An eyelid lift, also called blepharoplasty, is a common plastic surgery procedure that improves droopy eyelids that can occur with age.
The skin over the eyes can relax and drop as we get older, sometimes leading to a tired and weary look. In the most extreme cases, the sagging skin can obstruct the vision. An eyelid lift removes this extra skin, fat, and muscle and makes the eyes look wider and more alert.
Older patients who think their eyelids may be sagging and making their eyes smaller should talk to their plastic surgeon about blepharoplasty.
Why Consider Blepharoplasty?
Is drooping and sagging eyelid skin preventing your eyes from completely opening? Removing the extra tissue from the upper lids can make you look more awake and sometimes improve vision.
An eyelid lift can be a good choice if you have droopy upper eyelids or skin on the upper lids obstructing your vision.
Some patients also may have extra skin on the lower lids or bags under the eyes. A lower eyelid lift can remove excess skin and fat and improve your appearance if that’s you.
Some patients have other procedures with their eyelid lift, such as a facelift or dermal fillers to eliminate facial lines and wrinkles.
An eyelid lift is done outpatient, and you can usually go home the same day, as long as you have a ride home. You will be recovering from anesthesia and will be groggy for the rest of the day.
If you have the procedure on the upper and lower lids, your surgeon will probably do the upper lids first. Then, they make an incision on the fold of your upper lid, remove extra skin, fat, and muscle, and close the cut with dissolvable stitches.
The plastic surgeon makes an incision below your lashes in the natural crease on the lower eyelid. Or the incision can be made inside the lower lid. Then, extra fat, muscle, and skin is removed, and the incision is closed.
If the skin on the upper lid droops near the pupil, the surgeon may do another procedure called ptosis to increase support to the muscles in the eyebrow.
After the procedure, you may experience some or all of these symptoms, but they are temporary:
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
- Double vision
- Numb and puffy eyelids
- Bruising and swelling around the eyes
- Moderate pain and discomfort
Preparing For Blepharoplasty
Getting ready for eyelid surgery will take a few weeks. First, you should speak to your plastic surgeon about what you want to gain from the procedure. Also, talk to the surgeon about their expertise and experience with blepharoplasty.
Before scheduling the surgery, the surgeon will need to do a physical examination, including a physical, and check the condition of your upper and lower lids. They also will take photos of your eyes to help guide the procedure.
Remember to talk to them about any medications you are on, such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal supplements.
You will need to stop taking medications that increase bleeding, such as Advil, Motrin, and warfarin. Also, you cannot smoke for several weeks before and after the procedure.
Expectations After Blepharoplasty
Your blepharoplasty procedure will take between two and three hours, depending on if one or both eyes are done.
Patients should expect mild pain, discomfort, bruising, and swelling for four or five days. But these symptoms are normal and will recede with time. You can reduce swelling and bleeding if you use ice or a cold compress for a few minutes at a time.
Surgeons recommend getting plenty of rest and avoiding strenuous exercise and weightlifting for at least a week.
Remember that it is common for patients to feel tightness around the eyes after an eyelid lift. This symptom may persist for one or two weeks. Tightness around the eyes after surgery is usually due to skin and muscle tissue that was trimmed is healing.
Tightness around the eyes after blepharoplasty is normal, and most patients say the benefits of the procedure far outweigh the temporary side effects.
However, if the tightness around your eyes persists for more than a month, you should see your surgeon. You must be able to close your eyes completely.
Note that you can’t wear contact lenses for 14 days after this procedure, so you will need to have prescription glasses available. It isn’t necessary to keep your eyes covered in the days after surgery. But the surgeon may send you home with gauze over the eyes for a few hours.
For most patients, after three or four weeks, the tightness around the eyes, as well as swelling and bruising, will start to fade. Also, you will notice that your eyes look wider and more alert as the sagging skin over the eyes is gone.
Most patients are satisfied with their blepharoplasty procedure, noticing that their eyes are wider and they look better rested. Some patients may enjoy a lifetime of benefits from the procedure, while others may need revision surgery eventually.
Request A Blepharoplasty Consultation
Thinking about blepharoplasty in Beverly Hills? Dr. Nicholas Lahar is pleased to provide plastic surgery procedures to his Beverly Hills patients. He will discuss your aesthetic goals during your consultation and help you decide if you are a good candidate for blepharoplasty.
About Blepharoplasty. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/blepharoplasty/about/pac-20385174#
Eyelid Surgery Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/eyelid-surgery
About Blepharoplasty. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.healthline.com/health/blepharoplasty