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Blepharoplasty- An Overview

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To reduce your vision problems and to make your eyes look younger, blepharoplasty is recommended. Read the article to know about blepharoplasty.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Asha Juliet Barboza

Published At November 15, 2022
Reviewed AtApril 3, 2024


Blepharoplasty is also known as eyelid surgery or eye lift. It can be performed on the upper and lower eyelids. The procedure is used to treat any vision problems and improve the appearance of areas around the eyes. Thus it helps improve the eyes' aesthetic appearance and functional efficiency.

Why Is Blepharoplasty Done?

Blepharoplasty is done to treat-

  • Fat deposits in the eyelids.

  • Bags under the eyes.

  • Drooping lower eyelids.

  • Sagging skin of the upper eyelids impairs vision.

  • Wrinkles on the lower eyelids.

  • Excess skin in the eyelids.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Blepharoplasty?

The surgery can be performed in-

  • Individuals in good health.

  • Individuals with no serious eye conditions.

  • Non-smokers.

Who Is Not Eligible for Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is not performed in certain conditions, such as-

How Is Blepharoplasty Performed?

The surgery has the following steps-

  • Anesthesia: There are options for anesthesia, such as local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or intravenous sedation. Usually, the procedure is done under general anesthesia.

  • Incision: The incisions are placed in such a way that they do not result in scars and are concealed with the natural crease of the eyelids. Then the removal of excess tissue, repositioning of the fatty tissues, or tightening of the muscles is done. The surgeon can also use a chemical peel or laser to reduce pigmentation on the eyelids.

  • Closing the Incision: Sutures are placed to close the incisions and remove them after one week. Skin glue is also used to approximate the incised skin together.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Surgery?

It usually takes two weeks to recover from the procedure. The recovery period may change from person to person. It may take around three to four weeks to heal for some individuals.

How Are the Results After Blepharoplasty?

The swelling and bruise after the procedure will resolve within two weeks, whereas the scar due to the incision line may take months to fade. The results are satisfactory in most cases, with realistic expectations. The upper eyelid surgery would stay for around 5 to 8 years, whereas lower eyelid surgery does not stay too long. They may recur, so another surgery would be required to correct them.

The blepharoplasty procedure is usually done in combination with other surgical procedures. In some individuals with sagging eyelids, an eye lift is accompanied by a brow lift procedure. In some individuals, a complete facelift is also done for cosmetic concerns. An idea can be gained by discussing it with the ophthalmologist. And if the results are not satisfactory, follow-up surgeries are recommended.

How Is the Individual Prepared Before the Surgery?

  • Medical Assessment: The individual's complete medical history will be recorded to find the individual's eligibility for the procedure. Then the medications taken will also be assessed to check whether they can be continued or stopped.

  • Habit Assessment: The habit of smoking and alcohol will be asked about.

  • Physical Examination: The eyelids are physically examined for measuring the eyelids, and tear production is also tested.

  • Vision Examination: The problems in vision are also tested.

  • Photographic examination: The eyes will be viewed from different angles to plan the treatment and to differentiate the changes noted after the surgery.

What Are the Pre-operative and Post-operative Guidelines to Be Followed?

Pre-operative Guidelines:

  • Avoid smoking and drinking at least four weeks before surgery.

  • Stop taking medications such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and herbal supplements two weeks before and after the surgery.

  • To subside pain, you can use Acetaminophen.

Post-operative Guidelines:

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes for two weeks after surgery.

  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Wear sunglasses for two weeks after surgery.

  • Cold compress frequently to reduce swelling.

  • Avoid washing your face for three days after surgery.

  • Use eye drops and ointment to clean your eyelids.

  • Avoid swimming, yoga, exercises, weight lifting, and aerobics for a few weeks.

  • Avoid using makeup for four weeks after surgery.

  • Do not use contact lenses for three weeks after surgery.

  • Avoid hot showers for a few days.

  • Sleep with your head raised above your chest for a few days.

What Arrangements are to Be Made at Home When You Return After the Surgery?

Check whether you have a person to accompany you after the surgery. Ensure you cannot work as usual for a few days after the surgery. So make arrangements accordingly. As recovery time differs from patient to patient, you should be ready to face the post-operative symptoms. Most individuals experience dry eyes, so it is good to have ice cubes, gauze pads, and artificial tears. You can use artificial tears only if the doctor recommends you. If you experience pain, you can take painkillers under a doctor's recommendation.

What Are the Side Effects of Blepharoplasty?

