Blepharoplasty: everything you need to know

Eyelid surgery, also known as Blepharoplasty, is a common cosmetic surgical procedure that can improve the appearance of drooping or sagging eyelids. It can also relieve any issues caused by excess skin around the eyes.

Depending on whether you have upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery or both, a blepharoplasty involves your surgeon removing the fat, muscle or excess tissue that is making your eyelids appear heavy, tired or droopy.

An upper blepharoplasty is performed on the upper eyelids to help improve the tone and tightness of the skin between the eyebrows and the upper eyelashes. Your surgeon will make an incision in the skin of the upper eyelid, where the skin naturally creases, to minimise scarring. The procedure takes approximately one hour.

A lower blepharoplasty helps to correct loose, drooping skin and eye bags between the lower lashes and the tops of the cheeks. It can also help to correct darker, crepey skin and puffiness under the eyes. Your surgeon will make an incision either just inside the lower lid or just below the lower lash line. This procedure can take up to two hours.

Who should perform it? A Consultant Plastic Surgeon

Who is a suitable candidate? A patient who is concerned with ‘eye bags’ or heavy, hooded eyes or a patient who has pockets of excess fat around their eyes. Excess skin around the eyes can be genetic or caused by long-term allergies or infections stretching the skin, by smoking or by being exposed to the sun for long periods of time.

What is the downtime? There will be some pain and swelling immediately after the operation, for which you will be given pain medication as well as full instructions on how to clean and care for your eyes as they heal. The swelling and bruising settles down after a week but it may be up to six months before you can appreciate the full results of your eyelid surgery.

We usually advise around a week off work and at least four days not driving; no strenuous exercise for two to three weeks minimum but you can enjoy light exercise after 3 to 4 days.

Anything else you should know? After the post-operative recovery is complete, most blepharoplasty patients can hope for a significantly refreshed and more youthful appearance. Experienced surgeons can achieve results that look very natural, as scars are nearly (or completely) invisible thanks to incision locations such as the natural crease in your skin that allow them to be hidden. As with all cosmetic and surgical procedures, do your research first and set realistic expectations with your surgeon.