This page will give you information about a blepharoplasty. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.
What is a blepharoplasty?
A blepharoplasty is an operation to remove excess skin and fat from your eyelids and to tighten your skin and soft tissues around your eyes.
Is a blepharoplasty suitable for me?
As you get older, your skin loses its elasticity (stretchiness) and gravity pulls down on the soft tissues of your eyelids, causing them to sag.
Excess skin in an upper eyelid can sometimes hang down low enough to interfere with your vision.
Sometimes a drooping eyebrow and forehead can make your upper eyelid look as if it is sagging.
Skin in a lower eyelid can lose its tone, sag and develop wrinkles, and appear puffy caused by bulging fat pads.
Your surgeon will carry out a detailed assessment before deciding if surgery is suitable for you.
What are the benefits of surgery?
Your face should look younger and brighter. If an upper eyelid is interfering with your vision, your vision should improve.
Are there any alternatives to a blepharoplasty?
Your surgeon may be able to assess you for laser skin resurfacing, where a laser is used to gently burn the surface of your skin in a controlled way.
Injecting Botox can smooth out fine wrinkles.
What does the operation involve?
An upper-eyelid blepharoplasty is usually performed under a local anaesthetic that is injected in your eyelids. A lower-eyelid blepharoplasty is performed under a general anaesthetic.
The operation usually takes an hour to 90 minutes.
- Upper-eyelid blepharoplasty – Your surgeon will make a cut on the natural skin crease just above your eyelid. They will remove any excess skin and fat that is pushing through the muscle.
- Lower-eyelid blepharoplasty – Your surgeon will make a cut along the rim of your eyelid below your eyelashes to just beyond the outside edge of your eye. They will remove any excess skin, and remove or redistribute any fat that is pushing through the muscle.
What complications can happen?
Some of these can be serious and can even cause death.
General complications of any operation
- infection of the surgical site (wound)
Specific complications of this operation
- too much skin is removed
- bleeding into your eye socket
- cornea abrasion
- double vision
- cosmetic problems
How soon will I recover?
If you have only an upper-eyelid blepharoplasty, you should be able to go home after a few hours.
Do not do strenuous exercise or bend down for the first week.
Do not wear eye make-up or drink alcohol for a few weeks, and keep your face out of the sun.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
The results of a blepharoplasty can last for 5 to 10 years and sometimes can be permanent. Your face will still continue to age but should always appear younger than if you had not had surgery.
A blepharoplasty is an operation to make your eyelids appear younger and may improve your vision. You should consider the options carefully and have realistic expectations about the results.
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Last reviewed: September 2019