Do your eyelids droop making you look sad, angry or tired?

If you are bothered by upper eyelids with excess, drooping skin that makes you appear sad or angry or by eyes that look tired due to puffiness or bags, eyelid surgery may be right for you.

Eyelid surgery, also called belpharoplasty, helps correct the excess skin, tissue, and fat that causes puffiness and bags in your upper and lower eyelids.

By improving the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, you can achieve a more youthful and energetic appearance.  Some of the specific areas eyelid surgery can treat include:

  • Folds, caused by excess skin, in the upper eyelid that hide the natural contour of your eye and sometimes impair vision
  • Puffiness in the upper eyelids or bags under the eyes caused by excess fatty deposits
  • Droopy lower eyelids (white shows below your iris)
  • Excess skin and fine wrinkles on the lower eyelid

If you're considering a eyelid surgery, this outline will give you a basic understanding of the procedure when it can help, how it's performed, and what results you can expect.  It can't answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the surgeon.  Dr. Walker is more than happy to clarify any misunderstandings, please contact her office with any questions or concerns you may have.

What happens during eyelid surgery?

During eyelid surgery, your surgeon removes excess skin, eliminates bags and restores firmness to the area surrounding the eye, making you look more rested and alert.

Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the eyelid surgery procedure.

Step 2 – The incision
The incision lines for eyelid surgery are designed for scars to be well concealed within the natural structures of the eyelid region.  Droopy conditions of the upper eyelid can be corrected through an incision within the natural crease of the upper eyelid allowing repositioning and/or removing fat deposits, tightening of muscles and tissue, and/or removal of excess skin.

Conditions of the lower eyelid may be corrected with an incision just below the lower lash line.  Through this incision, excess skin in the lower eyelids is removed, fat deposits may or may not be repositioned or removed, and a CO2 laser may be used to resurface the lower eyelid skin to treat fine wrinkles.

Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Eyelid incisions typically are closed with:

  • Removable or absorbable sutures
  • Skin adhesives
  • Surgical tape

Step 4 – See the results
The results of eyelid surgery will appear gradually as swelling and bruising subside to reveal a smooth, better-defined eyelid and surrounding region, and an alert and rejuvenated appearance.

Once your procedure is completed, lubricating ointment and cold compresses may be applied, and in some cases your eyes may be loosely covered with gauze.

Initial healing may include some swelling, bruising, irritation or dry eye and discomfort that can be controlled with medication, cold compresses and ointment.

A return to light normal activity is possible as soon as you feel ready, usually within a few days of surgery. Healing of incisions may take 5 to 10 days at which time any sutures will be removed, if necessary. You will be ready to return to work and normal activity at this time.

If you have had your eyelids lasered the healing time is slightly longer, but the wait is worth it to remove the fine wrinkles.

The best candidates for eyelid surgery

The best candidates for eyelid surgery have healthy facial tissue and muscles and have realistic goals for improvement of the upper and/or lower eyelids and surrounding area.  As well good candidates are:

  • Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for blepharoplasty
  • Individuals without serious eye conditions

You must tell your doctor if you have any of these medical conditions:

  • Eye disease such as glaucoma, dry eye or a detached retina
  • Thyroid disorders such as Graves’ disease and under or overactive thyroid
  • Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders or diabetes

If you have more questions about eyelid surgery, take a look at our resources and education section.