Female Speaker: There's a few different reasons why people feel like their eyelids are heavy, or they're droopy. Some people, it's actually the eyelid itself that's drooping down, covering a portion of your pupil that's blocking your vision. There can be the fact that you have some excess skin that actually belongs to your eyelid itself that's weighing the eyelid down, or it can actually be a component of your eyebrow playing into this as well, or it can also be a combination one, two, or all three of these things together.

How we go about fixing these is a little bit different. They can all be fixed together in one surgery. You don't have to have multiple procedures to have all things addressed at one time.

If it's the eyelid itself, we're addressing the muscle of the eyelid. There's a muscle that runs in the top part of the eyelid that pulls the eyelid up like a shade. This muscle can sometimes either be a normal, healthy muscle that just slips back from its connection at the edge of the eyelid, and the eyelid comes down.

Sometimes that muscle can just become degenerative over time, be infiltrated with fat, become weak, and the eyelid slips down as a result. Sometimes it's just the weight of having excess skin on the eyelid. If that's the case, it's just a matter of removing some of that extra skin. If it's the eyebrow, you can actually have the weight of the skin that actually belongs to the eyebrow that weighs heavy and weighs the eyelid down.

These procedures are often done in an outpatient surgery facility. Sometimes we do these procedures in the office. That's on a case by case basis. We'll ask that before surgery, you avoid anything like Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Plavix. If these things are prescribed by your physician, our office will take care of collaborating with your doctor to make sure that it's safe for you to come off these medications for a period of about 10 to 14 days prior to surgery.

You'll need to have a driver the day of surgery who can bring you to and from the surgery center. You're going to be getting some sedation in an I.V. to where you're nice and comfortable. You're asleep, but you're awake enough to be able to breathe on your own. This is not a general anesthetic. You'll just be kind of in a twilight sleep to where you don't feel any pokes or sticks or anything like that, but you can breathe on your own.

You'll spend about 30 minutes to an hour in the recovery room after having surgery. If you're ready to go home after about an hour, you feel good, and you're ready to go, they'll let you go. If you, for whatever reason, feel a little sick to your stomach or anything like that, they'll make sure that you feel good before they let you go.

Once you get home, we'll have you start using some cold compresses. This will help with bruising and swelling. Using these cold compresses for the first 24 to 48 hours is most helpful. You can have varying degrees of bruising and swelling. Bruising and swelling varies from person to person. Some people bruise a whole lot and don't hardly swell. Some people bruise and swell tremendously, and some people don't do a whole lot of either. It just kind of depends, and everybody is a little bit different. So everybody responds to surgery a little bit differently.

You'll have some activity restrictions for that first week while you have your stitches in place. Where your stitches are depends on what we had to do to repair either your eyelid skin or your eyebrow or actually work on the muscle of the eyelid. Those stitches will vary from wherever we had to go in to do that.

We'll have you use your ointment, your prescription eye ointment, three times a day, morning, noon, and night for that first week. You'll use that to keep your stitches nice and moist to where if they need to be removed at one week, they come out nice and easily. They don't have a lot of gunk on them that makes them hard to remove and more uncomfortable for you. It also helps the wound just to heal better together.

We'll ask that you don't do any heavy bending or lifting that first week, nothing where your head goes below your heart where you've got some increased pressure in your face that's putting some pressure on that stitch line. We'll ask that you don't swim in a swimming pool, lakes, ponds, anything like that. No flying for that first week, not doing anything where you're getting into dusty, dirty areas, just to keep your incisions clean.

You can shower the day after surgery. It's best if you can put a little bit of that ointment on before you get in the shower. That way, it kind of acts as a repellent to keep the water off your stitches. It's not going to hurt to get your stitches a little bit wet, but we don't want to get them soaking wet.


Upper Eyelid Surgery

Doctor Brian Biesman and team discuss upper eyelid surgery.