Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
By removing excess fat, skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids, blepharoplasty can rejuvenate puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes. It is typically a cosmetic procedure but can also improve vision by lifting droopy eyelids out of the patient’s field of vision. Blepharoplasty cannot be used to raise the eyebrows or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet or dark circles under the eyes, but the procedure can be combined with others such as a facelift and BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments to achieve these results.
The procedure is usually performed in an office with local anesthesia and lasts 45 minutes to a few hours depending on how much work is done. Incisions are made along the eyelids in inconspicuous places (in the creases of the upper lids, and just below the lashes on the lower lids). The surgeon removes excess tissue through these incisions and then stitches them closed with fine sutures. In the case that no skin needs to be removed, the surgeon will likely perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, where the incision is made inside the lower eyelid and there are no visible scars.
Stitches are removed after three or four days and most people return to work in ten. Contact lenses may not be worn for two weeks. Eyes can be sensitive to light and wind and may be slightly irritated for a short while; your surgeon may prescribe eye drops and cool compresses to counteract these discomforts.
Complications from the procedure are uncommon, and can include: infection, reaction to anesthesia, double or blurred vision for a few days, temporary swelling of the eyelids, tiny whiteheads, and difficulty closing eyes when going to sleep. Uneven healing and scarring, and ectropion (pulling down of the lower lids) are very rare and may require surgical correction. Patients with thyroid problems, dry eye, high blood pressure, diabetes, detached retina, glaucoma or other health problems should consult with an ophthalmologist about eligibility.