An eyelid lift, also called blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that improves the appearance of the upper and/or lower eyelids. The procedure removes fat and excess skin from the upper and lower eyelids. An eyelid lift may also be performed to correct eyelid drooping caused by medical conditions and aging. An eyelid lift can make tired aging eyelids look youthful, alert, and refreshed. Eyelid lifts are commonly performed at the same time as a facelift, brow lift, or skin resurfacing treatment, but may be performed alone.
During your initial consultation, your doctor will examine your eyelids and test skin elasticity. Your vision and tear production will be measured. It is helpful to bring the records from your most recent eye exam.
You should tell your doctor about your concerns and desired outcome. You can have all four of your eyelids treated or just the lower or upper lids. You may have excess fat or excess skin or both removed. Your doctor will recommend the best plan based on your expectations, skin integrity, and the position of your eyebrows.
An eyelid lift is an outpatient procedure that takes place at a doctor’s surgical suite, hospital, or outpatient surgery center. Local anesthesia is used most frequently, but you may receive general or intravenous anesthesia for complete comfort during your procedure. An eyelid lift procedure may take from one to three hours depending on the extent of your treatment.
For upper eyelid surgery, fine incisions are made in the natural eyelid crease. Fat, excess skin, and sagging muscles may be removed depending upon the desired results and observed problems. The muscles or actual eyelids may be tightened and the incision is closed with tiny stitches. After healing, the incision line is barely visible because it is in the natural eyelid crease.
There are several surgical approaches that can be used for lower eyelid surgery. Fat and excess skin can be removed from the lower eyelid through an incision made in the natural crease just below the eyelashes. After healing, the incision line blends in with the natural lower eyelid crease. If only fat will be removed from the lower eyelid, an incision can be made through the inside of the lower eyelid that will not leave a scar.
After surgery, you will need to lubricate your eyes with ointment or eyedrops. Your eyelids may feel sore or tight at first, but this is only temporary. You will receive medication for pain. It is helpful to keep your head elevated and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. Bruising varies and may last from none and up to a month.
Most people can return to work in a week to ten days. You will not be able to wear contact lenses for about two weeks. Healing occurs gradually, and it may take several weeks for you to see your final results. The effects of cosmetic eyelid lifts are long lasting.