Blepharoplasty: All You Need to Know about upper & lower blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty – The eyes have it! Bags under the eyes, wrinkled drooping layers of skin on the eyelids, and sagging eyebrows give the entire face a tired or sad or angry expression. Eyelid surgery, also referred to as “Blepharoplasty”, can brighten the face and restore a more youthful appearance by removing loose, sagging skin or puffy, bulging bags of fat from the upper and/or lower lids. Eyelid surgery or Blepharoplasty is often performed along with a facelift or with other enhancing facial procedures.

Your surgeon may operate on the upper and/or the lower eyelids. In some cases, sagging eyebrows and deep lines in the forehead, may require correction with a brow lift. Incisions are well hidden in the natural fold of the eyes. In some cases, excess fat can be removed through an incision placed inside the lower eyelid. Sutures close the incisions, leaving hairline scars that soon fade. Often a Blepharoplasty procedure requires no postoperative bandaging. A few small surgical pieces of tape will cover the incisions and are removed the following day. Because eyelid skin is thin, you should expect some swelling and black-and-blue discoloration. You will be able to resume wearing makeup and contact lenses shortly after your surgery.

Within a few weeks, the thin surgical scars will become less visible and gradually blend into your eyes’ natural lines. The result can be vibrant, open and refreshed eyes.


Ageing is irreversible, causing loss of elasticity and stretching of skin. When eyelids are heavy and baggy you can look tired; if hooded with loose skin, you’ll appear older; if elongated and almond shaped with a smooth contour, you can look fresh and youthful.

Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, can be done to correct drooping eyelids, enhance the eyesocket, or lift outer corners to improve a ‘sad’ appearance. Eyelid surgery is credited with rejuvenating the surrounding area of your eyes and making you look more rested and alert. Whilst eyelid surgery is often carried out to improve appearance, it can also imrpove day to day functionality by improving peripheral vision, helping with activities such as reading and driving.

During surgery: An incision within the natural crease of the upper eyelid allows fat to be repositioned or trimmed, muscles and tissue tightened, and excess skin removed. Conditions of the lower eyelid may be corrected with an incision just below the lower lash line to remove excess skin. Incisions are made so that scars are well concealed within the natural skin crease lines.

After your eyelid surgery is carried out, the incision may be stitched up with dissolvable sutures, or you may need to have them removed about a week after the procedure.

Upper Eyelid Surgery

Blepharoplasty is performed on both the upper and lower eye lids. This section discusses the procedure on the upper eye lids only.

The surgery takes around 1.5 to 3 hours and is performed under a general anaesthetic. It usually involves an overnight stay in hospital though if surgery is being performed on the upper eyelids only, you can return home on the same day.

The incision is made in the natural crease line that occurs 1 cm above the eyelashes. The incisions might extend into the crow’s feet or laughter lines at the outer corners of your eyes. Working through the incisions your surgeon will separate the skin from the subcutaneous layers and remove excess fat and trim sagging muscle and skin. The incisions will then be closed with very fine sutures.

Lower Eyelid Surgery

Blepharoplasty is performed on both the upper and lower eyelids. This section discusses the procedure on the lower eye lids only.

The surgery takes around 1.5 to 3 hours and is performed under a general anaesthetic. It usually involves an overnight stay in hospital though if surgery is being performed on the upper eyelids only, you can return home on the same day.

The incision starts underneath the eyelashes and extends out 1 cm or so outwards into the crow’s feet area, the skin is then lifted upwards and outwards, gently tensioning the area and overlapping skin removed. Again the incisions will then be closed with very fine sutures.

Recovery from Blepharoplasty

In the post-operative stage, you will experience some bruising and swelling. This is entirely normal and is likely to last for up to two weeks though it usually subsides in the first 10 days. Your surgeon will have lubricated your eyes with ointment after the surgery and he/she may also a bandage.

You may find that your eyelids are dry at first but eye drops can help with this. Sutures will be removed after 5 days. There will be some scarring which will heal quickly though this depends on the individual.

Recovery time varies from one patient to another though in all cases you will be advised to rest and takes things easy in the first week after the surgery. You should be able to return to work after a week to 10 days. Any physical activities should be kept to a minimum and in the case of contact sports, avoided for about 3 weeks.

Most patients don’t have any problems during the recovery period but in the rare case that you do, contact your surgeon immediately if you develop any of the following complications:

  • Infection
  • Blood clot behind the eyeball (Haematoma)
  • Loss of Eyelashes
  • Ptosis (drooping eyelids)
  • Eyelid Skin Loss
  • Severe Pain

Above all, ensure that you get plenty of rest and allow your eyes to completely heal.

Am I a Good Candidate for blepharoplasty Surgery?

If you have realistic expectations regarding this procedure, are healthy and stable, then you could be suitable for Blepharoplasty.

Blepharoplasty is designed to remove the excess fat, skin and wasted muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. In cases where vision is affected, for example, sagging upper lids, or excessive wrinkling on the lower lids then blepharoplasty can rectify these problems.

There are several factors to be taken into account when assessing your suitability, which will be carefully discussed in your initial consultation with your surgeon.

These include good overall health, ensuring that any pre-existing medical conditions will have been mentioned to your surgeon well in advance. All surgery carries with it a very small risk and so your surgeon needs to be fully informed regarding your physical health so that any potential problems can be dealt with beforehand. Also, if you are fit and well, your recovery will be so much quicker than if you are out of shape.

There are certain medical conditions which can increase the risk of complications from blepharoplasty. These are:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • ‘Dry Eye’ or problems with your tear ducts
  • Graves Disease (a thyroid disorder)
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Detached Retina

What is the best age to get blepharoplasty?

The age limit for this procedure is usually 35 years upwards though it is not unusual for younger people to undergo this type of surgery, particularly if they have large bags under the eyes or extreme drooping of the eyelids.

Your reasons for wanting blepharoplasty will be discussed with your surgeon with the aim of ensuring that your expectations can be realistically met. He/she will outline the benefits, risks and outcome of this surgery, ensuring that you fully understand what this procedure entails. And in order to determine the best possible outcome for you, your surgeon will give you advice on how to prepare for this procedure, for example, avoiding certain medications.

What is the average cost of blepharoplasty in Dubai?

Blepharoplasty costs can vary widely but the national average is between 8,000 and 12,000 AED. When choosing a cosmetic surgeon for blepharoplasty surgery, remember that the experience of the surgeon with blepharoplasty operations and your comfort with him or her and the rest of the staff are all equally as important as the final cost of the surgery. It is impossible to place a set price on peace of mind, trust, and meeting your expectations.

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