligned (e.g. a 'drooping' eyelid, medically referred to as 'ptosis') or the eyebrows, it is often recommended to correct these as part of the eyelid correction in order to achieve an optimal result. On the other hand, in patients with thyroid eye disease that change the eyes’ appearance (staring of bulging eyes) eyelid surgery may make sense to allow the eyelid to come down to a normal level.

How is the operation carried out?

Before the procedure, the skin that needs to be removed is precisely marked. This is done while the patient is sitting or lying down. The procedure itself is carried out either under local anesthesia, in twilight sleep or under general anesthesia, depending on the patient's wishes. After the previously marked area of skin on both upper eyelids has been removed with a precise high-frequency electrode or scalpel, protruding fat pads can also be resected if necessary. The wounds are then closed microsurgically with thin sutures. At the end of the procedure, small plasters called “steristrips” are placed on the wounds to protect them.

How can you ensure that a symmetrical result is achieved?

A symmetrical result is of utmost importance for patients, and the elimination of existing side imbalances is a frequently expressed wish by patients. In order to fulfill this wish, not only is a precise examination of the eyelids and the previously mentioned periocular area necessary, but the movement of the eyelids and eyelid closure should also be examined in detail. Furthermore, the marking of the skin fold to be removed must be done with the utmost precision in order to achieve an optimal, symmetrical result.

What complications can arise?

Swelling and bruising similar to having black eyes, which occurs in the first few days after surgery and disappears after approximately 7-14 days in most patients, are the most common inconveniences. “Severe” complications such as wound infections are very rare in the eyelid area.

Are there less invasive alternatives of treating droopy eyelids?

Although many different treatment options have been researched in recent years to correct drooping eyelids, surgical eyelid correction is the only long-lasting and effective treatment option.

How long does it take to heal after an eyelid lift and what should you pay attention to after the operation?

After the operation, patients can participate in everyday life normally, with few restrictions. In general, you should avoid heavy physical activity, sports and sauna sessions until the sutures are removed, which usually takes place on the seventh day after the operation. Bruising and swelling usually lessens after 10 to 14 days. The small surgical scars fade within a few months. Most patients are usually fully recovered two to three weeks after the operation.

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