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Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift Surgery) Frequently Asked Questions


                                     Blepharoplasty Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is blepharoplasty?

Surgery of the eyelids or eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) is a plastic or cosmetic surgical procedure designed to improve the appearance of the eye area by eliminating the signs of aging with excess skin and bags. This procedure restores a much more youthful and refreshed appearance by correcting droopy upper eyelids and also puffy under eye bags. 

Sometimes this procedure can improve vision by removing the excess skin of the upper eyelids which can affect vision as a person ages. 

The following is removed during the surgery:

  • Excess fat

  • Skin

  • Muscle





  • How do I know if I am a good candidate for blepharoplasty?

Patients can be a good candidate with the following:

  • In good physical condition

  • Realistic in expectations with this procedure

  • Seeking an improvement to puffy under-eye bags

  • Seeking an improvement to drooping upper eyelids


Patients having the following problems might NOT be considered for blepharoplasty:

  • Circulatory problems

  • Ophthalmologic

  • Other medical conditions

Read our section on who is a candidate for surgery




                               Blepharoplasty incisions





                               where the excess skin is removed and the placement of the sutures.





                               image of before and after blepharoplasty


                                               Copyright 2010 ADAM, Inc. - Used with permission




  • What to expect on a consultation for blepharoplasty

During your consultation your plastic surgeon will be discussing your blepharoplasty procedure.

The following topics will be addressed:

  • Your goals

  • What you dislike about your eyes

  • Complete medical history

  • Eyes will be examined - including a vision test and tear production

  • All aspects of the blepharoplasty procedure will be explained

  • The type of blepharoplasty you will be having

  • Where the surgery will be performed

  • Questions about the anesthesia will be answered

  • Recovery information will be discussed completely

  • Risks and or complications that can arise from having this procedure

  • Cost of the procedure

  • Photographs will be taken of your eyes at the time of consultation






  • What type of facility will the blepharoplasty procedure take place?

Upper and lower blepharoplasty is an out-patient procedure that normally takes place:

  • in a surgeon's surgical suite

  • an outpatient surgery center

  • or a hospital




  • What type of anesthesia will be given?

This will depend on your plastic surgeon's preference for the blepharoplasty procedure.  Normally a combination of local anesthesia and sedation is given. General anesthesia also can be used for this procedure.





  • How is blepharoplasty surgery performed?

The incisions for blepharoplasty are normally made in the crease of the upper eyelids and or just below the eye lashes of the lower lids - known as "transcuteaneous approach".  Some surgeons like to use the incision inside the lower lid called "transconjunctive approach" on patients who do not have excess skin but only a pocket of fat beneath the lower eyelids.

By working through these incisions, excess fat is removed along with trimming the sagging skin and muscle.

Incisions are closed with sutures and bandages may be applied to the eye area.




  • How long does is the surgery for blepharoplasty?

The average surgery time for blepharoplasty is about one to three hours.





  • Will I have scars after my blepharoplasty procedure?

Unfortunately, the incisions for blepharoplasty do result in scars, however; they tend to be small and strategically placed in the natural creases of the upper eyelids or just below the lash line of the lower eyelids

If you are having the transconjunctival approach done, results are there will be no visible scarring on the lower eyelid, as the incision is made inside the lower eyelid.




  • Is there a lot of pain associated with blepharoplasty:

No, generally there is not a lot of pain associated with this procedure. The eyelids will feel tight and sore at first - but the oral pain medication takes care of any discomfort you might have. The eye area heals exceptionally fast. Patients tend to recover rapidly from this procedure.





  • Will I need someone to drive me home from having this surgery?

Yes, you will need a responsible adult to pick you up from the surgery center. Patients who have had anesthesia will need to have someone stay with them for the first 24 hours after surgery.  Your vision will be blurry following blepharoplasty for a couple of days, so you will need some help getting around. 





  • What should I expect of the recovery after my blepharoplasty procedure?

You can expect the following after surgery:

  • Swelling and bruising

  • Tightness of the eyelids

  • Soreness of the eyelids

  • Increased tearing

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Dryness of the eyes

  • Double vision

  • Blurred vision

Read more about blepharoplasty recovery




  • How much time do I need to recover from blepharoplasty?

Normal activities, including work (office type) can typically be resumed within a couple of weeks following surgery. It is important however; not to get your heart rate up with doing too much.





  • When can I start exercising again?

Any strenuous exercise should be delayed for up to at least three weeks post operative. Make sure you ask your own plastic surgeon when he feels it is okay for you to get back to your exercise routine, as each surgeon has their own timeline.





  • When will the stitches be removed after my blepharoplasty procedure?

The stitches may be removed within two to seven days - however; usually it is around day 5.






  • What are the complications and risks associated with blepharoplasty?

As with all types of surgery, there are some risks associated with blepharoplasty and these may include the following:

Read more about complications and risks




  • Will my blepharoplasty surgery be covered by insurance?

Blepharoplasty procedures in general are normally considered cosmetic surgery, which is not reimbursable from insurance. However, if the patient has their vision impaired due to sagging eyelids, then the insurance might be available. Make sure you check with your own insurer. 





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