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Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is an operation to tighten the skin and soft tissues of your eyelids. As you get older, gravity pulls down on the skin and soft tissues of your eyelids, causing them to sag. The fat that was supported by these tissues drops down, making you look older. Usually a fold of skin will appear above your eyelid. Over time, this can hang down low enough to interfere with your vision.

Is it suitable for me?

Your surgeon will carry out a detailed assessment before deciding if surgery is suitable for you. This may include taking photos for your medical records and asking you questions about your medical history. Your surgeon will examine your face. For the operation to be successful, your skin should still be elastic (stretchable).

They may also ask you if you are planning to lose a lot of weight. It may be better to lose the weight before having surgery.

What does the surgery involve?

A blepharoplasty is usually performed under a local anaesthetic injected into the eyelids, and local-anaesthetic eye drops.

However, a variety of anaesthetic techniques are possible including a general anaesthetic. Your anaesthetist or surgeon will discuss the options with you and recommend the best form of anaesthesia for you.

The operation usually takes between three-quarters of an hour and an hour and a half, depending on whether the operation involves both your upper and lower eyelids.

Your surgeon will make a cut in the natural skin crease of your eyelid. They will remove any excess skin and fat. If your surgeon only needs to remove excess fat from your lower eyelid, they may be able to make the cut just inside the eyelid so there is no visible scar.

Your surgeon will close the cuts with stitches.

What happens after surgery?

After the operation you will be transferred to the recovery area, and may need a pad on your eye. Your surgeon may advise you to use ice-packs on your eyelids for the first one to two days to reduce any bruising or swelling. It’s common to have watery eyes and to feel grittiness in your eye for the first one to two days. Your surgeon may give you special lubrication eye drops to help ease the discomfort.

You should be able to go home a few hours after the operation. If you do go home the same day, a responsible adult should take you home in a car or taxi, and stay with you for at least 24 hours.

Avoid getting your eyelids wet and refrain from strenuous activity for the first week until the stitches are removed.

You should also avoid bending down, and try to sleep with extra pillows to keep your head raised up. You should then be very gentle with your eyelids for at least another month. It is preferable to avoid wearing any eye make-up and drinking alcohol for at least a few weeks, and keep your face out of the sun.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Do not drive until you are confident about controlling your vehicle and always check with your doctor and insurance company first.

For further information on any surgical procedures or
to book a consultation, please contact us at:

Fitzwilliam Clinic, 70-72 Lisburn Road, Belfast
Tel: 028 9032 3888