Upper Blepharoplasty

Upper Eyelid Surgery

As we age, the eyelid doesn’t grow more skin, the brow position falls, and the skin becomes looser. This gives a characteristic overhang of skin that clutters the eyelid fold, obstructs eye shadow, and in extreme cases can obstruct vision.

Blepharoplasty is the procedure used to re contour the eyelid and therefore treats the symptoms rather than the cause of the excess skin. An upper blepharoplasty procedure involves removing a strip of skin from the upper eyelid that is best performed under a local anaesthetic. The result of the eyelid lift is a visibly refreshed eye area with heaviness around the lid relieved.



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  • How does the upper eye area change as we age?

    As we age, eyelid skin frequently becomes a concern, prompting people to consider treatment to relieve heaviness and alleviate a tired appearance. To understand why these changes develop, we need to have an understanding of the anatomy of the eyelid area and how the ageing process affects this.

    The primary role of the eyelids is to protect the eye to ensure that the cornea remains hydrated and provides a physical barrier to injury. As we age, the brow falls a little, allowing more skin to sit in the upper eyelid. This increases the overhanging skin fold and may give a sensation of heaviness. The quality of the skin changes, also leading to crepey texture within the eyelid and this increased fold often looks messy and can lose its sharpness. Fat may be apparent in the corners of the upper eyelid.

    Fat that is naturally present around the eye is kept in place by a structure called the orbital septum. As we age, the orbital septum becomes lax, allowing the fat to prolapse forwards. This prolapse forwards gives the characteristic puffiness that commonly occurs with advancing age.

    With the above changes, the junction between the eyelid and the cheek falls, leading to hollow lines appearing and giving the illusion of the eye becoming smaller.
    In assessing the eyelids for an upper blepharoplasty procedure, we need therefore to assess the following –
    Brow position
    Skin excess and quality
    Muscle action
    Fat prolapse
    Natural lid tone

  • How is upper blepharoplasty carried out?

    As every patient has unique needs and concerns, a detailed consultation with a consultant plastic surgeon is essential prior to undergoing a procedure of this nature. During the consultation, your surgeon will discuss your area/s of concern, desired improvements, options available (including no treatment at all) and expected outcomes. Your surgeon will examine your face and eye area and may take some photographs for your medical records.

    Should upper eyelid surgery be agreed upon as the most suitable treatment, the procedure will be carried out by your surgeon in our operating theatre. Following cleaning of the eyelids, the skin is carefully marked and local anaesthetic gently given. The procedure commonly takes around 120 minutes to perform and after the anaesthetic is given, it is entirely pain free. Skin is removed along with a small strip of redundant muscle and if necessary, the fat can be recontoured. The wound edges are carefully closed and fine strip dressings applied.

  • Will I still have a fold in my eyelid?

    As the upper eyelid has to have spare skin in it to enable it to close effectively, there is only so much skin that can be removed. You will therefore always have a fold of skin in the eyelid unless of course you are of eastern origin.

  • Will I be able to see the scar following my upper eyelid blepharoplasty ?

    You will always be able to see a scar. Usually the scars settle to fine lines but often these are only noticeable when the eye is closed. Occasionally the inner and outer aspects of the scar may be visible as fine lines.

  • I have a low drooping brow - will my brow be lifted after upper eyelid surgery?

    The brow doesn’t lift after upper blepharoplasty unless a specific procedure is used at the time of surgery. The brow may be lifted surgically or Botulinum Toxin is often an effective non surgical alternative.

  • Is there any downtime?

    It is imperative that after surgery you rest to allow the area to settle, we advise you not to bend over or strain and avoid exercise for a few days after your surgery. This ensures that your blood pressure remains stable, reducing the chances of bleeding and subsequent swelling and bruising.

    Patients generally experience minimum discomfort after this procedure and healing usually progresses quickly. After surgery the area will bruise a little, reaching a maximum after 48 hours and gradually settling over the weeks after surgery, any bruising that occurs on the lower eyelid may be covered up with concealer.

    The very fine stitch is easily removed after a week. We advise you start gently massaging the incision line with a light eye cream to help soften the scar and speed up the healing process two weeks after surgery.

  • Will my eyelids function as normal after my surgery?

    There is a risk of under or over-correction of the lid with surgery, but this is minimised using a pinch test at the start of the procedure to confirm the safe limit and extent of skin excision.

    It is necessary to retain a fold of skin of the upper eyelid, as the upper lid comes down to close and meet the lower lid.

    Occasionally, following surgery and on living with their healed result, some patients feel they would prefer additional skin excised from the upper lid. Where the surgeon agrees a surgical revision is appropriate, this must be performed within 12 months of the initial procedure. A fee will be incurred for any revision surgery undertaken.


Upper Eyelid

Anaesthetic Type

Application of local anaesthetic at the treatment site ensures total comfort for the duration of the procedure

Procedure Time

120 minutes


Skin is removed, along with a small strip of redundant muscle and if necessary, the fat can be re-contoured


Results can be seen once sutures have been removed and post operative swelling has subsided


It is imperative that after upper blepharoplasty you rest to allow the area to settle. We advise you not to bend over or strain and avoid exercise for a few days after your surgery


Whilst excess skin is permanently removed, eyelid surgery doesn’t stop the clock, it merely resets it. As time passes, the ageing process will once again progress.



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