Some of the temporary side effects faced by individuals after eyelid surgery are-

  • Dry eyes.

  • Swelling around the eyelids.

  • Bruising in the eyes gives a black eye appearance.

  • Infection.

  • Inflammation.

  • Numbness.

  • Blurry vision for a few days.

  • Watering eyes.

  • Difficulty in closing eyes.

  • Sensitivity to light.

  • Skin discoloration.

  • Scarring.

They can lead to serious side effects such as,

  • Bleeding from the incision lines.

  • Ectropion- outward rolling of the lower eyelid.

  • Lid lag- pulling down of the lower eyelid.

  • Permanent change in vision.

  • Blindness in rare cases.

  • Double vision.

When to Seek Medical Help?

Though some of the side effects resolve after a few days or weeks, there are conditions for which medical attention is required. They are,

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Excessive bleeding from the incised site.

  • Chest pain.

  • Unusual heart rate.

  • Severe eye pain.

  • Vision problems.


The sagging bags around your eyes, besides affecting aesthetically, can also impair vision. To improve the conditions, eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty can be done. First, know whether you are eligible for the procedure and then decide to go for the treatment. Get to know about the benefits and risks of the procedure before you opt for it, and have realistic expectations of the procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Long Is Blepharoplasty Effective?

Blepharoplasty can last from five to seven years. However, a lower lid surgery needs to be repeated rarely. If the eyelids sag again after blepharoplasty, it is better to undergo a brow lift than attempt another eyelid surgery.


What Is the Ideal Age to Undergo Blepharoplasty?

The eyelids sag as a sign of aging. In this case, eyelid surgery is preferred. Therefore, individuals around 30 years of age undergo blepharoplasty most commonly. However, a person above 18 can undergo the procedure to enhance their appearance.


Is Blepharoplasty a Painful Procedure?

A blepharoplasty is the least painful cosmetic procedure. However, minimal discomfort or pain may be experienced after the procedure, which can be treated using painkillers. Thus recovery after blepharoplasty is easy.


Is Blepharoplasty Cost-Effective?

Blepharoplasty is an affordable cosmetic procedure and is accepted to be worthy by the individuals who have undergone the procedure. In addition, the results are worth the cost and recovery duration since the procedure is not much painful.


Is the Person Conscious During Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is carried out with local anesthesia in most cases. However, a soothing sedative may be added to help individuals feel relaxed during the procedure. Hence patients are completely conscious throughout the procedure.


Do Eyebags Recur After Blepharoplasty?

The common side effects after blepharoplasty are swelling and bruising, which subsides in a few days. However, the outcomes are accepted by the patients, and they do not require repeat surgery. But in some cases, based on skin type, the aging process, and lifestyle habits, there are chances of recurrence of eye bags after blepharoplasty.


Who Is Not Indicated for Blepharoplasty?

The contraindications of blepharoplasty are for patients with:
- Dry eyes.
- Eczema.
- Psoriasis.
- Psychological issues.
- Multiple surgeries.


Are Blepharoplasty and Eyelid Surgery Different?

Blepharoplasty is also called eyelid surgery, where the excess fat under the skin is removed to give a youthful appearance to the individual. Individuals with saggy skin, drooping eyelids, and eyebags prefer undergoing this procedure.


Why Do Eyes Appear Smaller After Blepharoplasty?

Most people misunderstand that blepharoplasty lifts the eyelid. But it removes excess skin and fat under the skin around the eyes. So there are greater chances of eyes appearing smaller after the skin removal procedure.


What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Eyelid Surgery?

The essential benefit of blepharoplasty is the enhancement of the individual's appearance. The drawbacks include bleeding, chances of infection, difficulty closing eyes, dry eyes, and scarring. These complications usually occur four to five days after the surgery.


Does Blepharoplasty Fail?

A Blepharoplasty can fail, especially in females, for two reasons. They are:
- Descent of the eyebrow (pseudo-ptosis).
- Drooping upper eyelid (ptosis).


Will a Person Look Young After Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty removes excess fat, stretches the skin, and relaxes the muscles above and below the eyes. With these modifications, the procedure can restore the youthful appearance of the individual.


Is Upper Blepharoplasty Worse Than Lower?

No, lower blepharoplasty is worse and riskier than upper blepharoplasty. It is because, other than the aged look and weakening of the lower eyelid support, scarring in the surgically treated site can cause ectropion (eyelids turn outward).
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Dr. Asha Juliet Barboza
Dr. Asha Juliet Barboza

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)


eyelid liftblepharoplasty
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