What is upper and lower eyelid surgery?

Upper and lower eyelid surgery – otherwise known as blepharoplasty – can be combined into one procedure. Occasionally individuals may find eyelids beginning to droop or become ‘hooded’, and bags appearing under the eyes. As you get older, skin begins to lose its elasticity and upper and lower eyelid surgery can help to create brighter, younger looking eyes by removing excess skin and/or fat from the eyelid area.

Who benefits from upper and lower eyelid surgery?

Most individuals who request upper and lower eyelid surgery are in their mid thirties or older. However droopy eyelids and bags under the eyes can be hereditary; for these reason younger patients may wish to consider having the procedure. Aging, among other factors (smoking for example), may leave people wanting a fresher, more youthful appearance.


Upper and lower eyelid surgery is usually performed under general anesthetic. For the upper eyelid, an incision will be made along the natural crease of your upper eyelid, and the skin separated from the tissue. Excess fat and skin are then removed and the incision closed with sutures. For the lower eyelid, an incision is made along the natural crease of your lower eyelid, just below the lower lashes, or on the inside of the eyelid. Excess fat or skin (or both) is then removed, or in some cases the extra fat is moved behind the muscle. The leftover skin is then pulled upwards, creating tension and a smooth effect. Finally the incision is closed with sutures, which will need to be removed a few days later (unless dissolvable).

Recovery period

You should try to rest for around 7-10 days following upper and lower eyelid surgery, keeping the eye area as clean as possible. Once the bandages have been removed, vision may still be slightly blurry but will settle shortly. You will need to take one week off work and if sutures need to be removed, they will be taken out after a few days (unless dissolvable). Make-up should not be worn for a week and contact lenses for two weeks. You may encounter possible side effects to upper and lower eyelid surgery including bruising, swelling, dry, itchy eyes and blurred vision, but these will all settle down within a few weeks.


There are certain risks involved with upper and lower eyelid surgery; damage to the eyeball, partial or complete blindness, bleeding under the skin, infection, blood clot formation, asymmetrical eyes or a sunken appearance if too much skin or fat has been removed. You may be more at risk if you suffer from certain conditions, including dry eye and Graves’ disease.