Added by Klaudia Grabowska on 09.03.2021

Blepharoplasty - eyelid surgery, what is it?

eyes with flowers

Blepharoplasty also called eyelid surgery helps to improve the look of the eyes

Eyelid surgery is also called eye lift (and eyelid lift) or professionally it is referred to as blepharoplasty. It is a plastic surgery which addresses the eyes area. Generally, eye lift surgery improves the look of eyelids and rejuvenates them. We can differentiate between upper and lower eyelid surgery.

 

What can be treated by eyelid surgery blepharoplasty?

  • the deposits of fat which give the effect of puffiness in the lower eyelids
  • sagging and loose skin causing folds and disturbing the eyes contours
  • impaired vision caused by loose skin on the upper eyelids
  • eye bags
  • fine wrinkles in the lower eyelids
  • drooping eyelids.

What is double eyelid surgery? It is a special type of eyelid surgery, called Asian blepharoplasty. It is a less popular type of upper eyelid surgery. The most popular eyelid surgery addresses both lower and upper eyelids – in fact, it is very common that patients have such plastic surgery eyelid surgery to improve an overall look of eye area. Cosmetic eyelid surgery is a relatively safe and simple procedure which is performed under local anesthesia only. You may encounter various names for this procedure, e.g. lazy eyelid surgery, uneven eyelid surgery, or saggy eyelid surgery, but they are all the same procedure. Below, we present more details about eyelid surgery. 

How to qualify for eyelid surgery? - Candidate

Eyelid surgery for men and women is recommended when they want to improve the look of upper, lower or both eyelids (e.g. when they have eye bag condition and want to remove eye bags, or when they have a droopy upper eyelid). Besides, the ideal candidates should:

  • be nonsmokers
  • be healthy and have no such medical conditions which may disturb healing after the surgery
  • have realistic expectations 
  • have no serious eye problems or serious vision problems.
Close up of businesswoman rubbing eyes

Hooded and droopy eyes are usually the reason that the patient wants the surgery

Whether you want droopy eyelid surgery, sagging eyelid surgery or look for solutions to how to remove bags under eyes, you always must be individually qualified by a certified plastic surgeon before you get the surgery. Eyes are a part of the face, so it is important that the facial anatomy is evaluated so that the surgery doesn’t leave any visible signs. Also, eyelid surgery cannot stop the ageing process or prevent gravity, so it is of utmost importance that you think realistically about the surgery outcome. The effects of brow lift or eyelid surgery can be really spectacular, but they won’t stop the natural ageing process

Hooded eyes

Hooded eyes are a very frequent facial feature which is caused by the excessive skin flap under eyebrows. It gives the impression of heavy eyelids which progresses when people get older. It is a genetic feature, but it may be changed by a hooded eyelid surgery. Sometimes, people confuse hooded eyes with droopy eyes, but the difference between the two is that droopy eyelids make you not able to keep your eye open widely and may affect your vision while hooded eyes have absolutely no impact on the vision or upper eyelid functioning. Hooded eyes are just a personal facial trait which is totally harmless, so treating it is a purely cosmetic and aesthetic procedure. 

Eye lift surgery - types

There are 3 different types of eyelid surgery, which are:

  • lower eye lift surgery, called also eye bag surgery;
  • upper eye lift;
  • double eyelift.

Below, we present short descriptions of each eyelid surgery type.

Upper eyelid surgery

Man with green eyes

The most popular type of surgery is upper or lower eyelid surgery

Upper eyelid surgery is referred to as a drooping eyelid surgery. It is a procedure which removes the loose skin folds and fat stores from the upper eyelids. The upper eyelid problems usually appear over time when the skin becomes less elastic and stretched and the surrounding muscles are much weaker. Also, gravity, smoking, weight loss and sun exposure play a major role here. The upper eyelid surgery results are mainly a youthful, rejuvenated and relaxed appearance. It can eliminate all problems of droopy eyelids and make your eyes amazingly refreshed. The surgeon performs upper eyelid surgery under local anaesthesia, so it is a quick and safe procedure. 

