Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Procedure: Correct drooping upper eyelids and puffy bags below the eyes by removing excess fat, skin, and muscle. (Upper-eyelid surgery may be covered by insurance if used to correct visual field defects.)
Length: 1 to 3 hours
Anesthesia: Usually locally with sedation or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side Effects: Temporary discomfort, tightness of lids, swelling, bruising. Temporary dryness, burning, itching of eyes. Excessive tearing, sensitivity to light for first few weeks.
Risks: Temporary blurred or double vision. Infection, bleeding. Swelling at the corners of the eyelids. Dry eyes. Formation of whiteheads. Slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. Difficulty in closing eyes completely (rarely permanent). Pulling down of the lower lids (may require further surgery). Blindness (extremely rare).
Recovery: Reading: 2 to 3 days. Back to work: 7 to 10 days. Contact lenses: 2 weeks or more. Strenuous activities or alcohol: about 3 weeks. Bruising and swelling gone: several weeks.
Duration of Results: Several years. Sometimes permanent.