Tear Ducts and Eyelids


We all like our eyes to look good as well
as to be good at looking. As we get older our eyes change, most noticeably
in the eyelids and skin that surrounds the eye. Our eyelids are essential in keeping our eyes healthy but sometimes changes to the eyelids
may require surgery. For example if lids turn in eyelashes will
rub against the front of the eye and irritate the cornea.
If they turn out the eye can be exposed to damage and may water so surgery may be needed
to position eyelids properly against the eyeball. A droopy eyelid which can occur at any age
can interfere with your vision. Surgery may be required to lift the lid to
improve vision or in the case of children to allow their vision to develop normally.
As we age excess tears or watery eyes are often a result
of a blocked tear duct that prevents our tears from draining normally.
Surgery to build a new drainage channel is often the best solution.
Surgery to the eyelids and area around the eye is a specialist field called Oculoplastics.
Oculoplastic surgeons also remove skin cancers near the eye and use plastic surgery techniques
to reconstruct the eye tissue so that it heals well with
minimal scarring. All surgeries carry some risk.
Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of the surgery as it specifically relates
to you. Most eye surgery is done in one day so it’s
important to have someone that can take you home afterwards.
So, what happens on the day of your surgery? A great deal of care
is taken to make sure that the information about you is accurate and up-to-date
You may be asked more than once about your medical history and what medications you’re
currently taking. Your eye will be marked to alert medical staff
when preparing for your surgery. You will need an anaesthetic.
Most eye surgery is done under local anaesthetic, that is an injection or drops are used to
numb the area around the eye but first a sedative is given to help
you relax. You may feel drowsy, but you will remain conscious,
however you should not see or feel anything during the operation and may not remember
it either Tearduct surgery will take about one hour.
Eyelid surgery may take less than this. Afterwards you’ll be taken to a recovery area
where you can recover from the sedative. Your eyelid may be swollen at first, but this
should heal naturally over the coming weeks. An eye shield will protect the eye from accidental
injury. Stitches can be removed about a week
after surgery. This can be done at an eye clinic. Eyedrops or ointment are given to prevent
infection and, in some cases, to control the healing process.
Information sheets cover some do’s and don’ts while your eye recovers.
The Sydney Eye Hospital performs thousands of sight saving surgeries each year.
The hospital is supported through the fundraising initiatives of the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation
in the interests of providing quality eye care for all.

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