What is Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery (also called an eye lift or blepharoplasty) is a type of surgery that repairs droopy eyelids and may involve removing excess skin, muscle, and fat. As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. As a result, excess fat may gather above and below your eyelids, causing sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids and bags under your eyes.
Eyelid surgery will not eliminate dark circles under the eyes, crow’s feet, or other facial wrinkles. It is often done along with other procedures such as laser resurfacing, filler injections, or forehead lifts.
What is the purpose of Eyelid Surgery?
The purpose of Eyelid Surgery/blepharoplasty is to remove loose skin from the upper eyelid if it drops low enough to impair your vision for driving or other visual tasks. In addition, upper and lower lid blepharoplasty can make your eyes appear younger and more alert.
When is Eyelid Surgery needed?
Blepharoplasty may be an option if you have:
- Baggy or droopy upper eyelids
- Excess skin of the upper eyelids that interferes with your peripheral vision
- Excess skin on the lower eyelids
- Bags under your eyes
You may undergo blepharoplasty at the same time as another procedure, such as a brow lift, face-lift or skin resurfacing.
Who are eligible for Eyelid Surgery?
Good candidates for eyelid surgery include:
Healthy individuals with no medical conditions that can impair healing
Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
Individuals without serious eye conditions
There are relative and absolute contraindications to blepharoplasty including excessive lower lid skin laxity, significant ptosis (drooping or heaviness) of the eyebrows- a browlift may also be required, prominent or bulging eyes in relation to the bony rim surrounding the eye itself, systemic conditions such as excessive bleeding or healing difficulty, and symptoms of xerophthalmia or “dry eyes”.
Blepharoplasty costs can vary widely. The average fee referenced above does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.
A surgeon’s cost for eyelid surgery may vary based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used, as well as the geographic office location.
In Thailand, the cost of eyelid surgery/blepharoplasty is estimated to range from $300 to $1400. This procedure costs approximately $2900 in India.
Besides, The cost of eyelid surgery/blepharoplasty falls between $800 and $1400 in Malaysia.
What should I do before Eyelid Surgery?
Before your eyelid surgery, you’ll undergo:
- A physical examination. Your surgeon will conduct a physical examination, which may include testing your tear production and measuring parts of your eyelids.
- A vision examination. Your eye doctor will examine your eyes and test your vision, including your peripheral vision. This is needed to support an insurance claim.
- Eyelid photography. Your eyes will be photographed from different angles. These photos help with planning the surgery, assessing its immediate and long-term effects, and supporting an insurance claim.
You also need to:
- Stop taking warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), naproxen (Naprosyn), and any other medication or herbal supplement associated with increased bleeding. Ask your doctor how long before surgery you need to stop taking these medicines. Take only medications approved by your surgeon.
- Quit smoking several weeks before your surgery
- Eat only a light meal such as soup the evening before your surgery.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- On the morning of your procedure, you should take essential medications — such as for blood pressure — with a small sip of water.
- Do not wear makeup of any kind on the day of surgery.
- Arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery if you’re having outpatient surgery.
- Plan to have someone stay with you for the first night after returning home from surgery.
What should I do after Eyelid Surgery?
After the procedure, you should:
- Use ice packs on your eyes for 10 minutes every hour the night after surgery. The following day, use ice packs on your eyes four to five times throughout the day.
- Gently clean your eyelids and use prescribed eyedrops or ointments.
- Avoid straining, heavy lifting and swimming for a week.
- If you use contact lenses, don’t put them in for about two weeks after surgery.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes.
- Wear darkly tinted sunglasses to protect the skin of your eyelids from sun and wind.
- Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest for a few days.
- Avoid smoking.
- Apply cool compresses to reduce swelling.
- After a few days, return to the doctor’s office to have stitches removed, if needed.
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for a week.
- For about a week, avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), naproxen (Naprosyn), and other medications or herbal supplements that may increase bleeding. If needed, use acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to control pain.
You can resume wearing contact lenses when the eyelid swelling subsides enough to allow the lenses to be comfortable. If you wear eyeglasses, you can put them on carefully at any time after surgery.
Often the sutures used for your procedure will dissolve on their own in four to seven days, and you will not need to have them removed. If non-dissolving sutures are used, then your surgeon will remove them about a week after the procedure.
Tips using cold & warm packs
On the first day, you should apply cold packs each hour you are awake, for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. The ice should reduce the swelling and keep bruising to a minimum. On the second day, apply cold packs every few hours for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
After 48 hours, warm compresses should be applied to promote faster healing.
While you recover, your eye area will be bruised and red with swollen eyes, particularly during the first few days. The whites of your eyes (sclera) also may become red and bloodshot. It may take a few weeks for healing to be complete, during which time you should not wear eye makeup.
Most people who undergo eyelid surgery report satisfaction and improved self-image. Those whose vision was hampered by excess folds of skin often have improvements in the visual field they are able to see.
How long does Eyelid Surgery last?
Eyelid Surgery/Blepharoplasty often lasts one to three hours.
How is the procedure of Eyelid Surgery?
During surgery, incisions are made in the natural folds of the eyelid, in the crease of the upper eyelid and just beneath the lashes or behind the lower eyelid. This way, incisions are virtually unnoticeable after they have healed.
While you are lying down during blepharoplasty, your surgeon will make precise markings to designate where excess skin and fat pads need to be removed. Some underlying muscle also may be removed.
These tissues are removed with surgical instruments such as scalpels, surgical scissors, radio-frequency cutting devices and sometimes cutting lasers. Sutures or tissue adhesives (glue) then are carefully applied to smooth and reconfigure areas around the eyebrows and eyelids.
During the procedure, your surgeon will make judgments about how much skin, muscle and/or fat to remove, based on a preoperative evaluation of factors such as your underlying facial muscle structure, bone structure and the symmetry of your eyebrows.
What happens after the procedure?
After surgery, you spend time in a recovery room, where you are monitored for complications. Then, you can leave later that day to recuperate at home.
Complications & Side Effects
What complications could arise from Eyelid Surgery?
Complications that may arise from eyelid surgery/ blepharoplasty include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- An unusual heart rate
- Severe new eye pain
- Vision problems
What are the possible side effects of Eyelid Surgery?
Other potential complications of blepharoplasty include:
- Vision loss from retrobulbar hemorrhage
- Eyelid infection
- Double vision from problems with eye alignment
- Noticeable surgical scarring
- Malpositioned eyelids
- Undercorrection (not removing enough of the excessive skin)
- Overcorrection (removing too much skin)
- Numbness of the eyelids
Want to learn more about clinics & hospitals that provide Eyelid Surgery? Click here.
Need further help? Contact GO.CARE team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.
GO.CARE does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
1. Blepharoplasty https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/blepharoplasty/about/pac-20385174. Accessed on December 4, 2018.
2. Eyelid Surgery https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-eyelid-surgery#3-7.Accessed on December 4, 2018.
3. Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) for a More Youthful Appearance https://www.allaboutvision.com/cosmetic/blepharoplasty.htm. Accessed on December 4, 2018.