The Seattle

Plastic Surgery Center

William A. Portuese, M.D.

What Is Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a common cosmetic procedure used to improve the appearance of the upper and/or lower eyelids. It is a surgical procedure that can be used to remove excess skin and fat, as well as restore weakened muscles in the upper and lower eyelids. Oculoplastic surgeons or ophthalmologists are most commonly involved with performing eyelid surgeries.

This article will provide an overview of what eyelid surgery entails, including its potential risks, benefits, and recovery process. Additionally, this article will explore who may be a good candidate for eyelid surgery and how to go about selecting the right surgeon for this procedure.

By understanding the basics of what eyelid surgery involves and who may benefit from it, patients can make an informed decision about whether this procedure is right for them.


Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that aims to improve the appearance of the eyelids. It includes both removal and repositioning of fat deposits, tightening of skin and muscles, and excision of excess skin. This procedure can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelids. The goal is to create a more refreshed and youthful look by improving the contours around the eyes.

The indications for eyelid surgery vary depending on the individual case. In general, it is often performed to correct drooping upper eyelids or puffy bags under the eyes caused by aging or heredity. It can also be used to improve vision in cases where sagging tissue has caused obstruction of peripheral vision due to laxity in the upper lids. Additionally, eyelid surgery can be used to correct asymmetry between two eyes and improve overall facial harmony.

In order to determine whether or not an individual is an appropriate candidate for this procedure, an oculoplastic surgeon or ophthalmologist will conduct a thorough examination of the eye area. Factors such as age, medical history, current health status, desired outcome and lifestyle will play important roles in determining candidacy for this procedure.

Types Of Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery, otherwise known as blepharoplasty, is a procedure designed to correct defects, deformities and disfigurations of the eyelids. There are two main types of eyelid surgery: upper eyelid surgery and lower eyelid surgery. Upper eyelid surgery can be used to remove excess skin and fatty tissue from the upper lids, while lower lid surgery can be used to remove excess fat or sagging skin from the lower lids.

Upper eyelid surgery is typically performed on patients who have drooping upper lids that interfere with vision. During this procedure, excess skin and fat are removed from the upper lids, restoring a more youthful-looking appearance. In some cases, eyebrow lifts may also be performed in conjunction with upper lid blepharoplasty to give the patient an even more rejuvenated look.

Lower eyelid surgery is often done for cosmetic purposes in order to reduce puffiness or bags under the eyes. This type of procedure typically involves removing excess fat from below the eye and tightening or repositioning any loose skin in order to create a smoother contour around the eye area. In certain cases, laser resurfacing may be used to reduce wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes for added rejuvenation.

Overall, both types of eyelid surgeries offer significant aesthetic improvement with minimal downtime and risk of complications. They can help restore a more youthful appearance by reducing drooping or puffiness around the eyes while simultaneously improving vision issues caused by saggy upper lids.

Reasons For Undergoing Surgery

Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids. It can be used to treat drooping upper lids and bags under the eyes. Additionally, it can be beneficial for people who have difficulty keeping their eyes open due to excess skin on their upper eyelids. The procedure can help improve vision impairment caused by excessive skin on the eyelids, as well as providing an aesthetic benefit.

The most common reasons for undergoing eyelid surgery are cosmetic in nature. Many people experience drooping or sagging of the upper eyelids with age, which can make them appear tired or aged. The procedure can reduce this sagging and provide a more youthful and refreshed look. In addition to improving appearance, some individuals may choose to undergo surgery due to functional problems caused by drooping skin on the upper lids that interfere with normal vision. For example, they may experience difficulty opening their eyes fully due to excess skin obscuring their field of vision.

Overall, eyelid surgery offers many potential benefits including improved aesthetics, enhanced self-confidence, and improved vision function in some cases. The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia with minimal discomfort or recovery time required afterwards. Potential risks should be discussed with a qualified oculoplastic surgeon prior to proceeding with any surgical intervention.

