Eyelid Surgery Questions

Why have Oculoplastic Surgery?

Functional oculoplastic surgery vs. cosmetic/aesthetic oculoplastic surgery
Most patients who undergo oculoplastic surgery under the NHS (or under private insurance schemes) undergo what is is known as functional or reconstructive oculoplastic surgery, for example for droopy eyelids, watery eyes, eyelid cancers. This is because these conditions are considered important and debilitating enough that the Department of Health considers that their treatment should be covered by the NHS and should therefore be free at the point of treatment.

As our society continues to live longer and longer due to a combination of better healthcare, nutrition and lifestyle, increasingly both men and women of all ages are seeing their appearance as an important factor in how they feel about themselves. Nowadays, it is common for people to feel younger and more active than their parents or grandparents did at the same age. For many people, the decision to have cosmetic surgery is a natural choice to improve their quality of life. Most surgery which is considered purely cosmetic is not covered by the NHS or by private insurance schemes and is self funded by the patient. However they see the costs as a worthwhile and lasting investment which continues to contribute to their happiness and psychological well being.

Most cosmetic oculoplastic surgery is termed rejuvenation surgery i.e to reverse or delay the changes due to ageing.

As with most cosmetic surgery, this surgery is not absolutely necessary to your health and should therefore be considered very carefully before embarking on it.

Are all plastic surgeons the same?

Oculoplastic and oculofacial surgeons are doctors who specialise in this very unique area of surgery, operating on, and around the eyes, eyelids, forehead and cheek. They will often perform more of this delicate type of surgery than many other practitioners because of the nature of their normal NHS work. They will often have to utilise wrinkle relaxing injections for therapeutic/functional reasons, perform blepharoplasty operations for therapeutic reasons and perform face lifts for facial nerve palsy patients. They will therefore often be more experienced than most in working around this delicate important area of the face. They can provide a comprehensive service, seeing and assessing each patient personally. With their intimate knowledge of the unique anatomy in this area they can avoid potential complications, as well as being well placed to treat any which may arise. As eye surgeons they will also consider the overall health of the underlying eye itself as an utmost priority.

What is Oculoplastic Surgery?

The term oculoplastic surgery (sometimes called ophthalmic plastic reconstructive surgery or oculofacial surgery) describes the specialised branch of ophthalmology that involves plastic surgery of the facial structures around the eye and includes both reconstructive and cosmetic (aesthetic) surgery.

For further information on how to choose your oculoplastic surgeon, visit www.bopss.co.uk.

Are there any visible scars after?

Usually the scars are hidden in the natural skin creases of the eyelids. Some scarring can be visible laterally. Minor excess skin folds or tags, if remaining, are usually straightforward to address surgically if needs be.

Do many men have this treatment?

Yes they do. It is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures men choose to have.

My eyes are very dry, can I still have surgery?

Yes. You may need to use lubricants more regularly especially initially. However, your surgeon is also an eye specialist and will be familiar with the diagnosis and management any pre or postoperative dry eye condition

How long does the operation last?

The surgery will usually last one hour when performed on both eyelids.

Should I have oculoplastic surgery?

If you are considering cosmetic plastic surgery, you should examine your own reasons very carefully first. You should develop realistic expectations of what to expect and decide in your own mind what changes you wish your surgeon to perform. Before embarking on surgery, your surgeon should be sympathetic and understanding to your wishes but also advise you on what can be realistically, and more importantly safely, achieved.

Cosmetic surgery by itself is not a panacea for major life problems or interpersonal relationship issues. However if performed well, successful cosmetic plastic surgery, by improving your appearance and how you see yourself, can often boost both your self esteem and confidence.

For further information on how to choose your oculoplastic surgeon, visit www.bopss.co.uk.

What are the costs?

Before embarking on any treatment plan, a good practitioner will explain to the patient what each treatment modality can offer, its duration of effect and the likely costs for the patient. For example, a young patient seeking a subtle rejuvenation improvement prior to her wedding day may benefit from simple wrinkle relaxing injections which are relatively low in cost, minimally invasive, low in risk but temporary in duration of effect.

For other patients, who desire a longer lasting improvement, more invasive treatments such as surgery may be required. There now exists many different treatment options which vary, in the time required to perform the operation, the cost, duration of effect and recovery time.

Many of the modern operations can be performed relatively quickly as day case procedures, under local anaesthesia, hence minimising costs. At the Eyelid Centre we specialise in these procedures. Only after you have a realistic idea as to the total cost of the complete treatment plan will any treatment then start.