Health Library Explorer

Eyelid Lift

What is eyelid surgery?

The medical term for an eyelid lift is blepharoplasty. This procedure can remove puffiness or bags under the eyes. It can also correct droopy eyelids or improve a tired appearance.

In this procedure, the healthcare provider surgically removes excess fat, muscle, and skin from both the upper and lower eyelids. This is done to redefine the shape of the eye.

Possible complications of eyelid surgery

Possible complications of eyelid surgery may include:

  • Vision problems. Double or blurred vision may occur after undergoing eyelid surgery. This typically lasts for just a few days after the surgery. In very rare cases, permanent vision loss can occur from bleeding around the eyeball, or the nerve that controls vision.

  • Eye closure problems. Some people may have trouble closing their eyes when they sleep; in rare cases this condition may be permanent. This can result in dry eyes.

  • Swelling or asymmetry changes. Temporary swelling and a slight imbalance of 1 eye in relation to the other may occur during the healing or scarring process.

  • Acne. After the stitches are removed, tiny whiteheads may appear. The surgeon can remove the whiteheads with a very fine needle.

  • Ectropion. Rolling or sagging of the lower eyelid away from the eye. This may need additional surgery to correct.

  • Changes in skin sensation. You may have numbness or pain that continues.

  • Scarring

Who is a candidate for eyelid surgery?

Candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are:

  • Physically healthy

  • Mentally stable

  • Realistic in their expectations

Some health conditions make eyelid surgery more risky. These include:

  • Thyroid problems

  • Dry eyes

  • Lack of sufficient tears

  • High blood pressure

  • Circulation problems

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Diabetes

  • Detached retina

  • Glaucoma

About the procedure

Although each procedure varies, eyelid surgeries generally cover the following considerations:

Where the procedure can be done

  • Surgeon's office-based surgical facility

  • Outpatient surgery center

  • Hospital outpatient

  • Hospital inpatient

Anesthesia choices

  • General anesthesia

  • Local anesthesia combined with a sedative. This lets you stay awake but relaxed.

How long is the procedure?

  • 1 to 2 hours depending on if the upper and lower lids are treated at the same time, or alone

Some possible short-term side effects of surgery

  • Eyelids may feel tight

  • Eyelids may feel sore

  • Eyes may feel dry

  • Vision may be blurry

Online Medical Reviewer: David Lickstein MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ronald Karlin MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2023
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