Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids. As part of the aging process the skin of the eyelid can become droopy and lose its elasticity and the underlying fat tissue can bulge forward, leading to a puffy looking and tired eyes. Eyelid surgery can address the loose skin and / or bulging fat tissue, allowing the rejuvenation of the eyelids and a refreshed look.

Who is a suitable candidate?

Healthy individuals with no major medical condition that can impair healing and those without serious eye conditions are suitable candidates.

What happens before surgery?

You will be asked to stop certain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or herbal medicines that might increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery.

If you are a smoker, you will be advised to stop smoking at least two weeks before and a similar length after surgery to reduce the chances of wound healing issues.

What does the surgery involve and how long it takes?

The surgery is usually carried out under general anaesthetic, but upper lid surgery could also be done under local anaesthetic. Excess skin is removed and if required bulging fat is repositioned or removed. The incisions are placed carefully in the upper lid crease and below the eye lashes on the lower lid to conceal the scars. The stitches are very fine and need to be removed 7 days after surgery. The procedure takes between 1 -3 hours depending on how much work is required.

What happens after surgery?

You will have a very light dressing above and/or below your eyes.

You are advised to stay overnight but should you wish to go home the same day you must have a family member or a friend drive you back from the hospital and look after you in the first 24-48 hours.

Expect some swelling and bruising and feeling of grittiness and discomfort in the first few days. You will be provided with eye drops to reduce the discomfort. Expect the swelling to get worse in the first 2 days before improving gradually in the following weeks. Avoid any bending, heavy lifting, or strenuous exercise over the next 4-6 weeks.

You will be seen 7 days after your surgery to have the stitches removed and 3 months later to assess your progress and satisfaction.

What are the risks and complications?

The overall satisfaction is high and complications are rare with eyelid surgery. Most of the complications are minor and resolve soon after surgery.

Scar: as the scar undergoes maturation it can look and feel raised and lumpy. This will settle within a few months aided by gentle massage.

Gritty eyes: it is not uncommon and can be associated with watery eyes especially in the cold weather. The condition is self-resolving after a few weeks.

Bleeding (haematoma): occasionally small blood vessels may open up under the skin soon after surgery (same day) and a return to the theatre is required to release the stiches and washout the collection. This will not impact the overall blepharoplasty results.

Sagging of the lower lid: after lower lid surgery the weight of swelling can pull down on the lower lid. This tends to resolve spontaneously. If not, a minor corrective surgery may be required.

  • Summary
  • Operation time 1-3 hours
  • Anaesthetic General Anaesthetic
  • Nights in hospital 0 or 1
  • Time off work 2 weeks
  • Return to exercise 4-6 weeks


If you have a question regarding a procedure or would like to find out if you are a suitable candidate, please feel free to get in touch.