Eye bag surgery

Eye bag surgery, or lower eyelid surgery is a surgery which addresses the area below the eyes, especially eye bags. Over time, the lower eyelids become baggy, wrinkled, puffy, the main reason for which is gravity, ageing, and losing skin elasticity. The lower eye bag surgery removes the excess skin and fat and smoothen the wrinkles, which makes the lower eyelid area smooth, youthful, and refreshed. Lower eyelid surgery procedure addresses also dark circles below the eyes. Eye bag surgery NHS is rather impossible because it is a cosmetic procedure improving your look, not treating any medical condition, but the good news is that eye bag surgery UK is one of the most affordable plastic surgeries. 

Double eyelid surgery

Lady smiling

Double-eyelid surgery also called an Asian blepharoplasty is mostly addressed to Asian patients

Double-eyelid surgery is also called an Asian blepharoplasty, so obviously, it is mostly performed by Asians. This procedure addresses upper eyelids. Generally, Asian people tend to have upper eyelids without a crease, so the aim of this procedure is to create such a crease. If you think that the main reason for this procedure is to achieve a more “Western” look, you are wrong. It is all about making the eyelids less puffy and natural-looking. Besides, thanks to double eyelid surgery, Asian women find applying makeup on eyes much easier. 

Asian eyelid surgery procedure

Asian eyelid surgery is a procedure addressing Asian eyes or Asian eyelids. It is especially popular in South Korea, so you may come across a name Korean eyelid surgery. As we already mentioned, this surgery allows for making a natural crease on the upper eyelids, which many Asians lack, which is a genetic condition. The asian eyelid surgery procedure may be performed with 2 techniques – external incision or suture ligation. Both techniques are effective, but surgeons individually choose the one that would bring the best results for each patient. 

 

Benefits of eyelid surgery

The benefits of eyelid surgery include:

  • fine lines reduction – however, eyelid surgery addresses specific eyelid problems, it naturally reduces and delays the ageing signs, e.g. the wrinkles in the outer eye corner are reduced;
  • no more baggy eyes – there are many eye bag cosmetics and methods of how to remove bags under eyes, but the eyelid surgery is the most effective solution for  eyebags and dark circles below eyes;
  • vision improvement – if you struggle with vision problems caused by a droopy eyelid, surgery is recommended from a medical point of view;
  • a youthful and refreshed look;
  • changing a shape of the eyes, e.g. when you have asymmetrical eyes;
  • boosting a patient’s self-esteem and confidence;
  • bringing a relaxed, rested, bright look;
  • the risk is minimal compared to great effects that are brought;
  • the results are long-term.

Eyelid surgery procedure

Blepharoplasty is a fast and simple surgery, but it needs proper preparation. Before the surgery, you will meet a plastic surgeon to discuss your main concerns, expectations, and your medical history. Also, you will have a physical examination and necessary medical tests, and a vision examination. What we also advise is that you take the photo of your eyes so that you are aware of the difference between the eye look.

The surgeon will also ask you to follow pre-op instructions which include:

  • quitting smoking (at least 2 weeks before the surgery, but the sooner you do it the better for healing)
  • going off certain medicines, they include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, warfarin meds and any medications which may increase bleeding
  • organising your duties for the surgery and recovery time (e.g. you need someone to take you home after the surgery, you need to take a few days off at work, etc).

Regarding the upper and lower eyelid surgery procedure or double eyelid surgery procedure, they differ slightly because different areas are involved.

However, there are 4 steps for each eyelid surgery procedure.

Surgery

Blepharoplasty is a simple surgery that consists of the 3 main steps; anesthesia, incision, and incision closing

Step 1 – anaesthesia 

Generally, a surgeon performs both lower and upper eyelid surgery under local anesthesia. He administers special medications which make you feel comfortable and feel no pain during the surgery, but you are not fully asleep. Sometimes, when you have both upper and lower eyelids operated on or you have a combination of eyelid procedure and facelift or other plastic surgery, you may have general anaesthesia where you are asleep. It involves greater risk and requires a longer hospital stay. Nonetheless, usually, local anaesthesia is enough for eyelid surgery.

