(Eyelid Surgery; Repair of Droopy Eyelids)
Blepharoplasty is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat tissue from the eye area.
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Reasons for Procedure
Blepharoplasty can correct:
- Drooping upper eyelids
- Excess skin of the lower eyelids
- Puffiness of the upper or lower eyelids
- Blocked or reduced vision related to upper eyelid skin excess
This procedure can also create upper eyelid folds.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have blepharoplasty, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
- Temporary blurred vision
- Temporary swelling and bruising of the eyelids
- Asymmetry in healing
- Difficulty closing eyes
- Dry eyes
- Red eyes
- Decrease or loss of vision
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Distortion of upper or lower eyelid position
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor will likely do the following:
- Physical exam
- Vision tests
- Exam of the eyelid and supporting structures
Leading up to your procedure, your doctor may advise that you:
- Follow a special diet.
- Take certain medications.
- Arrange to have someone drive you home.
- Arrange for someone to help you at home.
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area around your eyes. Sedatives will be given to help you relax. In some cases, general anesthesia will be used. If so, you will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
Incisions will be made in your eyelids. In the upper eyelid, the incision is usually made in the crease. In the lower eyelid, the incision is usually made just below the lashes or on the inside of the eyelid. The excess fat will be removed. The excess skin and muscle will be trimmed. The incision will be closed with sutures.
How Long Will It Take?
60 minutes or more depending on the amount of skin and fat to be removed
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will minimize pain during the procedure. You may feel some tightness and soreness after the procedure.
At the Care Center
Ointment will be applied. A bandage may be placed over your eyes.
After about 6 months, your scars will likely fade to a nearly invisible white line. The results of a blepharoplasty are permanent. Extra surgery may be done as needed or desired. Sometimes, blepharoplasty is combined with another procedure called canthopexy. This is used to improve the shape and positioning of the lower eyelid. Blepharoplasty may also be done with ptosis repair. This is the repair of the upper eyelid muscle to correct drooping of the upper eyelid.
Call Your Doctor
It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
- Opening of any part of the incision
- Excessive pain or redness of the eye
- Any decrease or change in your vision
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
US Food & Drug Administration
Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
What is eyelid surgery? American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/eyelid-surgery.html. Accessed September 1, 2019.
6/2/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T905141/Treatment-for-tobacco-use: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Donald W. Buck II, MD Last Updated: 9/18/2020