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Eyelid Surgery: Is the Procedure for Me?

Showing off his pearly whites!

One of the first places to show noticeable signs of aging is the delicate tissues around the eyes. Because creams and non-invasive procedures cannot truly provide long-term correction for sagging skin, the best method of treatment may be eyelid surgery. This procedure is actually quite popular for those seeking facial rejuvenation. It creates a more natural crease line, can reduce puffiness in the upper or lower eyelids, and it can even improve impaired vision due to a condition called ptosis—heavy, drooping eyelids.


Eyelid surgery—or blepharoplasty—can be performed on both the upper and/or lower eyelids, and it can be done at the same time. The upper eyelid surgery is for those who struggle with excess or stretched upper eyelid skin or have excess fat that is obstructing vision. Lower eyelid surgery is performed to remove excess skin, wrinkles and bags under the eye.

The Procedure

The surgery can be performed under general or local anesthesia. In most cases patients are able to have the surgery performed as an outpatient procedure. The incisions needed for this surgery are designed to be hidden within the natural structure of the eyelids. The upper eyelid is corrected through an incision within the natural crease of the upper eyelid to reposition fat deposits, tighten muscle and tissue and/or remove excess skin. The lower eyelid is corrected through an incision just underneath the lower eyelashes, which can remove excess skin. With an incision hidden on the inside of the lower eyelid, this procedure is also used to reposition or remove excess fat. The surgery typically lasts about 1 to 1 ½ hours for the upper eyelids and closer to 3 hours if you’re in need of both upper and lower eyelid corrections.

Recovery Time

As with any surgery, recovery time corresponds with the extent of the correction needed. For most patients there is a minimal amount of swelling, which will be experienced within the first few days of surgery and typically resolves itself within 1-2 weeks. However, most patients are able to hide the side effects with makeup or sunglasses. It is also common for the eyelids to feel tight and/or dry, which may lead to some itching or burning sensations. This side effect will gradually resolve over time, and eye drops can help restore moisture in the eyes for added relief as well. 

Some patients also experience double or blurred vision or light sensitivity temporarily after surgery. If you wear contacts, it’s advised to use glasses for at least 2 weeks after surgery. Overall, you should prepare to rest your eyes for 2-3 days after the procedure and return to work after about 5-7 days, while more strenuous activity may be resumed about 3 weeks post surgery.

Expected Results

Our MFPS patients are pleasantly surprised at the results they can achieve from this surgery. Following the procedure, most report a more youthful, rested look to their eyes. Patients also typically see a smoother, more-defined eyelid creating a rejuvenated appearance. Those individuals with impaired peripheral vision may experience an improvement in sight.

Call the Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery office at (812) 469-3434 if you think you may be a candidate for upper and/or lower eyelid surgery. We would love to schedule a consultation with you!