Ocular Plastics

Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty includes surgery to repair droopy eyelids that may involve removing excess skin, muscle and fat.

As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. As a result, excess fat may gather above and below your eyelids, causing sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids and bags under your eyes.

Besides making you look older, severely sagging skin around your eyes can reduce your side vision (peripheral vision), especially the upper and outer parts of your field of vision. Blepharoplasty can reduce or eliminate these vision problems.

Blepharoplasty is usually done on an outpatient basis. To help decide if blepharoplasty is right for you, find out what you can realistically expect and explore the benefits and risks of blepharoplasty.

 

Why it's done

You might consider blepharoplasty if droopy or sagging eyelids keep your eyes from opening completely or pull down your lower eyelids. Removing excess tissue from your upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both can improve vision and make your eyes appear younger and more alert.

Blepharoplasty may be an option if you have:

  • Baggy or droopy upper eyelids
  • Excess skin of the upper eyelids that interferes with your peripheral vision
  • Droopy lower eyelids, which may cause white to show below the colored part of the eye (iris)

Insurance coverage may depend on whether the surgery repairs a condition that impairs vision. If you have the surgery only to improve your appearance, the cost probably won't be covered by insurance.

Possible risks of eyelid surgery include:

  • Infection and bleeding
  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Difficulty closing your eyes or other eyelid problems
  • Noticeable scarring
  • Injury to eye muscles
  • Skin discoloration
  • The need for a follow-up surgery
  • Temporarily blurred vision or, rarely, loss of eyesight
  • Risks associated with surgery in general, including reaction to anesthesia, blood clots, and cardiac and pulmonary complications

Talk to your doctor about how surgical risks apply to you. Understanding what's involved in blepharoplasty and weighing the benefits and risks can help you decide if this procedure is a good option.