Common Questions about Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)


Below I answer some common questions I receive about blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery. For those with a hollowed look around the eyes, eyelid surgery can be transformative for the face. Because the procedure and downtime are both relatively short, this plastic surgical procedure is a great option for many patients.

A recent before and after image of a blepharoplasty, eyelid surgery, by Dr. Zuckerman. Patient underwent an upper blepharoplasty with fat grafting to the lower eyelids. A recent before and after image of a blepharoplasty, eyelid surgery, by Dr. Zuckerman. Patient underwent an upper blepharoplasty with fat grafting to the lower eyelids.

Question: Can you describe the processes involved in the surgery?

Answer: In an upper blepharoplasty, I remove of a thin strip of skin, some of the muscle, and some fat. For lower blepharoplasty, I make an incision on the back side of the lid to remove or rearrange fat. This can involve removal of skin from just under the lash line. I can also perform fat grafting alone to this area, where I first harvest fat via small volume liposuction. I sometimes place a stitch if there’s laxity in the lower lid.

Question: How long does the actual procedure take?

Answer: I can perform an upper blepharoplasty in my office under local anesthesia and last approximately 30 minutes. I perform lower blepharoplasty in the O.R. with sedation plus local anesthesia, and the procedure takes 30 to 45 minutes.

Question: How long does recovery take?

Answer: For an upper blepharoplasty, the patient will have external stitches for 5 days and swelling for approximately a week. Sometimes there is some bruising. For lower blepharoplasty, swelling and bruising can persist for two weeks. There is not a large amount of pain associated with it.

Question: What are the end results of the procedure and who undergoes it?

Answer: Blepharoplasty reverses a tired, sunken appearance around the eyes. It also removes any excess skin from the upper lids and bags and puffiness around the lower lids. I have performed the procedure on people in their 30s and on people in their 70s. In ethnic eyelid surgery, rejuvenation is not the goal but changing the shape of the eye is.

Question: Are there any procedures related to blepharoplasty that people might also potentially be interested in?

Answer: A non-surgical injectable treatment that targets a similar area is to undergo injections to the tear troughs with the filler Restylane-L®. A patient also be interested in Botox injections to the crows feet around the eyes or a laser resurfacing treatment, such as a CO2 laser or Fraxel, to reduce fine lines.

Question: How long do the effects of blepharoplasty last?

Answer: Ten years approximately at least, but the result may last even longer.

Question: There is a belief that the procedure is almost exclusively requested by clientele of East Asian descent, could you speak to that in any way?

Answer: This is absolutely not true. Asian blepharoplasty is actually quite different than a traditional rejuvenative blepharoplasty. That operation is used to change the shape of the eye to a more western shape and its folds.

Question: Is there anything else that people interested in blepharoplasty should know?

Answer: Precautions need to be taken for people with dry-eyes or thyroid or other immune-related eye problems. Patients will also need clearance prior to surgery by an ophthalmologist.

Copyright 2017 Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, FACS, P.C. All rights reserved.