Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

  • Medical Author: Adam J. Cohen, MD FACS
  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

View the Eye Diseases and Conditions Slideshow Pictures
See photos of common cosmetic procedures.

Cosmetic Surgery Slideshow

Blepharoplasty Before and After Pictures

About 14 million cosmetic procedures are performed annually in the U.S.

See before and after pictures of common cosmetic surgery procedures such as blepharoplasties, rhinoplasties, and facelifts.

Quick GuideCommon Eye Problems and Infections

Common Eye Problems and Infections

What is eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)?

An eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, is a procedure to remove skin and to add or remove fat from the eyelids. The term "eyelid lift" is a misnomer because the eyelid is not truly lifted during surgery.

Upper blepharoplasty surgery uses incisions to allow for removal of skin and fat. A thin stitch is then used to bring the skin together to allow for a creation of an eyelid crease.

Lower eyelid surgery can involve skin incisions directly below the lash line or an incision on the inside of the eyelid, called a transconjunctival approach. The transconjunctival approach allows for access to the eyelid without visible incisions, making this technique perfect for patients who need fat removed or added. This approach can be combined with laser resurfacing of the eyelid skin to reduce lines and wrinkles.

Why is eyelid surgery performed?

Upper eyelid excess skin and fat can create a heavy looking eyelid, aged appearance, puffiness, and sometimes block the upper field of vision. Upper blepharoplasty is performed to remove excess skin and fat and can improve the field of vision.

Double eyelid surgery, also called Asian eyelid surgery, is performed to create or enhance an upper eyelid crease. This type of surgery is performed on Asian people to "westernize" the appearance of the eyelid.

Lower blepharoplasty can be performed to remove excess skin and improve the contour of the eyelid by adding or removing fat. Sometimes tightening the eyelid is needed to correct sagging, while laser skin resurfacing can be used to improve wrinkles and skin texture.

Who is a good candidate for eyelid surgery?

Those individuals with realistic expectations who are in good health are suitable for eyelid surgery.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/26/2016

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