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Upper Eyelid Reduction (Upper Lid Blepharoplasty)

What is an upper eyelid reduction?

This is an operation to remove excess skin and sometimes fat from the upper eyelids.

Why do people seek upper eyelid reductions?

As part of the aging process, skin becomes less elastic in quality and combined with an associated loss of muscle tone and fat protrusion, this can give rise to a tired looking appearance of the eyes. Sometimes the skin forms folds which overhang the upper eyelid. This is known as hooding. People seek eyelid reduction to try to achieve a fresher looking, less tired appearance.

Upper Eyelid Reduction - Before and After

Upper eyelid reduction before surgery showing heavy upper eyelids

Upper eyelid reduction - 1 year following surgery

Upper eyelid reduction before surgery

Upper eyelid reduction showing typical appearance 1 year following surgery

Upper eyelid reduction before surgery

Upper eyelid reduction 10 months following surgery

What does an upper eyelid reduction procedure involve?

This procedure can be carried out under a local or general anaesthetic.

After a careful preoperative eye assessment, the area of excess skin is carefully marked with a surgical marking pen. The incision is placed in the eyelid crease and extends out to the natural skin creases or "laughter lines" at the side of the eye. After local anaesthetic has been gently administered the excess skin, sometimes with a strip of lax muscle is removed.

Fat is not always removed from the upper lid as it can lead to a hollow appearance of the eye socket.

Stitches are used to close the wound after careful sealing of any small blood vessels.

A light dressing of steristrips is also applied to support the wound.

What happens after upper eyelid surgery in the recovery period?

In the initial period after surgery it is advisable to stay sitting up with cool packs on the eyes. Sometimes the steristrip dressings may need changing. Some lubricating eye ointment is also provided. Patients also find sunglasses helpful. Stitches are removed after about 5 days.

Are there risks associated with eyelid surgery?

There is some swelling and bruising after surgery and this may persist for a couple of weeks. The eyes can feel watery as the tear ducts may not drain tears as well as normal due to swelling, this usually settles down with the swelling.

There are scars after an upper eyelid reduction (blepharoplasty) operation, which are initially red. This redness tends to fade over a few months and they tend to be well disguised within the natural crease lines of the eyelid. Small cysts can sometimes develop on the suture line which can be easily dealt with.

Very occasionally there can be bleeding after surgery. This may require a further operation to remove a small blood clot.

An exceptionally rare complication of blindness has been reported in the literature following this procedure. This is mentioned for completeness but has not been witnessed personally.

It is very important for you to discuss your expectations with your surgeon and to be realistic about them as this is the key to maximising the likelihood of your satisfaction with the result.

Get in Touch

Contact Miss Mary O’Brien for more information on Cosmetic or Hand Surgery.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
The Royal College of Surgeons of England Bapras The British Society for Surgery of the Hand

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