Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

The skin around our eyes tells our age. Eyelid skin is thinner than the other skin on the face. Over time, the skin around the eyes loses its elasticity and begins to droop. Fat becomes stored below the eyes, causing an old and tired look.

Eyelid surgery removes fat, excess skin, and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. It can correct the folds of relaxed skin and bags in the upper and lower lid areas. The benefits of eyelid surgery are a more youthful and rested appearance, as well as a relief of fatigue around your eyes and an improved field of vision.

Eyelid surgery can be performed alone or with other cosmetic procedures such as a facelift or browlift.

While most patients looking into eyelid surgery are over 35, some people with inherited traits may seek surgery in their 20s.

Candidates must be in good general health. If you smoke, you may need to stop for several months before and after surgery. The chemicals in cigarettes cause collagen to break down more quickly, leaving your skin lined, and rob your body of oxygen it needs for healing. Moisturized skin that has been protected from the sun responds best to eyelid surgery.

Eyelid surgery is performed under local anesthesia. A sedative may also be given to help the patient relax.

The Procedure

After Dr. Shirley marks the areas, small incisions will be made, and a thin crescent-shape of loose skin and muscle will be removed. For the lower eyes, incisions are made inside the lower eyelid through which fatty deposits and muscle will be removed. Tiny sutures will close the

incisions. Following surgery, the doctor will apply an ointment for lubrication as well as a bandage.


Patients should arrange for a loved one to drive them home following surgery. Plan to rest with your head elevated the first evening. Most patients experience only minimal discomfort which is easily controlled with oral medication.

After about a week, your eyes will have recovered enough to go back in public, but the area around the eyes will still look bruised and swollen for about two weeks. You may apply make-up after the first week to conceal bruises, and contacts may be worn again after two weeks. Strenuous activities should be avoided for at least a month. Once healed, the resulting scars will follow the natural contour of the eyelids and will be unnoticeable within two months. The end result is a look that is subtle, refreshed and one that others will notice, yet not be able to define.