Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
An upper eyelid blepharoplasty is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgeries in the United States and is often combined with a brow lift when performed for aesthetic reasons. It can also be done for functional purposes, though, such as for loose skin that inhibits vision. This eyelid lift focuses on removing the excess fat pads and creating a centrally positioned eyelid without hooding or skin draping, which refers to the way the skin hangs over the rim of the eye.
Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
The upper eyelid blepharoplasty is a procedure that surgically removes excessive and droopy eyelid skin. This can be a result of loss of collagen and elastin during the natural aging process that can cause the eyebrows to fall, eyelid skin to lose tautness, and overall facial skin begin to droop. The excess skin can cause vision-related issues as well, making this both a procedure that corrects both form and function of the eyelids. This procedure is commonly combined with other facial rejuvenation surgeries such as a brow lift, lower eyelid blepharoplasty, or facelift. Although this procedure removes both excess skin and fat, special care will be taken to preserve as much as possible in order to retain a youthfulness in the eyelid. Your doctor will evaluate your eyelids by manually manipulating the area to determine how much skin removal is needed. Once the excision is planned and the lid is marked, a local anesthesia is applied and protective shields are placed over the eyes during the surgery. Once the excision is made fat and skin is then removed with either a cautery or laser device. The eyelid will then be repositioned to its new, higher location and the incision will be closed.
The goal of an upper lid blepharoplasty is to create a sculpted upper lid with a visible pretarsal strip and subtle fullness along the lateral upper lid-brow complex.
What to Expect
Upper eyelid blepharoplasties focus on removing the excess fat pads and creating a centrally positioned eyelid without hooding or skin draping. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after an upper eyelid blepharoplasty.
- Stop taking blood thinning medications
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after surgery
- Do not eat or drink for 6 hours prior
- Eyelid is marked for incision
- Area infiltrated with local anesthesia
- Patient given sedative or general anesthesia
- Excision made, fat and skin removed
- Eyelid repositioned to new, higher location
- Incision closed with sutures
Following an upper eyelid blepharoplasty, patients will be advised to rest the remainder of the day. Postoperative swelling and pain can be reduced with cool compresses and OTC medicines. Sleep in an inclined position. Do not watch TV or read for 24 hours. Mild physical activity can typically be resumed after 10 days, progressing to full physical activity at 4 weeks. Avoid sun exposure for 6 weeks.
The ideal candidate for an upper lid blepharoplasty desires aesthetic improvement and rejuvenation of their upper eyelid. They often seek maintenance or enhancement of the appearance of eyelid volume, and/or repositioning of a low-positioned upper eyelid fold. Candidates will present with excess skin covering the natural fold of the upper eyelids or even loose skin hanging down over the eyelashes.
Not Recommended For
An upper lid blepharoplasty is not recommended for patients with tight facial skin, keloid scarring, are younger than 18, or have other eye problems. Prior eyelid/vision surgery, eye trauma, glaucoma, blepharitis, and thyroid diseases must be noted.
Side effects from an upper lid blepharoplasty may include difficulty in closing the eye when sleeping, blurred vision, swelling and bruising, scarring, bleeding, and changes in sensation.