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What Is Blepharoplasty Surgery And Can It Fix My Droopy Eyelids?

Last updated: June 1, 2022

Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that fixes droopy eyelids. If you suffer from droopy eyelids, you know how it changes your appearance, prevents you from opening your eyes, and might block your peripheral vision.

Dr. Suzanne Freitag, director of ophthalmic plastic surgery and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, says that blepharoplasty surgery is one of the most popular surgeries that she does.

If you're thinking about blepharoplasty, and you're not sure if this surgery is right for you, the following information about recovery time, how long the surgery takes, if your insurance covers the procedure, and answers to a few common questions might help you decide.

What Is Blepharoplasty Surgery?

Blepharoplasty is also called eyelid lift surgery. It corrects the upper and lower eyelids that have excess puffiness, under the eye bags, and droopy eyelids from orbital fat. This condition can also lead to vision impairment.

This procedure brings a more youthful look back to your eyes by removing excess skin and fat. If needed, after removing the skin and fat, the surgeon injects fillers to prevent any hollow areas.

What Are the Types of Eyelid Lifts?

If you've been using anti-aging cream, but decided to try a permanent solution like blepharoplasty, make sure to consult a qualified facial plastic surgeon about which type of eyelid lift is the best for your situation. The two most common types of blepharoplasty are upper eyelid surgery and lower eyelid surgery.

Upper eyelid surgery

Surgery on the upper eyelid is an option if you have droopy skin that hangs over your eyelashes. You might notice that you can't see your eyelid anymore, and you have to lift the loose skin to apply foundation makeup.

Upper eyelid surgery takes about one hour and has few risks. 

Lower eyelid surgery

Blepharoplasty procedures for your lower eyelid improve puffy bags under your eyes. This is a same-day procedure that takes about one and a half hours.

This surgery is more complicated than upper eyelid surgery. Your surgeon will determine if your cheekbones can adapt to fat and excess skin removal without harming the rest of your face.

The elasticity of your skin is another consideration for this procedure. If your skin isn't flexible enough, your doctor can discuss alternatives to surgery.

How Do I Know if I Should Have Blepharoplasty or an Alternative?

Having blepharoplasty surgery is a big decision. When you look in the mirror, do you notice any of the following symptoms?

  • Tired, droopy eyes
  • Sagging eyelids
  • Puffy bags under your eyes
  • Low eyebrows
  • Wrinkle lines between your eyebrows
  • You appear angry.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you're a candidate for blepharoplasty or one of the alternative droopy eyelid treatments. 

What Happens During the Blepharoplasty Preoperative Evaluation?

The success of your blepharoplasty depends on your surgeon's preoperative evaluation. Your doctor looks for any specific concerns, and you'll establish the surgical goals you want to achieve.

Your surgeon wants to make sure you're physically and psychologically ready for facial rejuvenation surgery. The doctor will also ask you about the prescription medications and supplements you take, a history of bleeding, and any eye conditions, such as dry eye and glaucoma.

What Are the Risks of a Blepharoplasty Procedure?

Although blepharoplasty is a common procedure, there are risks you should know about before having surgery. The risks during and after blepharoplasty surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Dry eyes
  • Opening and closing eyelids
  • Scarring
  • Muscle damage
  • Blurred vision
  • Blood clots
  • Surgical under or over-correction
  • Nerve damage

How Long Is Recovery from Blepharoplasty?

The recovery time for both upper and lower eyelift surgery takes from 10 to 14 days. Make sure you plan to have someone drive you home and stay with you on your first night home.

You'll still experience drowsy effects from pain medication and anesthesia. You might also feel nauseous until the anesthesia is out of your system.

Also, expect some swelling and bruising around your eyes. Cold packs can help with this, and also ask your surgeon about the best scar cream after blepharoplasty. Always check with your surgeon before using anything on the surgical site. 


Which eyelid procedure is right for me?

Eyelid surgery isn't for everyone, so make sure you consider your options, so you know which procedure is right for you. Make sure you choose a surgeon you trust. Discuss if you're an ideal candidate for the procedure and the outcome you want to achieve.

Your surgeon can evaluate your facial structure and explain which eyelid procedure is right for you.

Does insurance cover blepharoplasty surgery?

Insurance covers blepharoplasty if it's medically necessary. The surgery is not covered by insurance if it's an elective procedure for cosmetic reasons.

When the surgery is for a medical condition, it's known as functional blepharoplasty. If your droopy eyelids impair your vision, so you have trouble with everyday activities, insurance usually approves the procedure.

Other medical conditions include eye irritation, trauma to the eyelid, chronic dermatitis, 

and pain.

Can droopy eyelids cause dry eyes?

If your eyelids droop over your eyes, they can cause dry eyes and irritation.

What is blepharoplasty surgery like?

Blepharoplasty is an outpatient surgery, which means you can go home the same day. The anesthesia used is either local, intravenous, or general anesthesia.

During the procedure, your surgeon makes an incision in the natural crease of your eyelid, as well as inside your eyelid. Then the surgeon removes the fat and excess skin. The muscles and tissue surrounding the area also get adjusted, and some fat might be injected to fill out hollow spots. 

How long does blepharoplasty surgery take?

Depending on whether you have your upper, lower or both eyelids corrected, blepharoplasty can take from one to four hours.

Can I go home following my eye lift surgery?

Yes, typically you can go home the same day as you have your blepharoplasty.

Are there non-surgical options for drooping eyelids?

Yes, there are several popular nonsurgical options for drooping eyelids. Many people ask, ''Can Botox help droopy eyelids?'' The answer is ''yes,'' Botox is one alternative treatment. Cosmetic injections include dermal fillers and wrinkle relaxers like Botox.

Radiofrequency microneedling is another surgery alternative. The process is safe for upper and lower eyelids. Plasma therapy combined with microneedling stimulates the healthy growth of new skin cells, giving firmer and more elastic eyelids.

Laser therapy and chemical peels are other options you can discuss with your surgeon to develop a treatment plan that helps with your droopy eyelids. These treatments are good options for mild signs of aging, plus you don't have any recovery time.

If you're not ready for surgery or alternative treatments, you can try one of the best under eye primer for wrinkles, or read Burt's Bees firming eye cream reviews for more information about wrinkle products.

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