What is upper eyelid surgery?

Upper eyelid surgery – otherwise known as Blepharoplasty – involves the removal of ‘pouches’ from above the eyes. As we get older, skin begins to lose its elasticity and creates a drooping effect otherwise known as ‘hooded’ eyelids. Upper eyelid surgery helps to create brighter, younger looking eyes.

Who benefits from upper eyelid surgery?

Most individuals who request upper eyelid surgery are in their mid thirties or older. However droopy eyelids can be a hereditary facial feature, and younger patients may wish to consider having the procedure.

An ophthalmologist will need to assess your suitability for eyelid surgery, as some candidates will not be eligible, but this will vary depending on the individual.

Procedure

Upper eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthetic and can take up to three hours. An incision will be made along the natural crease of the upper eyelid, and the skin separated from the tissue. Excess fat and skin are then removed and the incision closed with sutures.

Recovery period

You will need to rest for around 7-10 days following upper eyelid surgery, keeping the eye area as clean as possible (your surgeon will advise you on this) and your head elevated when lying down. Once the bandages have been removed, vision may still be slightly blurry but will settle shortly. You should take a 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 eyelid surgery including bruising, swelling, dry, itchy eyes and blurred vision, but these will all settle down within a few weeks.

Risks

There are certain risks involved with upper 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.