Eye Lift (Blepharoplasty)

If your eyes always look tired or older than their years, or if your vision is obstructed by drooping eyelids (also known as ptosis), you may benefit from eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Wrinkles, such as crow’s feet, are also improved during an eyelift.

The success and safety of your procedure depends on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health and the outcomes you would like to achieve. The consultation is thorough and takes about 45 minutes. Be prepared for a complete eye examination and to discuss your medical history.

Henry Ford cosmetic eye surgeons are experts at eyelid rejuvenation and continually work to advance the field through research to optimize the outcomes in eyelid lift therapies.

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What causes my eyes to sag and become baggy?

Your eye tissue begins to deteriorate from sun damage, smoking, stretching from swelling or obesity, rubbing your eyes and from blinking.

How long will my eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) take?

Eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure that usually takes two to three hours. As a general guideline, upper or lower blepharoplasty alone takes about 60 minutes. Eyelift surgery can be combined with other procedures, such as chemical peels or a forehead/brow lift, which will require more time.

How is eyelift surgery performed?

Eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure and is routinely performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation to keep you comfortable. Local anesthesia is associated with less bleeding, increased safety, enhanced precisions and faster recovery.

During surgery, incisions are made in the natural folds of your eyelid skin, or in some cases, from your lower eyelid in a transconjunctival approach. The incisions are then closed with fine sutures. Your eyelift results can last for years.

How long is the recovery process for eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)?

You may experience moderate bruising and swelling, but most discoloration is gone within about 10 days. While recovery time is different between individuals, you should be able to resume normal activity within three days. Most people prefer to avoid work and public places for one to two weeks. You should avoid strenuous activities for at least one week after surgery. Your incisions heal with a fine scar softening over six months.

Does insurance cover eyelift surgery?

Your insurance will not cover eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) if the primary goal is to improve the cosmetic appearance of your eyes.

If you need eye surgery to improve the function of your eyelids and/or improve your vision, insurance may cover eyelid surgery. You may have your photograph taken to help determine your insurance coverage.  

  • What to do before you eyelid surgery

    It is important to follow these steps in order for you to have long-lasting results:

    • Stop all of the following medicines two weeks before your surgery: aspirin, anti-inflammatories (Motrin, Advil) and herbs.
    • Bring a trusted adult with you the day of surgery to take you home and help you with your initial care. 
    • Shower and shampoo the morning of surgery.
      • Wash your eyebrows and thoroughly remove all eyelid cosmetics. 
    • Remove jewelry, piercings, hairpieces, false eyelashes, glasses and contact lenses prior to arrival. 
    • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.
      • Avoid tight collars or belts and long-sleeve shirts. These may interfere with monitoring your blood pressure.
    • Do not eat or drink for seven hours before your surgery.
    • Take your regular dose of prescription medicines or eye drops on the day of your surgery.
  • What to do after eyelid surgery

    When recovering from your surgery it is important to be aware of the following:

    • If you received an anesthetic, you may be mildly groggy and dizzy.
    • There will be a slight oozing of blood from the incision lines during the first 24 hours. If there are tapes on the eyelid incisions, leave these in place until they fall off or are removed by your physician. 
    • Apply cold compresses for the first 24 – 48 hours to help reduce swelling and bruising.
      • Depending on your level of bruising, warm compresses may be suggested to improve your healing process.
    • Apply topical antibiotic ointment to the incision lines twice a day – once in the morning and again in the evening – if prescribed by your doctor.
    • Wait one week after surgery before using makeup. The incision lines will be slightly red, tender and irregular for some time after surgery.
    • Wait one week after surgery before wearing contact lenses again.
    • Avoid sun exposure for the first few weeks.
    • Avoid strenuous activity for one week after surgery.
    Call your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you develop any unusual symptoms, such as:
    • Shaking chills and/or fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Persistent bleeding
    • Excessive pain or swelling
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