When someone is seeking oculoplastic surgery, they often focus on the “before and after.” And so too does the oculoplastic surgeon. After 35 years and 1,000+ eyelid surgeries, oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Gary Schemmer shares one of the most important aspects of a successful eyelid or related surgery—pre- and post-op planning and patient care.
What Is Oculoplastic Surgery?
Oculoplastic surgery is a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure of the tissues in and around the eyes, such as the eyelids or tear ducts. The procedure can be cosmetic or functional, meaning oculoplastic surgery is used both to correct eye issues related to eyelid function and other health concerns, such as blockages in the tear ducts, or in the case of blepharoplasty, to modify the appearance of the eyelids.
One of the most common oculoplastic surgeries is blepharoplasty, which is the procedure used to repair droopy eyelids by removing excess skin, muscle or fat from the eyelids.
Getting Ready for Oculoplastic Surgery
Before a surgery is ordered, the oculoplastic surgeon must get to the root of the problem. Oftentimes what is thought to be a droopy eyelid may lead to something else that is bothering the patient. Dr. Schemmer goes through the patient’s medical history and symptoms to ensure they’re on the same page.
After establishing steps to address the issue, a trained technician walks the patient through the surgical procedure and what to expect.
Are you put to sleep for eyelid surgery?
In most cases, you won’t be put under anesthesia, with the exception of young children (if they are too young to sit still), since you will need to be awake to open and close your eyes during the procedure.
Is eyelid surgery painful?
During the surgery, you are given a local anesthetic, which may result in a slight sting in the beginning, and this will sedate and relax you for the procedure. Any post-op pain is relatively minor, and you should expect to be pain free within 24 hours with only a slight discomfort around the area.
How long does eyelid surgery take?
A blepharoplasty takes about 40 to 45 minutes to complete, or 1 hour and 15 minutes total in the blepharoplasty doctor’s office.
Following the Doctor’s Orders
Post-op success comes from following the doctor’s orders, and that is why Dr. Schemmer remains available to his patients throughout their recovery.
Having an oculoplastic surgeon on hand following a procedure is the best way to avoid a long hospital visit for what is otherwise a quick fix. In most cases, post-op concerns that do occur tend not to be life-threatening and could lead to sitting in a hospital waiting room for some time before being seen unless the issue is able to be addressed directly by the oculoplastic surgeon.
As a part of Dr. Schemmer’s post-op procedure, he makes himself available to his patients in case they have a concern or need to ask questions.
What is the fastest way to recover from eyelid surgery?
Using ice packs will reduce the swelling and discomfort. There are not a whole lot of restrictions and no bandages after eyelid surgery, but during the first day following your surgery you should expect to put on the ice packs and relax at home (since you will not be able to see with them on).
You’ll experience most of the discomfort in the first 12 to 24 hours, while the bruising or swelling typically lasts about 10 days. Overall, a cosmetic procedure at 6 weeks will look how it’s going to look.
The eye surgeons at Advanced Eyecare Associates are dedicated to helping patients see better and feel better. Give us a call or request an appointment today to learn more about oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery.