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Eyelid Surgery
An image showing the results of blepharoplasty surgery.

What it is:

Blepharoplasty removes extra eyelid skin that is limiting a patient's vision.

What You Can Expect:

This is an outpatient surgery that takes 1-3 hours. You can go home the same day. Swelling or bruises will disappear in couple of weeks.

Who Is a Good Candidate:

If drooping eyelid skin is blocking your vision, this procedure can help.

In-Depth Information:

What It’s For How It Works Risks All

What It’s For

Common eyelid problems that may require surgery include excess eyelid skin, droopy eyelids, or eyelids that turn inward or outward. These problems can cause eye discomfort, limit vision, and affect appearance.

How It Works

Your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) can perform the surgery on an outpatient basis, so you can go home the same day.

When you arrive, you will get eyedrops and perhaps a mild sedative to help make you comfortable. An injection to numb your eye follows. The skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and sterile coverings will be placed around your head. You may see light and movement, but you will not be able to see the surgery while it is happening.

The surgeon will make external incisions along the natural skin lines of the eyelids or from the inside surface of the lower eyelid. Working through these incisions, your doctor will separate the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, remove excess fat and perhaps sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.

This surgery usually takes one to three hours to complete. You will probably have some swelling and bruising after surgery. This will go away in one to three weeks.


Serious complications from eyelid surgery are rare.

Nevertheless, all surgery carries a risk of complications, including infection or a reaction to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risks by closely following your doctor's instructions both before and after surgery.

The minor complications that occasionally follow eyelid surgery include double or blurred vision for a few days; temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids; and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. Tiny whiteheads may appear after your stitches are taken out; your surgeon can remove them easily with a very fine needle.

Following surgery, some patients may have difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep; in rare cases this condition may be permanent. Another very rare complication is ectropion, drooping lower lids. In this case, further surgery may be required.

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National Consumers League

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The American Academy of Ophthalmology