Step 2 – incisions

A surgeon carefully chooses the incision places so that they are hidden in natural folds and creases and are invisible to people not knowing that you’ve had surgery. Regarding upper eyelids, the surgeon can make the incisions ideally on the natural creases of the eyelid. Such an incision allows for removing the excessive fat and skin and tightening the muscles. Regarding lower eyelids, a surgeon makes the incision below the lash line as close to the eye as possible. It allows for removing and repositioning the fat. The alternative incision for lower eyelids is a transconjunctival incision – it is made inside the lower eyelid. This method works for fat removal but doesn’t involve skin removal. 

Step 3 – incision closing

Eyes of a man

The result which patient can notice after recovery time is refreshed eyes and face which gives a younger appearance

After making alterations to eyelid areas, the surgeon closes the incisions with skin glue or sutures. Eyelid surgery stitches are removed a week after surgery. Sometimes, a surgeon may recommend using chemical or laser eyelid surgery peel which reduces lower eyelids discoloration. How long does eyelid surgery last? If it concerns both upper and lower eyelids, the surgery time is about 2 hours. If only upper or only lower eyelids are operated on, the surgery time maybe even shorter.

Step 4 – seeing the results

The eyelid surgery results are immediate, but they are hardly visible at the beginning. It is because the eye area is swollen and bruised. However, over time when the face heals, the results of a refreshed, young appearance become visible. 

Blepharoplasty recovery

Blepharoplasty recovery time is relatively short compared to other plastic surgeries. But how long is recovery from eyelid surgery exactly? The upper eyelid surgery recovery, lower eyelid surgery recovery, and double eyelid surgery recovery time is generally the same, being 10-14 days. Just after the surgery, patients rest in a hospital room for a short time, they are also monitored in terms of any health complications. After a few hours, patients are given all the post op eyelid surgery instructions and can return home.

lady with plasters

Eyelid surgery recovery time is usually around 10-14 days

During eyelid surgery recovery time, you may experience:

  • sensitivity to the light
  • blurred vision or double vision
  • watering eyes
  • numb, puffy eyelids
  • discomfort or mild pain in the eye area
  • bruising and swelling.

You may be given the following instructions for the recovery from lower eyelid surgery and recovery time from upper eyelid surgery:

  • cleaning the eyes and eyelids gently with prescribed ointments and eye drops
  • using ice packs – it is particularly important in the first 24 hours after the surgery – it is recommended to put ice packs to the eyelids each hour for a few minutes
  • avoiding exercising or training for 1 week
  • avoiding smoking for 1-2 week
  • avoiding swimming for 1 week
  • refraining from rubbing the eyes
  • not using contact lense for 2 weeks
  • applying cool compresses which reduce swelling
  • avoiding certain medications (e.g. aspirin or ibuprofen)
  • wearing sunglasses as a sun protection
  • sleeping with a head higher than a chest.

If you are worried about bruising after eyelid surgery how long it lasts, or how long is eyelid surgery swelling recovery, you need to know that after about 2 weeks, all the visible surgery signs should disappear, and you may enjoy the surgery effects. Also, the eyelid surgery scar healing greatly depends on you, so if you follow all the recovery tips, you should have absolutely no problems with scars. What patients must pay attention to is experiencing such conditions as bleeding, shortness of breath, pain in the chest, abnormal heart rate, or problems with vision. If these conditions happen during the lower or upper eyelid surgery recovery time, you need to see your doctor as these may be the signs of post-op complications.

Eyelid surgery aftercare

girl with hidden eyes

The skin in the eyes’ area is very sensitive, and it needs special care after the procedure.

