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Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelid surgery, also known as “blepharoplasty,” is a procedure that repairs droopy eyelids and may involve removing excess skin, muscle and fat.

Loose and droopy skin around the eyes is common in older people. As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. A blepharoplasty rejuvenates the appearance of the upper and/or lower eyelids.

How Blepharoplasty Helps

Look More Youthful
Signs of aging are prominent around the eyes in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Loose skin that causes these fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging is removed. Puffiness is common and may be caused by fat deposits or loose muscles around the eyes. These fat deposits that cause bags are removed or repositioned. Blepharoplasty tightens loose tissue surrounding the eyes to produce firm, smooth skin with a more youthful appearance.

Brighten Tired Eyes
Loose skin and fat deposits can weigh down the eyelids and create a tired appearance even if a person is well rested. Excess fatty deposits can also create bags and puffiness around the eyes that contribute to a tired look. Eyelid surgery eliminates excess skin and fat to rejuvenate the areas around the eyes and provide patients with a more rested and alert appearance. As the muscles and other tissues are tightened, the eyes attain a refreshed and invigorated appearance.

Restore Impaired Vision
Excess fatty deposits and sagging skin on the upper eyelids can hang down and impair a person’s full range of vision. Upper eyelid surgery removes this excess skin and fat so patients no longer have drooping eyelids impairing their vision. Besides making you look older, severely sagging skin around your eyes can reduce your side vision (peripheral vision), especially the upper and outer parts of your field of vision. Blepharoplasty can reduce or eliminate these vision problems and make your eyes appear younger and more alert.

What to Expect From Blepharoplasty Surgery

Many people express satisfaction with the results of blepharoplasty, such as a more rested and youthful appearance and more self-confidence. For some people, results of surgery may last a lifetime. For others, droopy eyelids may recur. Blepharoplasty can be done at the same time as another procedure, such as a brow lift, face-lift or skin resurfacing.

Am I a Candidate for a Blepharoplasty?

  • Do you have droopy or sagging eyelids that keep your eyes from opening completely, pull down your lower eyelids, or obstruct your vision?
  • Do you have excess fatty deposits creating bags around the eyes?
  • Are you healthy, nonsmoker without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery with a positive outlook and realistic goals?

Blepharoplasty Options

Upper Blepharoplasty

For upper eyelids, the surgeon cuts along the fold of the eyelid. The surgeon removes some excess skin, muscle and possibly fat. Then the surgeon closes the cut. If your upper eyelid droops close to your pupil, your surgeon may do blepharoplasty combined with a procedure called ptosis repair (TOE-sis). Ptosis repair is designed to lift the eyelid by tightening the muscles as well as remove excess eyelid skin.

Lower Blepharoplasty

On the lower lid, the surgeon makes a cut just below the lashes in your eye’s natural crease or inside the lower lid. The surgeon removes or redistributes excess fat, muscle and sagging skin. Then the surgeon closes the cut. Fat grafting can be used to improve the cheek volume to obtain a more uniform transition between the eyelid and cheek.

The Blepharoplasty Process


Once you fill out the online questionnaire, you will be contacted to confirm an appointment for a one-on-one consultation with the surgeon. You may also provide photos through our HIPAA compliant system and during your visit your surgeon can provide a detailed evaluation and plan for your procedure.

This appointment also includes an analysis of your health history, any medications you are taking, and what you desire to achieve with the procedure. Your provider may also ask about past or current conditions such as dry eyes, glaucoma, allergies, circulatory problems, thyroid problems and diabetes. Please have all of this information with you when you come to your appointment. All of which can be submitted electronically through our HIPAA compliant patient portal.

Before your eyelid surgery, you’ll likely have a physical exam and the following: Complete eye exam. This might include testing tear production and measuring parts of the eyelids. Visual field testing. This is to see if there are blind spots in the corners of the eyes (peripheral vision).

Preoperative Instructions

Your surgeon will review in detail all of the information you need to know prior to surgery.

Generally, patients should avoid nicotine products six weeks before surgery and stop taking anti-inflammatory medication (e.g., aspirin and ibuprofen) for at least two weeks before surgery. If you are on warfarin or other anticoagulants then your medical doctor will need to give you permission to be off those for 1 week prior to surgery. Some vitamins and supplements may also cause problems during or after surgery, so it is best to avoid them or to talk to your surgeon about potential side effects.

You may be asked to bathe using an antibacterial soap before your procedure.

Eating and drinking restrictions include:

  • 8 hours before the procedure – stop eating heavy meals or foods, such as meat, fried foods, or fatty foods.
  • 6 hours before the procedure – stop eating light meals or foods, such as toast or cereal.
  • 6 hours before the procedure – stop drinking milk or drinks that contain milk.
  • 2 hours before the procedure – stop drinking clear liquids.

Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and care for you for the first 48 hours after your procedure.

During the Procedure

Blepharoplasty surgery is performed with general anesthesia, in a surgery center, and takes approximately two to three hours to complete. An IV will be inserted into one of your veins. Based on the techniques agreed upon during your consultation, the surgeon will place the incisions as described above. Incisions are closed with non-absorbable sutures and covered with surgical tape.


After surgery, your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored until you leave the surgical center. You may continue to receive fluids and pain medicines through an IV. Eye drops may be placed in your eye, and ointment may be put over your incisions. Eye drops and ointment are continued during the recovery period. Cold compresses and loosely placed gauze to cover the surgical site are sometimes used, after your procedure is completed.

Expect minimal pain, some bruising, and tenderness for which you will be provided pain medications as needed.

For the first few days after surgery you will need to get plenty of rest. Most patients are able to return to work in two weeks and resume regular exercise after eight weeks.

Your surgeon will give you more detailed information about what you can expect during your recovery.

Blepharoplasty FAQs

Q. Where are the incisions placed for blepharoplasty?

A. The incision for upper eyelid surgery is placed within the natural crease of the eyelid so that no scar will be noticeable once it heals. The incision for lower eyelid surgery may be inconspicuously placed just below the lashes to remove excess skin, or an incision hidden within the lower lid may be used to remove and reposition tissue.

Q. When can I return to work and normal activities after the procedure?

A. Most patients are able to resume work and normal activities about ten days after eyelid surgery. Some swelling and bruising may persist for a couple of weeks, but cold compresses will help reduce these side effects.

Q. How soon will I see the results of my eyelid surgery?

A. Results from blepharoplasty may be obscured at first due to swelling and bruising, but smooth, more youthful eyelids are generally visible within a few weeks after surgery. Incision lines will continue to improve over time and may take up to a year to fully refine.

Q. How long will the results of blepharoplasty last?

A. Results from eyelid surgery will be long lasting as long as the patient maintains a healthy skincare regimen and protects the area from the sun. The skin and tissues around the eyes will continue to age naturally.