What is an upper-lid blepharoplasty or upper-eyelid lift? Excess skin, muscle and some fat are removed from the upper eyelids. The incision is placed in the eyelid crease so that the scar is hidden when your eyes are open and is extremely faint with your eyes closed. Upper-lid blepharoplasty can provide a crisp, rejuvenated appearance to the eyelids. In some cases, excess upper eyelid skin can cause straining as your eyelids work harder than normal to remain open. In this case, your health care insurance may agree to cover an upper-eyelid blepharoplasty to remove this redundant upper eyelid skin and optimize your field of vision.
Upper-lid blepharoplasty may include removal of skin only to treat a condition called “dermatochalasis” or excess eyelid skin. Often, a thin strip of muscle called the “orbicularis oculi” is removed to reduce upper eyelid bulk. Some individuals have bulging fat pads of the upper eyelid. If this is the case, bulging fat pockets are removed from their discrete fat compartments.
Click here to view a video on upper-eyelid blepharoplasty.
Droopy eyelid or “ptosis” repair. On occasion, one eyelid may be down compared to the other side. This condition is known as ptosis and has several possible causes. Surgical correction of this condition may be possible at the time of upper eyelid blepharoplasty using a technique called “levator advancement.”
Browlift. Often, a browlift can be performed at the same time as upper-eyelid blepharoplasty, or even instead of upper-eyelid blepharoplasty, to rejuvenate the upper eyelid. In addition to treating forehead creases, the browlift can raise the eyebrows. This can “open up” the upper eyelid to augment or replace the effect of an upper-eyelid blepharoplasty. The browlift can be done as an “endoscopic browlift” using minimally invasive techniques, through the upper-eyelid incision (“transpalpebral browlift”), or through a scalp incision (“open browlift”) to achieve the most dramatic effect.
Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is given in the office. General anesthesia can be used if the patient wishes or if upper lid blepharoplasty is combined with other procedures.
Length of procedure: 30 to 60 minutes
Estimated recovery time: You can return to work after a few days, but should avoid vigorous activities for 1 week. Visible bruising or swelling should clear up within 1 – 2 weeks
To learn how to prepare for an upper-eyelid blepharoplasty and what to expect afterwards, click here to download our patient instructions for upper-lid blepharoplasty.
Side effects: Common side effects include bruising, swelling, a well-hidden scar, and possibly some eye irritation. Click here to download a detailed consent form from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that lists the risks and benefits of blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) surgery.
Before-and-after photos: Click here to view photos of blepharoplasties (eyelid lifts) and brow lifts (forehead lifts).