Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty – Description & Recovery

Board-Certified Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons Serving Pensacola, FL & Mobile, AL

Posted: September 5, 2020
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Fast Facts:

  • Upper eyelid blepharoplasty or upper eyelid lift is performed to remove excess eyelid skin and correct droopy eyelids.
  • The procedure is done under local anesthesia and takes less than hour to complete.
  • Recovery time is usually 7-10 days (it’s mostly a social recovery).

 

What is an upper eyelid blepharoplasty?

With time and aging, we all develop extra skin on our upper eyelids. An upper eyelid blepharoplasty or upper eyelid lift involves removing the extra skin of the upper eyelids to help them look crisper and more youthful and to make you look more awake and energetic.

The goal is to create a centrally positioned eyelid without excess skin and excess fat pads and without drooping or hooding (where the skin hangs over the rim of the eyelid).

Sometimes, we do an upper eyelid blepharoplasty for function reasons, for example, if loose skin is interfering with vision.

Surgical technique for upper eyelid lift

We start by marking the extra skin for removal. It’s essentially a big oval on your upper eyelid. We measure how much we’ll remove based on how much we want to leave behind. In other words, we don’t care about the amount of skin we’re cutting off. We care about the amount of skin we’re leaving behind.

What I do is mark the amount of skin that I’m going to leave behind on each side of the incision. Then all the extra skin in between those markings is the excess skin that needs to be removed. That skin is then removed and the incision is closed with suture. That is basically how an upper eyelid blepharoplasty is performed.

Scarring after upper eyelid blepharoplasty

There will be a subsequent scar where the skin is removed. The scar will be in the upper eyelid crease, so you can’t see it when your eyes are open, because it is within a crease which is not visible when your eyes are open. You will be able to see it when your eyes are closed. Fortunately, that scar is usually very, very thin and hard to see. Because the upper eyelid skin is so thin, the scar that forms when the upper eyelid skin heals is also very thin.

Excess fat pad removal

Depending on your upper eyelid contour and overall facial aging, I may remove some fat from the deep fat pockets of the upper eyelid. I may also inject fat or graft fat to your upper eyelids. It all depends on what your face needs to look younger.

Recovery: What to expect after upper eyelid surgery?

After an upper eyelid blepharoplasty, I need you to keep that upper eyelid incision nice and moist. I’ll give you some ophthalmic ointment to apply to the incision. It can’t be too moist, so make sure the incision stays moist. Also, make sure that you keep your eyes moist. Some people can have dry eyes after an upper eyelid blepharoplasty, so it’s important that you apply Refresh Tears during the day while you want to be able to see normally. And then you apply Refresh PM ointment at night to help keep your eyes moist throughout the night.

Other than that, it’s mostly a social recovery. You’re going to be bruised and swollen for 7-10 days. However, most people don’t have a whole lot of pain or discomfort following the procedure.

The suture is a running buried suture that I will remove in clinic after about 5 days. We’ll see you clinic and I’ll slide that suture out. It’s not very painful. It just slides right out. That is essentially the recovery following an upper eyelid blepharoplasty.

You can exercise after 1 week if you feel up to it. You can go swimming and go under water after 3 weeks if you want. Otherwise, there’s not much else to do other than keep that incision moist during the early stages of healing. After about 7-10 days, you don’t have to apply anything to that incision because it is mostly healed at that point.

 

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