Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) FAQs

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.