Dr Babak Babsharif, Ophthalmologist, Subspeciality in Cosmetic Eye Surgeries (Oculoplastics), & Strabismus
Member of American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
Member of European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (ESCRS)
Certificate of Ophthalmology from International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) Cambridge, UK
Medical Degree 1989
Board of Ophthalmology 1997
Subspeciality Degree 2006
Complementary Education in University of Texas, USA
Blepharoplasty (BLEF-uh-roe-plas-tee) includes surgery to repair droopy eyelids that may involve removing excess skin, muscle and fat.
As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. As a result, excess fat may gather above and below your eyelids, causing sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids and bags under your eyes.
Besides making you look older, severely sagging skin around your eyes can reduce your side vision (peripheral vision), especially the upper and outer parts of your field of vision. Blepharoplasty can reduce or eliminate these vision problems and make your eyes appear younger and more alert.
Blepharoplasty is usually done on an outpatient basis. To help decide if blepharoplasty is right for you, find out what you can realistically expect and explore the benefits and risks of blepharoplasty.
Why it's done
You might consider blepharoplasty if droopy or sagging eyelids keep your eyes from opening completely or pull down your lower eyelids. Removing excess tissue from your upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both can improve vision and make your eyes appear younger and more alert.
Blepharoplasty may be an option if you have:
Baggy or droopy upper eyelids
Excess skin of the upper eyelids that interferes with your peripheral vision
Droopy lower eyelids, which may cause white to show below the colored part of the eye (iris)
Excess skin on the lower eyelids
Bags under your eyes
What you can expect
Blepharoplasty is usually done in an outpatient setting. Your surgeon injects numbing medication into your eyelids and administers intravenous medication to help you relax. This may make you groggy.
During the procedure
If you have surgery on your upper and lower eyelids, the surgeon generally works on your upper lids first. He or she cuts along the fold of the eyelid, removes some excess skin, muscle and fat, and closes the cut.
On the lower lid, the surgeon makes a cut just below the lashes in your eye's natural crease or inside the lower lid. He or she removes or redistributes excess fat, muscle and sagging skin, and closes the cut.
If your eyelid droops close to your pupil, your surgeon may do blepharoplasty with a procedure called ptosis (TOE-sis) to address that problem.
Blepharoplasty usually takes less than two hours, depending on the amount and location of tissue being removed.
After the procedure
After surgery you spend time in a recovery room, where you are monitored for complications. You can leave later that day to recuperate at home.
After surgery you may temporarily experience:
Blurred vision from the lubricating ointment applied to your eyes
Redness where the cuts were made
Puffy, numb eyelids
Swelling and bruising similar to having "black eyes"
Your doctor will likely suggest you take the following steps after surgery:
Gently clean your eyelids and use prescribed eyedrops or ointments.
Avoid straining, heavy lifting and swimming for a few days.
Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for a few days.
Avoid rubbing your eyes.
If you use contact lenses, don't put them in for about two weeks after surgery.
Wear darkly tinted sunglasses to protect the skin of your eyelids from sun and wind.
Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest for a few days.
Apply cool compresses to reduce swelling.
After a few days, return to the doctor's office to have stitches removed, if needed.
For a few days, avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and other medications or herbal supplements that may increase bleeding. If needed, use acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to control pain.
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
Shortness of breath
An unusual heart rate
Severe new eye pain
Many people express satisfaction with the results of blepharoplasty, such as a more rested and youthful appearance and more self-confidence. For some people, results of surgery may last a lifetime. For others, droopy eyelids may recur.
Scars from the surgical cuts may take six months or longer to fade. Take care to protect your delicate eyelid skin from too much sun exposure.