In this article we will look at:
- What is blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery?
- Blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery procedure
- Side effects of blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery
- Pre and post-surgery guidelines for blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery
- Recovery from blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery
- Eligibility for blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery
- Cost of blepharoplasty in India
- Results of blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery
- More ophthalmology procedures
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What is blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery?
Blepharoplasty is commonly known as an eyelid correction procedure. It involves removing excess drooping skin, muscles and fat pads from near the eyelids.
Based on the need of the patient, blepharoplasty can be functional and cosmetic.
Functional blepharoplasty is performed solely due to medical reasons. It is performed to remove loose skin or excess fat from the upper eyelid which can sag due to the pressure, and impair vision.
Cosmetic blepharoplasty, on the other hand, is performed with the sole aim of improving one’s appearance.
With the natural process of aging as the muscles weaken, and the skin begins to stretch and sag, the upper eyelids tend to droop and puffy bags appear under the lower eyelid.
How is the blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery procedure performed?
During the blepharoplasty procedure assuming you require surgery on both the upper and lower lids:
- The surgeon first administers local anesthesia on the eyelid.
- The surgeon then starts working first on your upper eyelid.
- He makes incisions along the natural folds of the eyelid, just above the eyelashes.
- The surgeon then begins to cut away or remove the excess fat, drooping skin, and muscle.
- He then closes the incisions with fine stitches.
- On the lower eyelid, the surgeon makes an incision on the natural crease of the lid.
- He then removes the excess sagging skin, fat and muscles.
- Finally, he closes the incision with fine stitches.
This surgery takes less than two hours and is an outpatient procedure.
You can consider undergoing this surgery if you have droopy eyelids and under eye bags, which gives you a tired-looking appearance or impairs your vision in any way.
Are there any side effects of blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery?
Some of the temporary side effects that you may face after undergoing the blepharoplasty surgery are:
- dry and irritated eyes
- reactions to the anesthesia
- swelling in the corner of the eyelids
- difficulty in closing eyes
- blurry vision for few days
- skin discoloration
- breakout of minute whiteheads on the eyelids after the stitches are taken out. These can be easily removed by the surgeon with the help of a fine needle.
Very rarely, some people are left permanently experiencing difficulty while closing their eyes to sleep. Another rare complication that may occur after blepharoplasty surgery is ectropion. This is a condition where the lower eyelid faces outward, exposing the inner surface of the eyelid.
This condition can be corrected with an additional surgery.
If you experience symptoms such as chest pain, short breath, severe bleeding or vision problems you need to contact your doctor immediately.
Are there any pre and post-surgery guidelines for blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery?
Prior to the surgery, the surgeon will discuss your past medical history at length with you in order to evaluate your candidacy for blepharoplasty, and how well the procedure can work for you.
You need to mention if you suffer from any eye-related problems such as dry eyes, glaucoma, or any allergies. You also need to mention any other health issues you may suffer from such as circulatory, autoimmune, thyroid, or heart problems, and/or diabetes.
This is also a good time for you to ask the doctor what are the risks and complications involved with the surgery, what are the pre and post surgery guidelines, and tell the doctor what are your expectations from the surgery.
Once you are identified as a suitable candidate for blepharoplasty you will need to undergo a physical examination and a vision examination. As part of the examination your eyelids will be measured and also your tear production will be tested.
Before the surgery you will:
- be asked to stop smoking and drinking alcohol at least 4 weeks before the surgery.
- need to temporarily stop taking any medication that can slow your healing two weeks before and after the surgery, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
- be advised to avoid certain vitamins by your surgeon.
On the day of the surgery wear something comfortable. Avoid wearing pullovers, turtlenecks, or t-shirts and jewellery.
After the surgery you should:
- refrain from rubbing your eyes for at least 2 weeks after the surgery
- avoid direct sunlight and wear sunglasses for at least 2-3 weeks after the surgery
- to reduce the swelling on your eyelids you can use cold compresses frequently
- while sleeping rest your head higher than your chest, if possible for two weeks
- avoid washing your face and shampooing your hair, or using face wash or soap on your face for at least three days after the surgery
- clean your eyelids using the ointment or eye drops prescribed by the doctor
- avoid any rigorous forms of exercises including, weight-lifting, swimming, yoga, aerobics, for at least 4 weeks
- avoid sexual activity for at least 1-2 weeks
It is also advisable to avoid hot tubs.
