Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty): What You Need to Know from a Johns Hopkins Expert
What Is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is surgery to repair drooping or sagging eyelids.
The procedure is sometimes referred to as an "eyelid lift." It involves removing excess skin, fat, and muscle.
Blepharoplasty is commonly performed as a cosmetic procedure to reduce signs of aging.
It can also be necessary when eyelid drooping affects a person's vision (known as ptosis).
Blepharoplasty can be done at the same time as other procedures such as a facelift, a brow lift, or skin resurfacing.
Some people experience permanent results from blepharoplasty, while others see their droopy eyelids return.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of eyelid surgery is more than ,800, but prices can vary widely.
The Blepharoplasty Procedure
Blepharoplasty is usually performed by a plastic surgeon as an outpatient procedure. It typically takes less than two hours.
Your surgeon will give you medicine to help you relax and will inject a numbing agent around the eyes.
The doctor will then make tiny cuts into the creases or folds of the eyelids and remove loose skin and extra fat, as well as tighten the eyelid muscles.
The incisions will be closed with stiches. Your eyes and eyelids will be covered with ointment and a bandage.
Before your blepharoplasty procedure, your doctor may want you to have a physical and vision exam.
Your healthcare provider may also take pictures of your eyelids to compare with post-surgery images.
Tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have, especially:
- Glaucoma (an eye condition)
- Dry eyes
- Circulation problems
- Thyroid issues
- Any previous surgeries
Also, tell your doctor about all medicines you take.
You may be asked to stop using drugs such as Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen), aspirin, or other drugs two weeks before your procedure.
Let your doctor know if you smoke. You should stop smoking several weeks before surgery.
You can usually go home the same day as your surgery. Be sure to have someone else drive you.
You may experience some of the following temporary side effects after surgery:
- Watery eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred or double vision
- Puffy, numb eyelids
- Swelling and bruising
Follow your doctor's instructions about how to care for your eyelids, and use any ointments or eye drops as prescribed.
Avoid strenuous activities for a few days.
Your doctor may tell you to sleep with your head raised higher than your chest for a couple of days.
Don't rub your eyes. Wear sunglasses while outdoors to protect your eyelids.
Use cold packs to reduce bruising and swelling.
If you wear contact lenses, keep them out of your eyes for about two weeks after your surgery.
Your doctor will probably want to remove your stitches two to seven days after the procedure.
Bruising can last up to four weeks, and scars may remain pink for six months or longer.
Video: "Drooping Eyelid" Repair Surgery
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