January 2023

Eyelid Surgery Process and Recovery

Sagging or wrinkles around the eyes can bother many people when it occurs. Luckily there is a surgical procedure that deals directly with this issue. It is a pretty common form of plastic surgery that involves manipulating the upper and or lower eyelids.


What is the blepharoplasty procedure?


Blepharoplasty is the surgical manipulation of the upper or lower eyelids. The intention of this procedure is typically to lessen wrinkles in this area. The excess of skin on the lower or upper eyelids is called dermatochalasis. Most patients decide to get plastic surgery on their eyelids for cosmetic reasons. Sometimes this procedure is needed due to lateral hooding, which is when there is so much skin on the upper eyelid it causes visual impairment. Some patients also want this procedure to get rid of steatoblepharon, which is the protrusion of fat on the upper and lower eyelids.


The goal of this procedure for the upper eyelid is to resection skin and fat to make the skin appear tighter and to remove lateral hooding. An excessive amount of skin or fat can’t be removed from the upper lid as this would cause an extremely hollow appearance. For the lower lid, the goal is mostly the same. This procedure is more focused on fixing the sagging of the lower lid. [1]

Eyelid Surgery Process

What happens during recovery?


Most doctors recommend that you take a week to rest after eyelid surgery. It will be noticeable that you’ve had surgery for a bit longer than a week. You will most likely not be able to drive for a few days after the surgery. Some other things you may have to do during recovery include:

  • Elevating your head to reduce swelling.
  • Cleaning your eyelids with prescription ointment and eye drops.
  • Icing your eyes.
  • Wearing sunglasses when outside to protect your eyes. 
  • Taking a prescribed painkiller to relieve any discomfort.
  • You shouldn’t engage in any strenuous activity for a few days.
  • You shouldn’t wear contact lenses or rub your eyes for a while.

The recovery from this procedure is not incredibly difficult. You will have to stick to the regime your doctor recommends to ensure you have a quick and smooth recovery. It is important to exercise care after any surgery and especially after surgery around something as delicate as your eyes. In order to ensure your eyes will be safe and to achieve the best results from this surgery, you should follow any recovery instructions your doctor recommends. [2]


The surgical technique of partial-incision double-eyelid surgery has been known to have a short postoperative recovery time. This surgery is often used to create a natural double-eyelid crease instead of focusing specifically on wrinkles. For this surgery, the scars are typically gone after three months. Plastic surgeons have come so far with these types of surgeries, and blepharoplasty can look very natural after just a few months of recovery. [3]


Are there any complications?


As with any surgery, there are a few complications to be aware of, such as:

  • Lagophthalmos: this is the failure of the upper lid margin to reach the lower lid margin. This is often called lid lag. This can cause difficulty when closing your eyes.
  • Ectropion: this is when the inner eyelid turns out and is exposed. Upward massage or taping can help this. Eye lubrication can ease discomfort if this occurs.
  • Dry eyes: when patients are recovering, they may experience dry eyes. Lubrication helps relieve the discomfort associated with dry eyes.
  • The most debilitating possible complication is a retrobulbar hematoma. This can cause severe pain and visual complaints. 

This procedure is very common, and many patients have excellent results and recoveries. It is important to be aware of the complications in case any arise. Your doctor should explain any possible complications in depth. This procedure has helped many people eliminate wrinkles and feel more confident about their appearance. If you want to change the appearance of your eyes or are concerned about sagging around the eyes, this procedure may be something to look into. [1]



[1] Rebowe RE, Runyan C. Blepharoplasty. 2022 Jul 25. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–. PMID: 29494003.

[2] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/eyelid-surgery/

[3] Chen B, Ma L. Small-incision, mini-dissection, orbicularis-preservation, and orbicularis-levator aponeurosis fixation technique: A modified partial-incision double-eyelid blepharoplasty. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2022 Oct 12:S1748-6815(22)00553-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2022.10.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36428197.