Preparation For The Procedure

Before undergoing eyelid surgery, it is important for the patient to understand the risks and benefits associated with the procedure. The oculoplastic surgeon or ophthalmologist will provide a detailed explanation of those risks and discuss any other issues that might be relevant. It is also important for the patient to provide a full medical history, including any medications they are taking, and their desired outcomes from the surgery. The doctor may order additional tests such as lab work or imaging studies to ensure that the patient is healthy enough for surgery.

The day before eyelid surgery, patients should avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight in order to reduce risk of nausea during surgery. Additionally, it is recommended that patients shower and use antibacterial soap the night before in order to reduce bacteria on the skin prior to incision. Patients should not take any aspirin or ibuprofen for at least two weeks leading up to surgery as these can increase bleeding risk during procedure.

On the day of eyelid surgery, patients should arrive at least 30 minutes early in order to fill out paperwork and complete any additional testing if necessary. Patients should also wear loose-fitting clothing that allows access to both eyes without having to remove any garments. Hair should be securely tied back if needed and no makeup should be worn on face or around eyes on day of procedure. Following these simple steps will help ensure a safe and successful outcome from eyelid surgery.

What To Expect After Surgery

Immediately after eyelid surgery, patients should expect to experience swelling, bruising, and slight discomfort. Most individuals can return home the same day as the procedure. It is important to keep the eyes closed for a few hours to allow for healing. In addition, it is advised to avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting for at least one week after the surgery.

Patients may need to use cold compresses and artificial tears during the healing process in order to reduce swelling and provide comfort. Antibiotic eye drops or ointment may also be prescribed by the surgeon in order to prevent infection and promote healing. The incisions should heal within a few weeks after the surgery. Follow-up visits with the doctor are typically scheduled to ensure that proper healing has taken place.

It is important for patients who have had eyelid surgery to adhere strictly to their doctor’s instructions in order to promote proper healing and minimize risks of complications such as infection or scarring. Patients should also protect their eyes from direct sunlight and contact lenses should not be used until cleared by a physician.

Possible Risks And Complications

Eyelid surgery is a relatively safe procedure, but as with all surgical procedures, there are some risks and complications to consider. It is important for patients to be aware of the potential risks prior to undergoing any procedure. The most common risks associated with eyelid surgery include infection, bleeding, scarring, dry eyes, asymmetry of the eyelids and vision changes.

Infection is a risk associated with any surgical procedure. In order to reduce this risk, antibiotics may be given both before and after surgery. Bleeding can also occur during or after the procedure. To reduce this risk, patients should avoid taking aspirin or other blood thinning medications prior to surgery. Scarring can also occur following the surgery; however, it is typically minimal and difficult to detect once healed.

Dry eyes are a potential side effect of eyelid surgery due to altered tear production and blinking action. Symmetry of one or both eyelids is another possible complication that can cause an uneven appearance following the procedure. Vision changes such as double vision may also present in some cases due to swelling from the incision sites or altered eye position from the repositioning of tissues during the procedure.

Patients should discuss any potential risks and complications with their oculoplastic surgeon or ophthalmologist prior to undergoing eyelid surgery to ensure they understand what may occur following their procedure.

Recovery Time

The recovery period for eyelid surgery can vary greatly depending on the individual, the techniques used, and the extent of the procedure. Generally, patients may experience some mild swelling and bruising in the treated area that typically resolves within one to two weeks. Patients should expect to be able to return to work and other normal activities within a few days of their procedure. It is important for patients to follow their doctor’s instructions for postoperative care, including any special instructions for eye drops or ointments that may reduce swelling and promote healing.

Additionally, strenuous activities such as lifting heavy objects should be avoided during the initial recovery period as they may increase swelling. To promote proper healing, patients should avoid rubbing or touching their eyes during this time. Sun protection is also essential following eyelid surgery as it can help reduce scarring and discoloration of the skin around the eyes.

After surgery, regular check-ups with the physician are necessary to ensure proper healing has occurred and to monitor any potential side effects or complications. While most patients are pleased with their results, it is important to remember that no surgical procedure can guarantee perfect results every time. Following all prescribed pre- and postoperative instructions can help minimize risks and ensure satisfactory outcomes from eyelid surgery.

