Lower Eyelid surgery, or Blepharoplasty,
is a procedure to remove
fat, usually along with excess skin and muscle from lower eyelids to correct
puffy "bags" below your eyes.
Frequently Asked Questions.
How is the surgery performed?
The surgeon makes incisions following
the natural lines of your eyelids, just below the lashes in the lower lids.
The incisions may extend into the crow's feet or laugh lines at the outer
corners of your eyes. Working through these incisions, the surgeon separates
the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, removes excess fat, and
often trims sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with
very fine sutures.
If you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids but don't need to
have any skin removed, your surgeon may perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty.
In this procedure the incision is made inside your lower eyelid, leaving
no visible scar. It is usually performed on younger patients with thicker,
more elastic skin.
Will the surgery result in permanent scarring?
Scars are a result
of any surgical procedure. The incisions made to accomplish the goals of
the procedure are barely visible after several months as they are placed
within the normal creases and folds of the lower eyelids. In patients who
only need removal of fat from the lower eyelids, the incision can be made
on the inside of the eyelid, and will therefore result in an invisible scar.
How long does the procedure take?
Usual length of operating time
is one to three hours. There is little discomfort during or after the procedure.
Will I need Anesthesia?
The operation is usually done under local
anesthesia, with sedation, as an outpatient. Some surgeons prefer to use
general anesthesia; in that case, you'll sleep through the operation.
Am I a good candidate for Blepharoplasty?
The best candidates for
eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically
stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if
baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have surgery at a younger
A few medical conditions make blepharoplasty more risky. They include thyroid
problems such as hypothyroidism and Graves' disease, dry eye or lack of
sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular
disease, and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also reason for
caution; check with your ophthalmologist before you have surgery.
Before your procedure.
Shower and shampoo the morning of surgery. Wash your eyebrows and thoroughly
remove all eyelid cosmetics. Do not reapply cosmetics to your eyelids or
face. Skin should be healthy and free of any irritation around the planned
surgery site. If you have been using glue or tape regularly to form a fold,
it is important to discontinue this for a few days prior to the operation.
These agents can cause irritation to the skin that will interfere with the
surgery. If skin irritation or sunburn is excessive, the operation may need
to be rescheduled to a later date. After recovery, you will need a responsible
adult to take you home.
After your procedure.
Rest as much as possible when you return home. It is normal to feel drowsy
or sluggish the entire day. You may feel dizzy or uncomfortable upon standing
up or walking, so be sure that support from a person or object is nearby.
Keep your head and chest elevated on at least two to three pillows at all
Sleep on your back rather than your side. (Sleeping on your side will cause
you to become more swollen on that side.)
Take the pain medication as needed and as directed. Avoid alcohol beverages.
*DO NOT take pain medication on an empty stomach.
Keep cool eye pads on for 48 hours - except when eating or getting up to
use the bathroom. Dip eye pads in ice water as much as possible, as this
will help reduce the swelling and bruising.
It is OK to shower. Pat your face dry. Do not rub your eyes.
Do not strain your eyes for 48 hours (No watching TV, reading, etc).
If you use soft contact lenses, DO NOT wear them for at least two weeks
after surgery. If you use hard contact lenses, DO NOT wear them for at least
three weeks after surgery. Then slowly build up your wearing time. If any
eye irritation occurs, stop wearing your contacts and contact your doctor.
Be careful in air conditioning or wind for the first two to three days after
surgery. Your eyes will be sensitive and may dry out easier. You may use
Artificial Tears as needed.
If you are a smoker, DO NOT smoke for one to two weeks after surgery.