Published: Dec. 13, 2007
Updated: Jan. 30, 2012
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to remove excessive eyelid skin. It aims to improve the appearance of the eyelid and functional visual field.
This is usually an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. At the time of eyelid surgery, excess skin and bulging fat pockets are removed.
Blepharoplasty provides both cosmetic and functional improvement with minimal risk of serious problems. Most patients can expect to look younger and often have an improved visual field.
The eyes are usually the first thing people notice about your face. Over time, the upper or lower eyelids may become “baggy” or "droopy" because eyelid skin stretches, muscles weaken, and fat pockets bulge forward from behind the eyes. The eyebrows may also droop as part of the same aging process.
These may result in a tired or older appearance. When severe, these processes may also obstruct the upper visual field and interfere with wearing of glasses.
Procedures to help address excessive eyelid skin (dermatochalasis) or drooping of eyelids (ptosis) include eyelid lift (blepharoplasty), double eyelid surgery (Asian blepharoplasty), and eyebrow lift.
In the upper eyelid, typically the incision begins within the natural crease of the eye’s inside corner and extends slightly beyond the outside corner into the crow’s feet or laugh lines.
Through this incision, excess skin and fatty tissue are removed. The incision line follows the natural contour of the upper eyelid, and is camouflaged when healed. This can be done using laser technology.
The procedure is also called blepharoplasty (eyelid lift surgery).
Puffiness and sagging of the lower eyelids can be particularly noticeable and associated with an aging face.
Lower eyelid blepharoplasty can be done to remove excess skin and/or bulging fat pads.
When skin is removed, incisions are placed within natural folds so that they are virtually unnoticeable after healing.
When only fat is excised, the incision can be placed behind the eyelid as a "transconjunctival blepharoplasty" with no skin incisions at all.
In double eyelid surgery, also know as Asian blepharoplasty, the surgeon creates a crease in the upper eyelid in patients that did not have a crease before. The surgery can help make eyes look wider and rounder.
Learn more about oculofacial surgery:
Visit one of Duke Eye Center's locations in Durham, Raleigh, or Cary, North Carolina, to learn more about blepharoplasty services, recovery, risks, and more.