8 Things to Know About Eyelid Surgery

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Sarah Lewis, PharmD on December 10, 2020
  • Female eyes
    1. Eyelid surgery is popular.
    Eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is the surgical removal of excess skin, muscle and fat in the upper or lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery is one of the most common surgical cosmetic procedures. Only liposuction and breast enhancement ranked higher in 2013, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
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    2. Eyelid surgery can make you look younger.
    The delicate skin around the eyes is often the first place to show signs of aging. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and our muscles weaken. As a result, our eyelids may sag and droop and bags may develop in the lower lids. Eyelid surgery can correct these problems and give you a more rested and rejuvenated appearance.
  • doctor comforting patient
    3. You’ll still look like you.
    Eyelid surgery won’t change the basic structure of your eyes. It is not a reconstructive procedure. It won’t correct sagging eyebrows or the symmetry of your eyes. And it won’t do anything for crow’s feet wrinkles. But surgeons can combine eyelid surgery with other procedures to help you reach your goals. Talk with your surgeon about what eyelid surgery can do for your appearance. Be sure to ask about all your treatment options.
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    4. Eyelid surgery offers long-lasting results.
    Eyelid surgery won’t stop aging, but the results are usually long lasting. If droopiness reappears on the lids, it is most often due to sagging brows. Botox® injections or a brow lift can correct that. Bags and puffiness on the lower lids usually don’t reappear after eyelid surgery. Your heredity plays a big role in how you age. You can do your part to keep a youthful look overall by avoiding sun exposure, reducing stress, and not smoking.
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    5. Eyelid surgery has risks.
    In the hands of a skilled doctor, eyelid surgery is generally a very safe procedure. Like any procedure, there are risks. These include changes in skin sensation, dry eyes, and difficulty closing your eyes. Infection, bruising and scarring can also occur. If you are considering eyelid surgery, find a board-certified plastic surgeon or ophthalmologist with experience in eyelid surgery. You can research doctors near you at Healthgrades.com.
  • Pain Medication
    6. Recovery takes a few weeks.
    You will have mild pain, swelling, bruising, and possibly vision changes immediately after eyelid surgery. Pain and blurriness may subside within a few days. Puffiness and bruising can take several weeks to resolve. Ask your surgeon about how your pain will be managed and what you can expect during recovery. Most people return to work and normal activities within a couple of weeks. It can take up to a year to see the full results of your eyelid surgery.
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    7. Insurance may not cover costs.
    Insurance plans generally don’t cover the cost of cosmetic procedures, including eyelid surgery. If your eyelid surgery is considered medically necessary, then insurance may cover the costs. The average cost of eyelid surgery in 2013 was nearly $3,000, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. You will also be billed for anesthesia, the surgical facility, tests, and medications. Ask your surgeon about all your costs before having surgery.
  • woman-receiving-botox-injection-on-forehead
    8. There are nonsurgical alternatives.
    There are nonsurgical options for treating sagging and puffy eyelids. Botox® injections can improve the appearance of the upper eyelids by creating a lift to the eyebrows, but you will need repeat treatments. Fractional eyelift is also an alternative to eyelid surgery. In fractional eyelift, a laser is used to create a thin wound around the eyelid. As the wound heals, the skin around the eyelid tightens. These treatments don’t remove excess skin but they may improve the look of subtle eyelid sagging.
8 Things to Know About Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

  1. 2017 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2017/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report....  
  2. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Reports Americans Spent Largest Amount on Cosmetic Surgery Since The Great Recession of 2008. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. http://www.surgery.org/media/news-releases/the-american-society-for-aesthetic-plastic-surgery-report...
  3. Eyelid Surgery. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. http://www.smartbeautyguide.com/procedures/head-face/eyelid-surgery
  4. Eyelid Surgery. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/eyelid-surgery.html#content
  5. Focusing on Eyelid Surgery: What You Need to Know. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/plastic-surgery-blog/eyelid-surgery-101.html
  6. Seckel BR. CO2 laser applications: new fractional and traditional CO2 laser resurfacing and CO2 laser blepharoplasty. In: DiBernardo BE, Pozner JN, eds. Lasers and Non-Surgical Rejuvination. Saunders Elsevier; 2009:11-24.
  7. The Nonsurgical Brow-Lift: Pleasing Patients and Diversifying Practices. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.aao.org/publications/eyenet/201009/oculoplastics.cfm?RenderForPrint=1&
  8. What to Know Before Choosing Surgery. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. http://www.surgery.org/consumers/consumer-resources/frequently-asked-questions/what-to-know-before-c...

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Last Review Date: 2020 Dec 10
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