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Question: I am very fair skinned and tend to bruise easily. I'd like to get an estimate on the length of time that the bruising lasts for after blepharoplasty surgery. Are there any supplements that can be taken to help the bruising heal?
Answer: Following blepharoplasty surgery, bruising and swelling will usually last for about 5 to 7 days. Any residual, resolving bruising at that point should be able to be disguised with a little makeup. To minimize bruising, precautions should be taken before and after surgery. Blood thinning medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and aspirin should be avoided for ten days before and ten days after surgery. Certain herbal supplements have been proven to help minimize bruising and swelling. Those with the best scientific evidence supporting their benefit are Arnica Montana, and Bromelain (pineapple extract). These supplements should be taken both before and after surgery. It is also important to rest and to maintain head elevation for the first four or five days after surgery. Ice packs should frequently be applied to the eyes during this same period of time.
Question: I am a 69-year-old man with obstructed vision due to my drooping eyelids. Would blepharoplasty be a procedure that could correct this problem?
Answer: Blepharoplasty is the simplest and most direct approach to correcting this problem. Removal of excess upper eyelid skin will eliminate the obstruction to your peripheral vision. If your brow is also drooping, then a brow lift procedure alone would be another option. A brow lift may be somewhat more extensive as far as anesthesia required and recovery and may not provide quite as much improvement. When combined with an upper blepharoplasty, a brow lift may provide even more improvement to the obstruction than the blepharoplasty alone. In regards to the aesthetic improvement that these procedures can provide, combining the upper blepharoplasty with a brow lift and possibly with a lower blepharoplasty as well should provide the optimal improvement in rejuvenation of the upper face and the area around the eyes.
Question: I am scheduled to have a blepharoplasty. Many years ago I had an Upper GI performed and was very ill afterwards. What kind of anesthetic can I expect with this surgery? Will I feel just as bad as I did years ago?
Answer: Your upper GI most likely was performed under IV sedation. Narcotics such as morphine are often administered with this type of anesthesia and may cause post-op nausea and vomiting (PONV). Blepharoplasty surgery can be performed with local anesthesia only, especially when only the upper eyelids are being operated on. With straight local anesthesia, there is little to no risk of PONV. When lower eyelid surgery and/or a brow lift are also being performed with an upper blepharoplasty, the procedure is more likely to be performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. With these types of anesthesia, especially with general, there is more risk of PONV, particularly in patients with a previous history. Over the past several years, surgeons, anesthesia providers and other peri-operative medical professionals have become much more aware of PONV, as a common post-op complication that adversely affects patient satisfaction and outcomes. As a result, treatment for prophylaxis has become much more aggressive. All efforts are made to identify high risk patients, and to avoid inciting agents. Multiple medications are routinely administered to prevent the problem before it develops, and new more affective medications continue to be developed. You should inform your surgeon and anesthesia provider of your history and of your concerns. Everything possible can then be done to prevent this problem and hopefully you will have a much better experience than with your previous procedure.