Eyelid surgery - your questions answered

04 June 2018

Puffy or heavy eyelids can make you seem tired and older. In some cases, the excess skin of the upper eyelid may even obscure the vision. Eyelid lift surgery, or blepharoplasty, an rejuvenate your face with minimal downtime. Mr Richard Baker, Consultant Plastic Surgeon here at Spire Thames Valley Hospital, answers your top five questions regarding this procedure.

Who is suitable a blepharoplasty?
The best candidates are patients who have no underlying eye conditions or general medical illnesses such as thyroid disease which can affect the eyelids. You may be asked to have a formal eye test at your local ophthalmologist prior to surgery. There is no ideal age to perform the surgery although the aesthetics of eyelids tend to worsen with age.

What does the operation involve?
Blepharoplasty can be performed on either or both of the upper and lower eyelids. Upper eyelid blepharoplasty can be performed under local or general anaesthetic. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. Blepharoplasty involves carefully removing excess skin and the removal or re-positioning of muscle and/or fat. In some patients. there may be a need for additional procedures to optimise the outcome. Some patients choose to have all four eyelids operated on at the same time.

What happens after the operation?
After the operation you should be able to go home on the same day and will be advised to sleep using a couple of pillows to keep the head up. In the early stages of the recovery you may need to use eye drops for extra lubrication. You should expect visible bruising and swelling of the eyelids in the days after surgery. Ideally you should aim to take two weeks off work, and can start light exercise after four weeks.

How long do the results last?
Blepharoplasty has an immediate and long lasting rejuvenating effect typically ‘taking ten years’ off the patient’s eyelid appearance.

What are the risks of a blepharoplasty?
Complications include minor skin infection, blurred vision and dry eyes for a few days, swelling and bruising, asymmetry of scars and temporary difficulty closing one’s eyes during sleep.


Mr Richard Baker is a Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon here at Spire Thames Valley Hospital. If you would like to learn more about any procedures or have any questions, please call us on 01753 665 404 or email us.

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