What is eyelid surgery?
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids. Surgery can be performed on either the upper and lower lids, or both.
Whether you want to improve your appearance or are experiencing functional problems with your eyelids, eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.
Specifically, eyelid surgery can treat:
• Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
• Excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
• Bags under the eyes
• Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
• Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
Preparing for eyelid surgery
In preparing for eyelid surgery, you may be asked to:
• Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
• Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
• Stop smoking
• Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Eyelid surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, outpatient or licensed ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Eyelid surgery procedure steps
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
The incision lines for eyelid surgery are designed so the resultant scars will be well concealed within the natural structures of the eyelid region.
The upper eyelid can be corrected through an incision within the natural crease on the eyelid. This allows for removal or repositioning of fat deposits, tightening of muscles, and removal of excess skin.
Conditions of the lower eyelid may be corrected with an incision just below the lower lash line. Through this incision, excess skin in the lower eyelid is removed. Again, the excess fat can be repositioned or removed.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Eyelid incisions typically are closed with:
• Removable sutures
• Skin adhesives
• Surgical tape
Your surgeon may suggest use of a laser or chemical peel to reduce discoloration of the lower eyelids.
Step 4 – See the results
The results of eyelid surgery will appear gradually as swelling and bruising subside to reveal a smooth, better-defined eyelid and surrounding region, and an alert and rejuvenated appearance.
What is involved in recovery?
After your eyelid surgery, lubricating ointment and cold compresses may be applied, in addition to your eyes being loosely covered with gauze.
Eyelid surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center. If this is the case, be certain to plan for someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you at least the first night following surgery.
Initial healing throughout the first one to two weeks following your eyelid surgery may include:
• Irritation or dry eyes
• Irritation at the incision sites.
It is important that you practice careful sun protection, including using darkly tinted sunglasses until the healing process is fully complete.