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Eyelid Surgery

What is eyelid surgery?

The medical term for an eyelid lift is blepharoplasty. This procedure can remove puffiness or bags under the eyes, as well as correct droopy eyelids.

In this procedure, the physician surgically removes excess fat, muscle and skin from both the upper and lower eyelids to redefine the shape of the eye.

Some medical conditions make eyelid surgery more risky, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Dry eyes
  • Lack of sufficient tears
  • High blood pressure
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Detached retina
  • Glaucoma

Each eyelid lift procedure varies; however, the following are general guidelines for the surgery:

Location options

  • Surgeon's office-based surgical facility
  • Outpatient surgery center
  • Hospital outpatient (23 hour stay)
  • Hospital inpatient

Anesthesia options

  • General anesthesia
  • Local anesthesia, combined with a sedative (allows the patient to remain awake but relaxed) for adults

Average length of procedure

  • Several hours or longer

Possible short-term side effects

  • Eyelids may feel tight
  • Eyelids may feel sore


Possible complications associated with eyelid surgery may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Temporary vision problems - Double or blurred vision may occur after undergoing eyelid surgery. This typically lasts for just a few days following the surgery.
  • Eye closure problems - Some patients may have difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep; in rare cases this condition may be permanent.
  • Swelling or asymmetry changes - Temporary swelling and a slight imbalance of one eye in relation to the other may occur during the healing or scarring process.
  • Acne - After the stitches are removed, tiny whiteheads may appear, which can be remove with a very fine needle.
  • Ectropion - This extremely rare complication is the pulling down of the lower lids. Further surgery may be required in order to correct this symptom.

    Who is a candidate for eyelid surgery?

    Candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who meet the following criteria:

    • Physically healthy
    • Psychologically stable
    • Realistic in their expectations
    • Age 35 or older
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