Eyelid Lift

Eyelid Lift - Blepharoplasty

eyelid liftThe eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, is a procedure designed to remove excess fat and/or skin from the upper and lower eyelids. It improves droopy eyelids and puffy bags below the eyes, features that may make you look older and more tired than you feel. It may be combined with an eyebrow lift to correct drooping eyebrows.


The incision for the upper eyelid is usually made along the eyelid crease. The incision for the lower eyelid may be made inside the lower eyelid, avoiding external scars (transconjunctival) or externally just below the eyelashes (transcutaneous). Excess skin along the outside of the lower eyelid region may be “tightened” with a chemical peel or ablative laser/radiofrequency device.  


Who is a Candidate for an eyelid lift?

  • Patients who have excessive, sagging or wrinkled upper or lower eyelid skin
  • Patients who have excess upper eyelid skin that interferes with vision
  • Patients who have lost their natural upper eyelid crease
  • Patients who have puffy pouches of fat in the upper or lower eyelids that create a tired or aged appearance 

Who is not a Candidate for an eyelid lift?

  • A more youthful and rested appearance of the eyes
  • Widening of visual fields if excessive upper eyelid skin has partially blocked vision

Intended Results of an eyelid lift

  • A more youthful contour of the face and neck
  • A more visible jawline
  • General aesthetic improvement

Procedure Description of an eyelid lift

  • The operation is usually done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia alone or conscious sedation.
  • Either a “Colorado” needle or scalpel is used for skin incisions to minimize scar and bleeding during the procedure.
  • The incisions are made where the natural crease should be in the upper eyelids. Excess skin and fat (if necessary) are removed.
  • The incision for the lower eyelids is usually inside the lower lids, avoiding external incisions and scar.
  • If there is significant “laxity” of the lower eyelid, a canthopexy, or tightening procedure, may be done at the same time. The incision is along the outer portion of the lid just below the eyelash line. 

Healing and Recovery for an eyelid lift

  • All sutures are usually removed within 7 days.
  • Initial discomfort is usually mild and controlled with oral medication.
  • Bruising and sensitivity to light usually subside within 1-2 weeks.
  • Swelling usually disappears within 2 weeks.
  • Eye makeup may be used following suture removal and healing of the incisions. Old makeup should be discarded as it may promote bacterial growth and postoperative infection.
  • Contact lenses can be worn when comfortable and sutures have been removed—usually 7-10 days. 

Other Options

  • Additional procedures that may enhance the result are forehead lift (endoscopic eyebrow lift), facelift, carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, chemical peel, neuromodulators, fillers and collagen stimulants. 


The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.


Reviewed by Irene Gladstein, MD