Eyelid lift

Eyelid lift surgery is performed to improve the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids. The aim is to correct heavy, wrinkled or sagging eyelids for a fresher, more youthful appearance.

Why do people have an eyelid lift?

Mrs Harper-Machin performs eyelid lift surgery, (blepharoplasty) on adults of all ages, male and female.  Some people have this surgery to correct problems that result from aging, while others have inherited traits which cause them to seek help as early as their twenties.  Eyelid lift can be performed alone or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a brow lift or face lift.

How should I prepare for my surgery?

Mrs Harper-Machin will conduct a thorough consultation and examination with you to determine your goals for your eyelid surgery.

She will take pre-operative clinical photographs and once counselled with regards to the benefits and risks of surgery, she will ask you to sign your consent form.  Your consent will be checked and confirmed with you on the day of your operation.

Please do not wear eye makeup on the day of your surgery.  Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can cause increased bleeding, so please avoid taking these for at least 1 week prior to surgery.  If you are a smoker you must stop smoking before any surgery will be performed, this includes abstaining from e-cigarettes.  This must be for at least six weeks prior to surgery.

If you are having a local anaesthetic (awake) for upper eyelid lift then you can eat and drink as normal on the day.  If you are having a general anaesthetic (asleep) for lower eyelid surgery or combined procedures you should have nothing to eat for six hours prior to the surgery, but you can drink clear water only up to two hours prior to surgery.  The anaesthetic doctor should remind you of this prior to your surgery date.

How is eyelid surgery performed?

Upper eyelids

For upper eyelid surgery, the surgical incision is hidden within the normal crease of the upper eyelid.  Excess skin, muscle and fat are removed to provide a refreshed upper eyelid area.  Placing the incision in the contour of the upper eyelid means it will be well camouflaged when healed.

Lower eyelids

For lower eyelids an incision is hidden just below the lower lash line. Again excess skin, muscle and fat are removed or fat re-distributed to reduce puffiness or bulges. Other adjustment may be performed in line with the pre-operative consultation to correct other special issues such as lower lid muscle laxity. Once healed the incision is well hidden in the lash line.

What will the day of surgery be like?

You should arrange for someone to drive you to your surgery and to pick you up after the procedure.

You will be booked in and your consent checked and confirmed by Mrs Harper-Machin, who will see you prior to the surgery.  Typically and upper eyelid lift takes approximately one hour, whilst a lower eyelid lift takes slightly longer, depending on the corrections required.

Following the operation you will be taken to the recovery area to be carefully monitored.  Your vision may be blurry due to the protective ointment used over the eye during the surgery.  Discomfort is usually minimal and you will be advised what painkillers should be used before you go home.

How will I look and feel initially?

Recovery from eyelid lift surgery varies greatly between individuals.

The first evening after surgery you should rest and keep your head elevated whilst lying down on at least two pillows to help prevent excessive swelling.  Initially the eyelid area will feel “tight” and patients experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising over the next 48 hours.  Some patients find that mild swelling persists for several weeks, while others may see swelling resolve in as little as one week.  Bruising usually disappears within ten days.  The stitches used are dissolvable, but the ends will require trimming at your first post operative check in one week.

There will usually be less swelling and bruising if you refrain from strenuous physical activity, bending your head down, stressful situations and alcohol.

When can I re-start my normal activities?

All being well, normal activities, for example swimming, going to the gym, can usually be resumed after three weeks.  You should normally wait ten days before wearing contact lenses.  You can apply make up once the incision has healed, usually one week to ten days.

Results of my eyelid surgery?

Blepharoplasty has the effect of making you look more rested, refreshed and alert.  As the healing process is gradual you should expect to wait for several weeks to get an accurate picture of the overall results.  Scars from the incisions will fade over approximately six months to become barely visible.

How long will my results last?

The results of eyelid lift surgery are long lasting, but they may be affected by lifestyle and hereditary factors.  Fat that is removed to correct puffiness does not generally come back, however the skin continues to age and skin laxity of the eyelid area may, at some point, return.  Sometimes a loss of muscular tone in the forehead causes additional sagging of the eyebrows, which mimics the recurrence of drooping upper eyelids.  If this occurs a brow lift or secondary eyelid surgery may be appropriate.