Learn what's involved and the risks, as well as what kind of results you can expect from this eyelid surgery.
Blepharoplasty (BLEF-uh-roe-plas-tee) is a type of surgery that removes excess skin from the eyelids. With age, eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. As a result, excess skin and fat can gather above and below your eyelids. This can cause sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids and bags under the eyes.
Besides aging, severely sagging skin around the eyes can reduce side vision (peripheral vision), especially the upper and outer parts of the visual field. Blepharoplasty can reduce or get rid of these vision problems. The surgery can also make eyes look younger and more alert.
Learn how blepharoplasty is done and about the benefits and risk of the procedure.
During blepharoplasty, the surgeon cuts into the creases of the eyelids to trim sagging skin and muscle and remove excess fat. The surgeon rejoins the skin with tiny dissolving stitches.
Blepharoplasty might be an option for:
Blepharoplasty can be done at the same time as another procedure, such as a brow lift, face-lift or skin resurfacing.
Insurance coverage might depend on whether the surgery repairs a condition that harms vision. Surgery only to improve appearance probably won't be covered by insurance.
All surgery has risks, including reaction to anesthesia and blood clots. Besides those, rare risks of eyelid surgery include:
Before scheduling blepharoplasty, you'll meet with a health care provider. Providers you meet with may include a plastic surgeon, an eye specialist (ophthalmologist), or an ophthalmologist who specializes in plastic surgery around the eyes (oculoplastic surgeon). The discussion includes:
Before your eyelid surgery, you'll likely have a physical exam and the following:
And your provider will likely ask you to do the following:
Blepharoplasty is usually done in an outpatient setting. You might be given drugs such as injections into the eyelids to numb them and drugs through an IV to help you relax.
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.
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.
If your upper eyelid droops close to your pupil, your surgeon may do blepharoplasty combined with a procedure called ptosis (TOE-sis). Ptosis is designed to lift the eyelid as well as remove excess eyelid skin.
After surgery you spend time in a recovery room where staff members monitor you for complications. You can leave later that day to heal at home.
After surgery you might temporarily have:
Take the following steps to help you recover from surgery unless your surgeon gives you different instructions.
As instructed, return to the care provider's office to have stitches removed, if needed.
Seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
Many people who have blepharoplasty say they feel more self-confident and feel they look younger and more rested. For some people, surgery results may last a lifetime. For others, droopy eyelids can recur.
Bruising and swelling generally lessen slowly in about 10 to 14 days. Scars from the surgical cuts may take months to fade. Take care to protect your delicate eyelid skin from sun exposure.