What is eyelid surgery?

The medical term for an eye-lid lift is blepharoplasty. This procedure can remove puffiness or bags under the eyes. It can also correct droopy eye lids.

In blepharoplasty, the physician surgically removes excess fat, muscle, and skin from both the upper and lower eye lids to redefine the shape of the eye.

Possible complications associated with blepharoplasty:

  • Temporary vision problems - Double or blurred vision may occur after undergoing blepharoplasty. This typically lasts for just a few days following the surgery.
  • Eye closure problems - Some patients may have difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep; in rare cases this condition may be permanent.
  • Swelling or asymmetry changes - Temporary swelling and a slight imbalance of one eye in relation to the other may occur during the healing or scarring process.
  • Acne - After the stitches are removed tiny whiteheads may appear. The surgeon can remove the whiteheads with a very fine needle.
  • Ectropion - This extremely rare complication is the pulling down of the lower lids. Further surgery may be required in order to correct this symptom.

Who are candidates for eyelid surgery?

Candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are:

  • Physically healthy
  • Psychologically stable
  • Realistic in their expectations
  • Age 35 or older

Some medical conditions make blepharoplasty more risky, including:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Dry eyes
  • Lack of sufficient tears
  • High blood pressure
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Detached retina
  • Glaucoma

About the procedure:

  • Location options include:
    • Surgeon's office-based surgical facility
    • Outpatient surgery center
    • Hospital outpatient
    • Hospital inpatient
  • Anesthetic options include:
    • General anesthesia
    • Local anesthesia, combined with a sedative (allows the patient to remain awake but relaxed) for adults
  • Probable length of procedure: several hours or longer
  • Short-term side effects of surgery: eye lids may feel tight and sore following surgery

Contact Us

For more information about UM Division of Plastic Surgery or to make an appointment, please call 1-800-492-5538 or 410-328-2360 (patients) or 1-800-373-4111 (physicians).