Eyes Don’t Need to Age
Magazin ESTETIKA, December 2006
Heavy eyelids and bags bellow the eyes certainly aren’t lovely. Moreover, they can cause health problems. A lid hanging over the eye narrows the visual field. Why not look young again, if science makes it possible?
You can do sports in two weeks
As a matter of fact, the eyelid operation has been around for decades, the technique not having changed much. „The suture material is better today. Bleeding is now stopped by coagulation, not ligated as before,“ explains Dr Zuzana Černá, the head of the Prague Laderma Clinic. „Eyes lay on fat cases that have tender ligament pockets. With aging, these pockets lose their flexibility and compactness and parts of these fat cases slowly push into the subcutis of the eye lids. This process happens slowly and furtively but it causes magnifying ‚bags‘ mainly on the lower lids and excessive skin around the eyes, which makes the face look tired and may lead to worse mobility of eye lids, increasing fatigue of the eyes, tears, headaches and thus deterioration of sight,“ continues Dr Černá. „I always ask my patients what they expect from the operation. I give them a mirror and ask: ‚Show me what you want to change and how you want to look after the operation.‘ If they just want to get rid of the dark circles under their eyes, I try to talk them out of it. These circles are caused by the actual structure of the face, it is very hard to ‚fill them up‘. It’s better tu use make-up.“
According to Dr Černá it is important to know what the patients expect from the operation. „It is better if the patients come on somebody’s recommendation, somebody who has succesfully undergone this operation. For example, there are internet forums abroad where patients exchange information and experience both about the operation as such and their experience of staying at the Clinic. In this country, these forums are not used, which is a shame.“
Measuring of the lid
The operation is performed under local or general aenesthesia. But first, the excess skin must be measured. Before using the scalpel, the doctor takes the eye lid skin into tiny tweezers and draws a thorough outline. „Doing lower eye lids, we take off approximately 6 to 8 mm of skin, in extreme cases up to 2 cm“ she says. Doing the upper lids, the cut is performed in a way that the scar goes along the natural line; on the lower lids it is right under the eye lashes. The operation takes about an hour. The patient is then laid on a bed with a compress and a press dressing around the eyes.
Why is there excessive skin?
„That is given by the type of skin, proneness to swell in allergic reactions, or by the functioning of kidneys or thyroid gland diseases“, explains Dr Černá . There is less excessive skin around the lower lids but there are more fat pouches that press from under the lid. Therefore it is very important to go see a plastic surgeon soon enough, before there are swellings of lower lids when being tired, not having any or too much sleep. When the fat pouch gets removed soon enough, the skin remains flexible and the swellings are removed for good.
Nevertheless, it has to be said that not even plastic surgery can remove the small wrinkles on the lower lid and in the corner of the eye. Lately, it has been made possible to complete the eye lid surgery by applying botulotoxin.
There is no age limit for the eye lid operation, what matters is the general shape of the patient. Most often, patients are 40-60 years old.
Prior to the operation
After consulting a plastic surgeon, the patient personally makes an appointment and sets the date of the operation and pre-operation examination.
After paying the deposit, the date of the operation becomes binding for both parties. The rest of the given amount is to be paid on the day of the operation.
A month before the operation, the patient should not use any medication containing acetylsalicyl acid that has an impact on blood sedimentation rate. (aspirin etc.)
Two weeks before the operation, there should not be any acute illness, such as a cold, virus, etc.
Patients are to come for the operation on empty stomach (no eating or smoking 6 hours prior to the operation).
Patients are to come with their hair washed and without any make-up.
They need to arrange their own transportation when leaving, it is recommended to have an escort.
After the operation
After the bandage is removed, the patient leaves the Clinic wearing dark glasses. It is recommended he/she be accompanied by another person.
At home, they are to apply cold wet compresses every two hours (gauze pads soaked in chilled water; the water should first be boiled, then kept in the fridge in a closed container). It is also convenient to use gel masks, which are available at any pharmacy.
For the first week after the operation, it is neccessary to wrap a bandage around the compress for the night, in order to protect the eyes perfectly.
The patient comes for a check-up after 5-6 days, the suture is removed and the scars are covered with fine strips of adhesive plaster. A week after the operation, it is possible to return to the usual routine. After 10 days, according to the patient’s condition, it is possible to start applying make-up that can cover the small pink scars. Nevertheless, these gradually fade.
Two weeks after the plastic surgery, it is neccessary to start with press massages of the small scars. These are explained and demonstrated by the surgeon.
The patient may return to sports and physical activity after 2-3 weeks. „However, the recuperation is an individual process, depending not only on the patient’s health, but also on the patient’s conscientiousness. Smoking always slows down the healing process“, points out Dr Černá.
„I turned into Cleopatra!“ Helena Budínová (58)
Helena Budínová is a slim, elegant woman who has a daughter and two grandchildren. It was actually her daughter who inspired her a year ago to have the eye-lid surgery done. Today, her eyes have a youthful spark and the bags she worried about are gone. The skin around her eyes is smooth, the little fan-shaped wrinkles around the outside corners give her face a cheerful expression. She looks great.
She describes her feelings: „I was not afraid of the operation at all. I didn’t want the general aenesthesia, didn’t have good experience with that, so I asked for the local one. Dr Černá is wonderful, she talked to me all through the surgery. I don’t even remember how long it took. She told me with a smile: ‘You’re going to look like Cleopatra‘, and started drawing on my lids. Removing the bags from the lower lids was a bit unpleasant but it did not hurt. I had to look up but it didn’t take long. After the operation, I had a rest and they actually brought me refreshments – yoghurt and coffee. Then my daughter picked me up, I put dark glasses on and we went home. Dr Černá advised me on what I should and shouldn’t do. Night and day, I put compresses over my eyes and I wore a gel mask. I looked a bit like Zorro. For five days, until the suture was removed, I was supposed to rest without straining the eyes – no reading, no watching TV and no cleaning. I must confess I wasn’t a perfect patient – I broke all of these rules. But at least I didn’t bend down! That is not allowed, because of the pressure on the eyes.“ She adds with a smile: „ I had to have somebody to help me put my shoes on. And I did the massages exactly the way Dr Černá instructed me.“
Of course, this is not a recommendation for all patients to misbehave. Not everybody is like Helena. Is she thinking of additional plastic surgery? „Dr Černá told me I could have the folds under my chin removed but I’m fine for now. I think that we don’t need to be ashamed of every little imperfection.“