Eyelids (Blepharoplasty)

What is Blepharoplasty?

A lower eyelid tuck can help patients look less tired and fresher. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is a surgical procedure on the upper and/or lower eyelids to remove excess skin, remove or advance fat pads (also referred to as “the bags”), tighten loose lower lids, and reduce the effects of ageing. 

The Surgery

The surgery may be performed under local anesthesia (upper eyelids) or general anesthesia (lower eyelids). Depending on whether a mid-face/cheek lift is combined as well, the operation typically lasts between 90 minutes and 3 hours.

Incisions are hidden within the natural skin creases.  Any scarring typically fades and are not usually noticeable once completely healed.

After Your Surgery

Here are some things to expect after surgery:

  • A period of eye irritation or discomfort is usual due to the inflammation in the tissues caused by the surgery. Ointments and drops may be administered to resolve the issue.
  • Keeping your head elevated post-operatively will lessen the initial swelling, though bruising and swelling is common for 1-2 weeks. Some patients may experience persistent swelling that can take 1-3 months to resolve.
  • Patients typically require 2 weeks of downtime. 
Pre-Operation & Post-Operation Recovery Guide

Eyelid surgery is also called blepharoplasty. This surgery is usually performed for people with

excessive eyelid skin, prominent fat bags around the eyes or to reduce the effects of ageing.

Initial Consultation

Consultation time required: New patient 30 mins.

Approx. total cost: Provided at consultation.

Usual length of operation: 1-3 hours depending on upper or lower lids.

Usual length of stay: Day case, occasionally overnight.

Type of anaesthesia (usually) Local anesthesia only for upper eyelids is a very good option, otherwise general anesthetic for lower eyelids.

Are there permanent scars? Yes, but usually well hidden in skin creases and very hard to see.

Pre-Operative Instructions

Pre-operative Instructions: No aspirin two weeks before, fast according to instructions, take any usual meds with a sip on the day of surgery. If you get ill, i.e. flu before surgery, notify us.

Post-Operative Course

On discharge: Go home to rest under supervision, drink well, take pain meds as directed, start a light diet if you feel able to.  Use eye drops during the day and eye ointment lubricant at night as directed

Next Day: Mobilize around the house, rest, drink well, take meds as directed, we encourage walking. Expect black eyes from bruising.

Day 2 – 7: Increase mobility as you feel better.

After Day 7: Return to usual activities, but expect to feel tired and need rest.

When is my first postop visit? Usually day 7 for upper eyelids and day 3 for lower eyelids.

Is there pain? Expect moderate pain – will need painkillers for some days. Eyes may feel gritty or sticky for weeks after surgery.

Is there swelling? Yes, especially first 3 days.

Is there bruising? Yes, black eyes 7-10 days. Occasionally longer.

Are there stitches to be removed? Yes, on day 7.

Are there dressings? Often skin tapes.

How do I manage it? You will be given instructions at time of operation.

Can I shower? Yes.

When can I see people without surgery being obvious? When black eyes resolve, 7-14 days.

When can I drive? Must be able to see clearly, be off strong painkillers and able to move comfortably, usually 2-7 days.

When can I go back to work? Best to take 1-2 weeks off if you can. For important social events or photographs, need 6 weeks recovery time before you are photo-ready.

When can I exercise? 2 weeks after surgery.

When can I resume heavy lifting, etc? 2 weeks after surgery.

Things I should ring about: Pain not controlled by the medication. Vomiting or unable to take plenty of fluids.  Excessive oozing from the wound or dressings.  Fever over 38 degrees. Difficulty breathing well.  Progressive swelling or redness in the area of surgery.  Increasingly sore eyes or visual problems.

How We Follow Up After Surgery

Office Visits: Your first pos-top visit is day 3 or day 7 after the surgery, depending on the procedure.

Sutures: Removed on day 7.