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Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery, medically known as blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure aimed at enhancing the appearance of the eyelids. This treatment can be performed on the upper lids, lower lids, or both. It is designed to address various concerns, including removing excess skin that obscures the natural fold of the upper eyelids, eliminating bags under the eyes, and correcting droopiness of the lower eyelids. Here, we delve into the nuances of eyelid surgery, including its applicability, the procedure process, and other pertinent details.

Who is a Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery is suitable for individuals who exhibit signs of ageing around the eyes or those who have genetically predisposed eyelid conditions. Candidates typically include:

  • Adults with stable eye health: Ideal candidates should have no major eye conditions that could complicate surgery or recovery.
  • Non-smokers: Smoking can impair healing, so non-smokers or those who can quit smoking for a period are preferred.
  • Individuals with realistic expectations: It’s crucial for patients to understand what blepharoplasty can and cannot achieve.
  • People experiencing any of the following: Excess skin obscuring the natural fold of the upper eyelids, puffy eyelids making one look perpetually tired, under-eye bags, and droopy lower eyelids revealing the white below the iris.

The Treatment Process


The first step in the eyelid surgery process is a thorough consultation with a plastic surgeon. During this meeting, the surgeon evaluates the patient’s eyelids, discusses their goals, and explains the possible outcomes and risks associated with the procedure. This is also when the surgeon decides whether the patient is a good candidate for surgery.

Pre-operative Assessment

Prior to surgery, the patient may undergo a series of pre-operative assessments, which can include blood tests and eye examinations. These assessments help ensure the patient is healthy enough for surgery and identify any potential risks.

The Surgery

Eyelid surgery can be performed under local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure and the patient’s comfort level. The specifics of the surgery vary depending on whether the patient is having their upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both addressed.

  • Upper Eyelid Surgery: In upper eyelid surgery, the surgeon makes incisions along the fold of the eyelid, removes excess skin, muscle, and possibly fat, and then closes the incision.
  • Lower Eyelid Surgery: For lower eyelid surgery, the incision is typically made just below the lashes in the eye’s natural crease or inside the lower eyelid. The surgeon then removes or redistributes excess fat, muscle, and sagging skin.


Post-surgery, patients usually experience swelling and bruising around the eyes, which subsides within a week or two. Ice packs and certain medications can help manage swelling and discomfort. Most individuals can return to work and other normal activities within 10-14 days. However, full recovery and the final results of the surgery may take several weeks to become apparent.

Risks and Considerations

As with any surgical procedure, eyelid surgery comes with potential risks, such as infection, bleeding, scarring, and problems with eye function. There’s also the risk of dissatisfaction with the aesthetic outcome. Choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon and having a clear understanding of the surgery’s goals and limitations can help mitigate these risks.


Eyelid surgery offers a solution for those looking to rejuvenate their appearance or correct functional issues with their eyelids. By understanding the candidacy criteria, procedure details, and recovery expectations, individuals can make an informed decision about pursuing this treatment. As always, consultation with a certified plastic surgeon is the first step towards achieving the desired outcome.


The average recovery time for eyelid surgery varies between individuals but generally, most patients can return to their normal activities within 10-14 days post-surgery. Swelling and bruising around the eyes will significantly decrease within the first two weeks. However, it may take several weeks to months for the final results to fully develop and for all swelling to subside.

Patients typically experience little to no pain during the procedure due to the use of local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia. Post-surgery, any discomfort can usually be managed effectively with prescribed pain medication. Most patients report minor discomfort rather than pain, which includes sensations of tightness and swelling around the treated area.

The results of eyelid surgery are considered long-lasting. For many individuals, the outcomes can be permanent, particularly for the removal of excess skin. However, it’s important to note that eyelid surgery does not halt the ageing process, and some may experience natural changes over time. Lifestyle factors, genetics, and overall skin care can influence the longevity of the results.

Yes, for some individuals, eyelid surgery can improve vision. This is particularly true for those whose upper eyelids sag severely and obscure peripheral vision. By removing the excess skin and lifting the eyelids, the surgery can widen the field of vision, leading to significant improvements in sight for affected individuals.

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