You will also be advised by the doctor to avoid bending over for at least 4-6 days after the surgery.
Avoid using eye makeup for at least 4 weeks after the surgery. And after that, avoid using your old eye makeup on your eyes which may contain bacteria.
You need to religiously apply the eye drops given to you after the surgery and also take any medication that is prescribed by the doctor.
If you wear contact lenses do not use them for at least 3 weeks after the surgery.
How long will it take to recover from blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery?
Although the recovery period varies from patient to patient, in general, it takes around two weeks to recover from blepharoplasty. There are of course patients who take a longer time, i.e., three to four weeks to heal.
Am I eligible or an ideal candidate for blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery?
This procedure is not for you if you are pregnant or lactating or if you suffer from health problems such as diabetes, thyroid disorder, circulatory or immune system disorder, and heart disease.
You are the ideal candidate for the surgery if you possess good general physical and mental health, have fat deposits under your eyelids which give them a puffy look, have excess skin in your upper or lower eyelids which cause them to sag or have droopy eyelids.
What is the cost of blepharoplasty in India?
The cost of blepharoplasty (for both upper and lower eyelid) surgery in India ranges from Rs 80,000 - Rs. 2,00,000.
Are the results of blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery permanent?
The results of blepharoplasty surgery are permanent.
More Topics on Opthalmology Procedures
People interested in this topic also read:
- Corrective Eye Surgery Procedures: Cost & Eligibility
- LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis)
- Epi LASIK (Epipolis Laser In Situ Keratomileusis)
- LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis)
- PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
- ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) surgery
- Blepharoplasty (Eyelid surgery)
- Cataract Surgery
1. Bhattacharjee K, Misra D, Deori N. Updates on upper eyelid blepharoplasty [Internet]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/. 2017 [cited 20 April 2018]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549405/
2. Nguyen M, Hsu P, Dinh T. Asian Blepharoplasty [Internet]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/. 2009 [cited 20 April 2018]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2884917/
3. Martin, J. (2015). Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty With Ptosis Repair by Levator Aponeurectomy. [online] https://jamanetwork.com/. Available at: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamafacialplasticsurgery/article-abstract/2276374?redirect=true [Accessed 20 Apr. 2018].
Questions answered by trusted doctors
Did you know?
Blepharoplasty is not a purely cosmetic surgery
Blepharoplasty may also improve your vision. Sagging skin (ptosis) around your eyes and on your upper lids can obstruct your side vision. An eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty can remove the skin hanging down from the upper eyelids, and can help you see more clearly.
Foods play a role in how your eyelids look, apart from genetics
Before deciding to undergo blepharoplasty, make sure the foods you are taking are not causing your eyelids to sag. Tomatoes, too much salt, dairy products, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks, sushi dinner with soy sauce – even the low-sodium variety can cause puffy eyes. And since the skin around the eyes is thin and sensitive, colds, flus, allergies or sinus infections can also lead to a build-up of fluid underneath the eyes, and cause the puffy look. Make sure you find out the cause of the puffy eyelids first, before opting to go under the knife.
Smoking can slow down your recovery from eyelid surgery
Smoking prior to or after your eyelid surgery can increase your chances of complications and delay your healing. Smoking also makes you prone to more swelling and bruising! Follow your doctor’s advice and do not smoke and drink alcohol before the surgery and till you are completely healed post the surgery.
PRK is a type of refractive laser surgery to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
Cataract may occur as a result of a past eye surgery such as ICL, or due to aging, genetic disorder, diabetes, exposure to ultraviolet rays or radiation, or eye trauma or any eye injury which changes the tissue of the eye lens.
The LASEK procedure is suitable for anyone with a very thin or very steep cornea. This surgery is a slight variation of the LASIK and PRK procedures.