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Many people opt for cosmetic eyelid surgery to fix issues like droopy eyelids or bags underneath their eyes. Different types of cosmetic eyelid surgeries can help with aesthetic and functionality when it comes to the eyelid. If you’re curious about what these surgeries entail and whether you might be a good candidate, here are the basics of eyelid surgery explained.

What Is Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is plastic surgery to improve the appearance or function of the eyelids. People have this surgery on either one or both of the upper and lower lids.

According to Mayo Clinic, eyelid surgery can treat sagging skin, fatty deposits and bags under the eyes, drooping lower eyelids and wrinkles. Surgery can repair the effects of aging, cosmetically and as it relates to vision.

What Happens During Eyelid Surgery?

First, the surgeon will determine the best method of anesthesia. Next, the surgeon will make an incision on the crease of the lid (if upper lid) or just below the lower lash line (lower lid), so scars are minimal and natural. Next, they will remove, reposition and redistribute fat, muscle and skin. 

lower eyelid and upper eyelid blepharoplasty markings on face, cosmetic eyelid surgery

Because it’s such a delicate area of the body and face, it’s important to find an experienced and knowledgeable oculoplastic surgeon to perform the procedure. 

Glue or sutures will be used to close the incisions. While the patient will have bruising and swelling initially, they will have a younger, more alert expression after they heal.

3 Types of Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery

Depending on what you need, there are three different types of cosmetic eye surgery:

  1. Upper Eyelid: If you have sagging skin, excess fat or puffiness on your upper lids.
  2. Lower Eyelid: If you have excess skin or “bags” under your eyes
  3. Double Eyelid: Many people opt for this procedure to look younger, they do both at the same time for the best results.

Candidates for Eyelid Surgery

If you have fatty deposits, or excess, sagging skin, you may be a good candidate for eyelid surgery. 

Eyelid surgery isn’t a miracle cure, so it’s important to go in with realistic expectations. It will not fix crows feet or droopy eyebrows.

Those who have intense dry eye or eye infections are not good candidates. In addition, if you, smoke or are not in good general health, you are poor candidates for the procedure. 

There are no specific age limits for eyelid surgery, though most surgeons will not perform a cosmetic surgery on patients under 18 years old. For older patients, the decision for eligibility is based more on general health and the ability to handle general anesthesia than age.

What to Expect After Eyelid Surgery

Usually eyelid surgery is outpatient. You won’t be able to drive yourself home, so arrange for someone to come pick you up, and wear sunglasses as protection on your trip home.

You might be nauseous from anesthesia. If you are, tell your doctor. Also ease into eating by opting for small, soft foods.

Prepare to rest for a few days. Don’t try to go back to work for at least 24 hours, though more ideally three to four days. Avoid heavy lifting. Though you can return to work after a few days, you’ll want to avoid strenuous activities for at least two weeks.

Use two or three pillows to elevate your head while resting or sleeping. This will help the swelling to decrease. Don’t be alarmed when you wake up bruised and swollen for several days. 

Your doctor will provide you with instructions and supplies to apply cold compresses every 10-15 minutes for the 24 hours after your surgery. You may also be presented with eye drops, which will make your vision blurry but help to prevent dry eye and infection.

You’ll follow up with your doctor a few times within the week after your surgery. Until the doctor clears you:

  • Don’t take full showers (usually ok after about five days)
  • Don’t wear contact lenses (usually ok after about two weeks)
  • Don’t apply makeup or creams (usually ok after about two weeks)

Schedule an Appointment 

Cosmetic eyelid surgery is an excellent option for both aesthetic and functional reasons. It’s a routine surgery for the doctor, and a short recovery for the patient. At Southwestern Eye Center we offer cosmetic surgical procedures, in addition to general eye care services. Our oculoplastics surgeons perform eyelid surgeries, brow lifts and BOTOX® and dermal filler cosmetic treatments. 

If you’d like to learn more about the specifics of eyelid surgery, or if you want to schedule a procedure, call 480-616-0467 or fill out our contact form.