Eyelid Surgery FAQs

Answers to Eyelid Surgery questions

Blepharoplasty is the medical term for eyelid surgery, an operation to remove excess skin and fat from the eyelids. Its primary purpose is to improve appearance and, in some cases, to improve function. The excess fat and skin from the upper and lower eyelids are removed and the remainder is reshaped.

My goal in blepharoplasty is to produce eyelids and eyes that appear natural, function properly and are more youthful in appearance.

The following information should give you a better understanding of what is involved in having blepharoplasty and answer some of the most common questions.

What is the earliest age blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery can be performed?

The texture of the skin around the eyelids is determined by heredity, facial expressions, and exposure to the sun and environment. Usually, the procedure is performed on patients over the age of 35.

Is it possible to show what the eyelids will look like?

No. During one of your visits, photographs will be taken which are used for study. I will explain what I believe to be the most desirable shape and outcome for your eyelids and what the surgical goal should be. This is for discussion only and to help us agree on what our surgical goal should be.

Will insurance pay for eyelid surgery?

Generally, blepharoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure which is not covered by insurance. In some instances, your insurance may reimburse you if there is a functional problem with impaired vision due to excessive hooding of the skin of the upper lids.

How is blepharoplasty performed?

For the upper lids, incisions are made within the upper lid crease and excess skin and fat are removed or pushed back into the eye socket. For the lower lids, depending on the amount of excess skin present, incisions are made on either the eyelid skin or within the eyelid. The fat is then removed through either of these incisions or redraped to remove the bulges. I will be glad to discuss which option is best for you.

Is there much pain?

It is surprising how little discomfort is associated with blepharoplasty. Usually, oral pain medication the first day or two is all that is necessary for any discomfort that may be present.

What type of anesthesia is used?

The procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia. In both cases, it is performed as an outpatient procedure.

How many office visits are there after surgery?

You will return to the office 3 days after surgery for the removal of any sutures. After that, I will see you in 7-14 days and again at 6-8 weeks for routine check-ups. I would also like to see you one year after surgery to make sure you are doing well and that all results are as we expected.

How much swelling will there be?

Although medicines are given to keep it to a minimum, this varies with different patients. Some swelling and bruising of the eyelids is expected. This reaches its peak two days after surgery and then starts subsiding. After 10-12 days, most of the swelling will have disappeared.

What are the limitations after surgery?

Patients usually go back to their normal activities within 5 days following surgery. There should be no strenuous activity for 2 weeks. Sun exposure should be avoided for at least 8 weeks and sun block should be placed on all of the scars.

What if other surgery is needed?

During your consultation, your entire face will be evaluated. If I feel that there are other procedures that will improve your appearance, they will be discussed with you. The most frequently performed adjunctive procedure is a brow-lift to elevate drooping eyebrows.