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Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

Blepharoplasty (blef’ah-ro-plas”te), also known as Eyelid Surgery, is a procedure performed on the upper and/or lower eyelids to remove excess skin and fat. Our goal is to give your face a more alert, youthful appearance by correcting drooping eyelids (upper eyelid blepharoplasty) and puffy bags below the eyes (lower eyelid blepharoplasty).

Our eyes are our “windows to the world” and show expression more than any other part of our anatomy. Changes in the structures surrounding our eyes may falsely convey impressions of our feelings. For example, lower lid puffiness may indicate recent crying or sadness; overdeveloped fat pads in the upper lids may indicate fatigue or deep sagging eyebrows can indicate a great burden.

As we age, our skin looses its elasticity and stretches, the muscles weaken and fat accumulates around the eyes. This is the cause of “bags” above and below our eyes.

While many of our patients have found that they need one or both of these procedures five to ten years prior to needing a facelift, blepharoplasty may also be performed in conjunction with a facelift and/or brow lift.

This procedure usually takes between one and two hours to complete and is generally performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Most of our patients elect this surgery on an outpatient basis and are able to begin reading in two to three days and return to work within seven to ten days.

While we strive to minimize complications and maximize patient satisfaction, we would be remiss if we did not remind you that as with any surgery, there may be side effects and there are risks. These will be covered in detail during your consultation.

For further information on blepharoplasty or to schedule a consultation with Dr Richard Hess or Dr Sven Sandeen, please contact our office at 520/297-3300 or by e-mail.

Additional References

Eyelid Surgery FAQ

What is eyelid surgery?

Eyelid surgery removes fat, skin and muscle from upper and lower eyelids. The intent is to correct drooping upper lids and puffy lower lids.

Blepharoplasty results are usually permanent although some people may undergo a second procedure 10 to 15 years later.

How long does the surgery take?

The surgery will take one hour for upper or lower lids and two hours for all lids.

What will my recovery be like?

You will want to keep your head elevated and cold compresses on your eyes for several days. Bruising varies by patient and may last between two to four weeks. This can usually be covered by make-up.  Sutures usually come out between 3 and 6 days.

Will I have restrictions after blepharoplasty surgery?

You should plan minimal activity for 1 – 2 days and no strenuous activity for approximately 1 week.

When will I be back to work?

Each patient is different. We have had patients return to work in as few as 3 days, but many people prefer to take 7-10 days off.

Where is the surgery performed?

Our physicians perform the majority of these procedures at Northwest Hospital, Northwest Tucson Surgery Center or Oro Valley Hospital. Upper or lower eyelids may also be performed in the office under local anesthesia.

What type of anesthesia is used?

Local (numbing) anesthesia is used for office procedures.  Local with sedation, or general anesthesia will be used for outpatient surgical procedures.  Your anesthesia will be monitored by a board certified anesthesiologist for your safety and comfort.

Where will the scars be?

Blepharoplasty incisions for the upper lids flow in the natural crow’s feet creases. The incisions for the lower lids are usually below the lashes and into the crow’s feet creases.

What are the risks associated with blepharoplasty?

While complications are rare following blepharoplasty procedures, the risks include infection, bleeding and scarring, as with all surgical procedures. This procedure can also cause dry irritated eyes and sensitivity to sunlight, both usually temporary. Difficulty closing eyes or pulling down of lower lids.

American Society of Plastic Surgery’s Eyelid Surgery web page.

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