Patients, friends and family often ask me what is entailed in getting an eye lift (blepharoplasty). This procedure can make a dramatic difference in a person’s appearance, so I think the assumption is that it must be pretty invasive, or entail an extended recovery. Fortunately neither are true, and today I’m going to clear up these misconceptions.
An eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) does sound scary- after all, the incision is right over your eye. But in terms of invasiveness and recovery time, eye lifts are on the very low end of the spectrum. In an upper eyelid lift, the procedure is essentially removing excess skin, and possibly some excess fat. So if you think about it, other than the location this is comparable to having a torn earlobe repaired or a mole removed. Lower eyelid lifts are a bit more involved: depending on the specific patient, a lower blepharoplasty may involve removal of skin, removal of some fat, and suspension of the lower eyelid to the outer corner of the orbit (the bones around the eye) to support a lax lower eyelid. Because of this, lower eyelid lifts are usually done with at least some sedation. Upper lifts, however, can be done in the office with local anesthesia.
What about the recovery? Eyelids area delicate area, so you can expect some bruising and swelling afterwards. Patients who have an upper lid lift are swollen for around a week, but they generally feel fine as soon as the next day. In terms of activity restrictions, expect your doctor to limit any heavy exercise for a couple of weeks to minimize the bleeding and swelling. But I have many patients return to work after only a couple of days off. If you have your lower eyelids done as well, expect a little more bruising and swelling, and you may have a dry-eye sensation as well for a few days. Other than that, the recovery is very similar.
Have you thought about having an eyelid lift? If so, what made you decide one way or another?