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What is Blepharoplasty?

A blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to remove excess tissue from the upper or lower eyelids. For those patients with 'eye-bags' or drooping upper eyelid skin it creates a more youthful, attractive appearance.

Why have it?

With increasing age the skin gradually loses elasticity. This is particularly noticeable in the delicate skin around the eye, producing wrinkling under the eyes. In addition, small fat pads that lie beneath this skin can begin to protrude forward through the weakened muscles, creating 'eye-bags', giving the eyes have a tired appearance. Correction of this produces a brighter, younger look.

In the upper eyelid, excess skin produces a hooded effect, which can in extreme cases may obscure the vision.

Reasons not to have it

A blepharoplasty will not correct the wrinkles (crows feet) to the side of the eyes or dark circles under the eyes and will not lift sagging eyebrows.

If you suffer from thyroid problems, have dry eyes or are a heavy smoker, surgery may not be appropriate. If you suffer from an eye related problem such as glaucoma you should seek advise from an ophthalmologist first.

Aspirin increases the risk of bleeding by preventing blood from clotting. If you are taking aspirin, you will be asked to stop this for at least ten days before the procedure.

Further information


Mr Roblin will want to know whether it is the upper or lower eyelids, or both, that are concerning you. He will also examine you to ensure that a drooping eyebrow is not contributing to the drooping of the upper eyelids, in which case he may recommend that a brow lift be performed either instead of, or in addition to, surgery to the upper eyelid.

You will be asked about your general health, particularly information regarding heart disease, diabetes, and deep vein thrombosis (clots in the leg). Mr Roblin will want information about your medical history and any previous surgical procedures.


Incisions are made in the natural skin creases and skin folds in the eyelids, to ensure minimal scarring. The skin and muscle is elevated and the excess is removed. If the pockets of fat behind the muscle are bulging forward, these are removed, and may be re-distributed to give the eyes a more youthful appearance. The wounds are closed with fine sutures.


The operation may be performed under general anaesthetic, local anaesthetic with sedation, or local anaesthetic. It takes 30-90 mins.

Length of stay

Some patients may go home the same day or stay 1 night following the operation.

Risks/Possible complications

Early (1-2 days):

  • Bruising and swelling
  • Blurred vision (2-3 days)
  • Bleeding

Later (after one week):

  • Scars - unsightly
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Dry eye problems - some patients may have problems closing their eyelids
  • Watery eyes
  • Infection
  • Asymmetry
  • Ectropion - drooping of the lower eyelid
  • Blurred vision
General anaesthetic
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Chest infection


Immediately after the operation
  • Bruising and swelling around the eyes (2-3 weeks to resolve)
  • Pain is usually moderate and controlled with standard painkillers
After return home
  • Reading 2-3 days
  • Socialising with friends 1 week
  • Return to work at 2-3 weeks
  • Driving at 1-2 weeks
  • Swelling and bruising 2-4 weeks
  • Return to gym and strenuous activity 4 weeks

Permanence of results

5-10 years - sometimes permanent