Cost Of Eyelid Surgery

The cost of eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, can vary depending on the location and type of procedure. In general, upper eyelid surgery is less expensive than lower eyelid surgery. The cost typically includes the surgeon’s fee, operating room fees, anesthesia fees, pre-operative and post-operative care costs. Some insurance plans may cover part or all of the cost, depending on the specific condition being treated. Patients should review their insurance policy and speak with their insurer to determine coverage before making any decisions about undergoing surgery.

In addition to the overall cost of the procedure itself, patients should also consider any potential financial obligations related to recovery from the procedure such as time off work or childcare. It is important for patients to discuss these details with their provider prior to scheduling surgery in order to plan accordingly for these additional expenses. Patients should also keep in mind that there may be additional costs associated with follow-up visits or revision surgeries if necessary.

Overall, eyelid surgery is an effective way to improve vision and reduce signs of aging in eyes that are otherwise healthy. When considering whether this type of procedure is right for them, patients should weigh all associated costs including both those related directly to the surgical procedure as well as any potential indirect expenses related to recovery and follow up visits.

Alternatives To Surgery

Non-surgical alternatives to eyelid surgery may be attractive to some patients due to the fact that they are less invasive and require no downtime. However, these treatments come with some limitations. Topical creams and ointments are available over-the-counter and by prescription and can improve the appearance of wrinkles, bags, and dark circles beneath the eyes. These products can have a modest effect but will not address more severe cases of sagging or excess skin. Injectable treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers are another option. Botox can reduce wrinkles while dermal fillers can add volume beneath the skin making it appear more youthful. While these treatments are effective, they may require multiple sessions in order to achieve desired results. Additionally, they do not address excess skin or fat deposits in the upper or lower eyelids that may be present due to aging or genetics. For this reason, surgery is often the most effective treatment for correcting these issues.

Post-Surgery Care

Following eyelid surgery, patients must take certain precautions to ensure proper healing. Immediately after surgery, a cold compress should be applied to the eyes for several hours to reduce swelling and bruising. Patients should also keep their head elevated to minimize swelling in the area. Depending on the extent of the procedure, ointment or eye drops may be prescribed to help with healing. It is important that patients follow all instructions provided by their doctor in order to prevent any major complications from occurring.

Patients should also avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for at least two weeks after the procedure. Contact sports and other activities that cause direct contact with the face should be avoided as well while healing takes place. Strenuous activities can cause damage to the sutures and increase the risk of infection or scarring. Additionally, patients are encouraged to wear sunglasses when outside in order to protect their eyes from wind and dust which can irritate or damage the incision site.

It is also recommended that patients have follow-up visits with their doctor in order to monitor progress and ensure proper healing has taken place. During this time, doctors will typically check for signs of infection such as redness, swelling or discharge around the incision sites. It is important for patients to return for these visits so that any issues can be identified quickly and treated properly.


Eyelid surgery is an effective and safe procedure for those seeking to improve the appearance of the eyes. It can restore a youthful look, reduce excess skin, and provide better vision. The procedure is tailored to each individual’s needs and performed by experienced oculoplastic surgeons or ophthalmologists. Before undergoing eyelid surgery, patients should discuss their goals with their doctor in order to ensure that they understand the risks and benefits associated with the procedure. After surgery, patients must follow post-surgery care instructions to ensure proper healing.

Recovery time can vary depending on individual circumstances, although most patients return to normal activities within a few days or weeks. Cost of eyelid surgery also varies depending on several factors such as location, type of procedure, and surgeon’s fees. Alternatives to surgery should be discussed with a doctor before opting for this option as it may not provide the desired outcome.

Eyelid surgery is an effective way to improve the appearance of the eyes and is tailored to meet each individual’s needs. Patients should consult with a qualified oculoplastic surgeon or ophthalmologist who will help them determine if this procedure is right for them based on their goals and medical history. With proper preparation, understanding of risks, post-surgery care instructions, cost considerations, and alternatives discussed with their doctor; individuals can make an educated decision about whether eyelid surgery is right for them.

The Seattle

Plastic Surgery Center


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