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Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid Surgery (blepharoplasty)

One of the most frequently performed surgical procedures is eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). It involves the removal of fatty deposits, loose and sagging skin that may form around the upper or lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery may correct features that make you appear older and more tired. Factors which may contribute to this include genetics, aging, or the damaging effects of the sun. Younger people may elect to have this procedure done to eliminate puffiness of the eyes from excess fatty tissue.


An eyelid lift can make a remarkable difference in the appearance of the face by helping you achieve eyes that appear larger, resulting in a younger and fresher new look.

How is eyelid surgery performed?

Your surgeon will remove excess fat, muscle, and skin from either or both the upper and lower eyelids to redefine the shape of the eye. This procedure can be either cosmetic or reconstructive. The upper eyelid incision is made in the natural crease of the skin. Excess skin and fatty tissue is removed, the muscles and orbital septum (a thin connective tissue membrane) may be tightened, and the incisions are carefully closed. The external incisions are hidden within the natural crease of the upper eyelids. Often the lower lid bags can be removed without any visible incision or scar, as the incisions are placed right below the eyelashes. Much of the operation is done with a very fine electrocautery, which controls any bleeding. The skin is then closed with tiny sutures (stitches).

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How long does eyelid surgery take?

The upper and lower eyelids done together will take about one hour, if done separately the procedure will take less time.

What type of anesthesia is used?

An eyelid surgery is usually performed using local anesthesia along with a light sedative to make you feel drowsy and relaxed. If you are having eyelid surgery together with another procedure, you will receive general anesthesia, which will cause you to be asleep during the whole procedure.

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Where is the procedure performed?

Eyelid surgery is usually performed in a surgeon's office-based surgical suite, an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital.

When can I return home and resume normal activities?

Most patients return home the same day. Typically patients can resume normal activities within seven days.

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How do I prepare for eyelid surgery?

During your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the changes that you would like to make to your appearance. Since the appearance of your eyes is a matter of personal perception and preference, you will need to discuss your concerns in detail so your surgeon can determine the appropriate alternatives. You also should make arrangements ahead of time for someone to drive you to and from your procedure and to assist you with your daily activities during your recovery period.

Prior to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will perform a complete health history and physical. Knowledge of your allergies, medications and previous surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention at this time. Your surgeon will test your vision and assess your tear production. A record of your most recent eye exam, including any relevant information from your ophthalmologist should be provided at this time. You should also bring any prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Specific instructions to assist you in preparing for this procedure will be given to you after the health history and physical is complete. Depending on your individual health status, the instructions may include guidelines regarding your diet, alcohol intake, smoking and which medications to take or avoid. Your experience will be much smoother if you remain compliant with your surgeon's instructions.

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What precautions are necessary during recovery?

After your procedure, ice compresses are applied to the eyelids. Your eyes are not bandaged. However, medication used during the procedure may cause blurred vision for one or two hours. Ice compresses as well as elevating your head should be continued for 24 hours after your procedure. Many surgeons recommend the use of eye drops if you begin to experience any dryness, burning or itching. You will be given specific instructions regarding rest, sleeping position, washing your face and hair, driving and work involving any eyestrain.

A light cosmetic cover-up may be blended onto the lower lids starting four days after the procedure. Other facial and eyelid makeup, including mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, and artificial eyelashes may be applied seven days after the procedure. It is important to remove all makeup thoroughly at the end of the day using an upward motion. You may use oiled eye pads for makeup removal.

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What are the possible complications after eyelid surgery?

Eyelid surgery rarely causes serious complications. Possible complications may include improper closure of the eyes during sleep (lagophthalmus), dryness of the eyes, light sensitivity and sagging (ptosis) of the upper eyelids. Some swelling and discoloration are expected following an eyelid lift but usually subside in five to ten days. Following the procedure, there will be slight discomfort that can be relieved by medication. Eyelid stitches are removed after approximately four days. It is always important to be informed about the possible complications before any surgery. Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your surgeon.

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What results can I expect after eyelid surgery?

Remember that an eyelid lift cannot stop the aging process around your eyes. Although excess skin is removed and wrinkles are diminished, your skin continues to age. "Bags" beneath the lower eyelids usually do not recur. As you grow older the skin of the upper lids becomes looser and may create additional folds in which case an upper lid "touch-up" can be done. In time you may feel the need to have a second procedure. There is no set limit as to how many eyelid lifts you may have. Your eyelid lift is designed to give your eyes the lighter more vigorous appearance you seek.

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Choosing the right surgeon

To obtain further information regarding ear surgery, we advise you to consult with a qualified and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Regardless of the type of procedure you are considering, it is crucial to choose the right surgeon for your individual goals. To receive a complimentary consultation with a specialist in your area, simply fill out our Online Referral Form or call Toll Free 800.434.6760.


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