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
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
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
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.
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
Most patients return home the same day. Typically patients
can resume normal activities within seven days.
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.
What precautions are necessary during
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.
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.
What results can I expect after eyelid
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
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