Eyelid plastic surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, can improve the appearance of the eyes and face, giving patients a refreshed look. It can also improve vision for people who have droopy eyelids. 

Common reasons that patients decide to have eyelid plastic surgery include:

  • Heavy or droopy eyelids that obstruct vision
  • Fatty tissue that results in puffy eyelids or bags beneath the eyes
  • Excess or loose eyelid skin

Eyelid plastic surgery can be done on the upper lids, lower lids or both. It can also be combined with other procedures, such as a brow lift, to correct vision disturbances or to provide a more complete rejuvenation of the eyes. Some health insurance plans will cover eyelid surgery. 

Wake Forest Baptist's surgeons expertly guide patients through their options.

Blepharoplasty: What to Expect 

What patients can expect varies depending on whether the surgery is on the upper or lower eyelid. 

  • Upper eyelid: During upper eyelid plastic surgery, an incision is made in the fold of the upper eyelid. Then, the excess skin, fat and muscle are either removed or repositioned. Scars are usually not visible, because they’re located in the creases of the eyelid.
  • Lower eyelid: Lower eyelid plastic surgery is done to remove wrinkles, fat pockets and excess skin, so the eyes don’t appear puffy or droopy. A small incision is made inside the eyelid or on the lower eyelid skin near the lash line. Fatty tissue, extra skin or a combination are then removed. Stitches aren’t necessary if the incision is made inside the lid.

In both cases, eyelid surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure, under local anesthesia or sedation. Most patients have minimal pain following eyelid surgery. However, bruising and swelling are common, and light activities are recommended for a few weeks.