Eyelid Surgery

Your eyes are the introduction to your face. This is the first thing people notice when they see you, they draw attention and convey expression. Hereditary factors and signs of aging change the appearance of our eyes over the years. Eye lid surgery is probably the most common procedure sought by both men and women.

If you are affected by excess, hanging skin of the upper eyelid that makes you look tired, sad or angry and may be interfering with you vision or puffiness, wrinkles, and excess skin of the lower eyelid then eyelid surgery may be right for you. These conditions can be corrected by brief surgical procedures with rapid recovery and very little down time.

What eyelid surgery does Cosmetic surgery of the upper or lower eyelids is called blepharoplasty. It is a surgical procedure of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both which corrects the unwanted conditions. Eyelid surgery can correct:

Loose, hanging skin of the upper eyelid which detracts from your appearance, interferes with make up for women, may become an irritant by resting on or brushing against your eye lashes and may obstruct your vision by hanging into your visual field.

  • Fatty bulges of the upper eyelid
  • Lower eyelid excess skin and wrinkling
  • Lower eyelid fatty bulges
Although aging is an important factor contributing to these conditions it is not the only factor. Heredity plays an important part in the changes in appearance of our eyelids. It is not uncommon for people in their 20s and 30s to seek correction for hanging eyelid skin. Unfortunately, as we get older, our skin loses its elasticity allowing it to droop. Loss of elasticity and tone in the membrane that contains the fat pads around our eyes is what allows the bulging of fat pads of the upper and lower eyelids.

If you are considering eyelid surgery

Your first step is to seek consultation. I am a board certified plastic surgeon. If you would like to see me for a complimentary consultation please call my office for an appointment. (805 777-0116) Finding a board certified plastic surgeon is not a guarantee for the perfect result, but it gives you the best chance to get the result you are looking for and you know you are in the hands of a well trained, competent surgeon. Make a list with all of your questions (you will forget if you don’t write them down). Your surgeon should make you feel secure and comfortable. It helps if you also feel good about the office and staff. Remember, you will be making multiple visits after your surgery. If it is a long drive or you dread walking though his door these might be factors directing you elsewhere.

At your initial consultation you will discuss what bothers you and what your goals are for correction. I will explain to you if your expectations are realistic and if so how I will accomplish them. We will discuss potential outcome and risk.

You should get all of your questions answered. I may suggest that you return for a more comprehensive appointment to answer all of your questions. Do not proceed with any surgery until you feel comfortable and have all of your questions answered.

What kind of doctor does eyelid surgery?

There are several surgical specialties that are trained in cosmetic eyelid surgery. These are:

Plastic and reconstructive surgeons
Ophthalmic plastic surgeons
Facial plastic surgeons

I am a board certified plastic surgeon. These cosmetic eyelid procedures were originated by plastic surgery and over the years other specialties have adopted them.


The type of anesthesia you will need for your surgery depends on how involved the surgery will be. For the simplest types of eyelid surgery it may be possible to use only a local anesthesia. For the more involved surgeries it may be necessary to use intravenous sedation (twilight) or general anesthesia in which you are completely asleep. I will discuss anesthesia with you.

vThe Surgery

This is an outpatient surgery. That means that when the surgery is done and we feel you are ready you will have a friend or relative drive you home. If you have had local anesthesia you will be wide awake. If you have had sedation or general anesthesia you might feel slightly groggy when you get home, but should feel fine after and hour or two.

On the day of your surgery you will come to the office at the scheduled time. My surgical suite is in my office. It is a fully accredited outpatient surgical facility. My staff will greet you and assist you in getting ready. You and I will meet in the surgery room before anything is started. At this time I will measure and make surgical markings on your eyelids to assist me during surgery. Since everything changes and looks different while you are lying down, I will make my markings with you in the sitting position. This is a good time for you to ask any last minute questions you might have. When this is completed our anesthetist will administer your anesthetic and I will perform your surgery.

The surgery of the upper eyelid involves removal of excess skin from the lid. This will leave a scar on the eyelid in the natural crease. When the lid is in the open position the crease rotates backward and becomes invisible. Therefore when your eyes are open your scar is hidden. The upper eyelid scar normally heals very well and becomes nearly invisible.

The surgery of the lower eyelid usually involves removal of skin from the lid. This will leave a scar just beneath the eye lashes of the lower lid. If your surgery involves only removal of bulging fat pads and does not require removal of skin this can be performed through the inside of the lower eyelid and therefore leaves no visible scar. This is called a transconjunctival blepharoplasty.

After surgery there will be stitches in the upper eyelid if you have upper lid surgery and in the lower eyelid if you have lower lid surgery. There are no stitches for transconjunctival blepharoplasty.

After Your Surgery

You will return to my office the day after your surgery so that I can examine you and make sure you are healing normally. I will ask you to return several days after that to have your stitches removed. This is a painless procedure and takes only a few minutes. You will probably have some bruising which will last approximately one week Sometimes this can be covered with make up. It is okay to get your stitches wet, so you may begin showering the day after your surgery. Ice compresses are helpful for the first twenty-four hours after surgery to diminish bruising and swelling.


Sometimes the extra skin of the upper eyelid is not really extra skin, but occurs because the eyebrow has dropped. If this is the case when you pull the brow up to its normal position the extra skin on the eyelid disappears. If this is your problem then you may need a forehead lift rather than a blepharoplasty. In some cases both are needed. To learn about this procedure return to the main menu and click on forehead lift under procedures.