Eyelid Lift (Blepharoplasty)

Understanding Blepharoplasty: Surgery of the Eyelids

Lower Eyelid Lift - Before (top) and After
Lower Eyelid Lift - Before (top) and After

Eyelid surgery is a very popular procedure for facial rejuvenation. Every year one hundred thousand men and women choose this to improve the way they look. Droopy eyelids can make you look tired and older. They can also impair vision. Blepharoplasty corrects these problems and also removes puffiness and bags under the eyes that make you look worn and tired.

Making the Decision for Blepharoplasty

During the pre-operative evaluation, you will be examined or asked to answer queries concerning vision, tear production, use of lenses, and your desires for surgery. The pre-operative evaluation may also include an evaluation by an ophthalmologist. Dr. Morgan will explain what you can expect from blepharoplasty and take a complete medical history. Factors to be weighed include age, skin type, ethnic background, and degree of vision obstruction. After the decision for surgery has been made, the technique indicated for your individual surgery and realistic outcome expectations will be discussed.

Understanding the Surgery

In upper eyelid surgery, Dr. Morgan first marks the individual lines and creases of the lids in order to keep the scars as invisible as possible along these natural folds. The incision is made and excess fat, muscle, and loose skin are removed. Fine sutures are used to close the incisions, thereby minimizing the visibility of any scar.

Lower eyelid surgery is done one of two ways. Often Dr. Morgan makes the incision in an inconspicuous site along the lashline. Excess fat, muscle, and skin are then trimmed away before the incision is closed with fine sutures. Less commonly, when eyelid puffiness is caused primarily by excess fat, a transconjunctival blepharoplasty is performed. The incision in this case is made inside the lower eyelid, and excess fatty material is removed. When sutures are used to close this kind of incision, they are invisible to the eye. They are also self-dissolving and leave no visible scar. Under normal conditions, blepharoplasty takes from one to two hours.

What to Expect After the Surgery

After surgery, there is some slight soreness and discomfort. A certain degree of swelling and bruising is normal. Eyelid skin, being thin, tends to swell and discolor rapidly after surgery. Sutures are removed within 10 days of surgery. Swelling and black and blue discoloration will mostly subside in a few days. Residual bruising can be covered by light makeup. Cold compresses, as well as head elevation when lying down, will enhance healing and relieve discomfort.

For a week and a half following blepharoplasty, you will clean the eye area (the eyes may feel sticky, dry, and itchy). Eyedrops may be recommended. To permit proper healing, you should avoid overactivity and refrain from bending over for two to three weeks. Wearing of dark glasses to protect the eyes from wind and sun irritation is suggested for two to three weeks. The decision on when to return to work depends on how fast you heal and how you feel. If bruising is not a concern, patients may return in 2 - 4 days.