The eyelid surgery aftercare is very important. The skin in the eyes area is very thin so it needs special care after the procedure. Does eyelid surgery leave scars? When you take care of the incision sites well, you should have no problems with the scar. Generally, the tiny scar remains, but it is well-hidden in the eye crease and over time, it also fades, so it is generally invisible. Regarding eyelid surgery aftercare, patients should use a special ointment to the incisions sites so that they are lubricated and clean them frequently with a warm wet towel. You may also experience inflammation. In fact, it is the most frequent eyelid surgery side effect. You can prevent it when you follow some post-op instructions, e.g. you put ice packs to your eyelids regularly, and you keep your head up when you rest. What is more, you should take proper care of your eyes. They might be quite itchy and dry at the beginning, so you should keep them moist. Also, you should limit reading, spending time in front of the computer or TV because it also makes the eyes dry. If you have any doubts or concerns regarding post-op aftercare, the best idea is to ask the surgeon or a nurse for further instructions

Eyelid surgery results

to girs with brown eyes

After the surgery, the look of the eyes is improved which can have an influence on the general look of the entire face

The results of eyelid surgery are really amazing and long lasting. Regarding upper eyelid surgery results, the hooded eyelid and excessive skin are removed – it is a surgery which is performed only once, so the results are permanent. However, when you age, the skin or fat amount may accumulate in the eyelid area again, but at this time, a brow lift is recommended. Lower eyelid surgery results are also permanent – the bags and dark circles which are removed, shouldn’t come back, so it is also designed to be performed once. Double eyelid surgery results are very natural, but there is some risk of revision procedure when the effects are too strong or too weak. 

Eyelid surgery side effects

The dangers of eyelid surgery are really minimal. Usually, the serious eyelid surgery risks (including side effects of double eyelid surgery) happen extremely rarely, however, there are some eyelid surgery side effects which are not so serious but happen quite frequently. You should be aware of them and know how to treat them, then such side effects are harmless. They include:

  • swelling – it happens shortly after the surgery and may lead to dry eyes after eyelid surgery, here ice packs are very helpful;
  • bruising – it is normal body reaction to the surgery and over time, bruising will disappear itself;
  • when the eyelid heal, you may feel uncomfortable soreness, you may take some painkillers, but when they are too weak, the surgeon should prescribe some stronger meds to deal with it;
  • scarring – eyelid surgery scar may heal for even a year, it is a side effect of the incision making, however a good plastic surgeon is able to heal the scars so that they are invisible.
hidden eyes

Side effects of eyelid surgery are really minimal as it is a simple procedure, but the patient needs to make sure that the surgeon has experience in this kind of surgery

Some more serious, yet much less common, side effects include numbness in the eye area, double vision, blurred vision, severe eye pain, or difficulties in opening and closing the eyes. The complications which are also possible include the loss of eyelash (which is usually temporary), vision problems, hematoma, some infections in the incision sites. 

Eyelid surgery scars

The scars in eyelid surgery pose no problem to a patient. They are in such places that it is very hard to see them with the naked eye. A surgeon makes incisions in the folds and creases – so the scar resembles a natural crease and is difficult to distinguish. Also, eyelid surgery does not provoke hypertrophic or keloid scars even for patients having such scars elsewhere. During the first month after surgery, the scar may seem pronounced or hyperpigmented, but it is temporary. The surgeon observes the scars on each follow-up visit and if it doesn’t heal correctly he may inject steroids to help its healing. It is also important that eyelid surgery scars are kept hygienic – you do not need to use magic cosmetics for scars, it is enough to clean it regularly, use a prescribed ointment with antibiotics, and use vaseline. You should also use sunscreen and generally avoid sun exposure (or wear sunglasses). Lastly, scar healing is a slow process, and you just need to be patient. After a few months, the scar should heal, and it’s appearance will be really reduced.

Eyelid lift without surgery - alternatives to blepharoplasty

If you do not want to have a surgical eyelid procedure, you may consider eyelid lift without surgery. There are a few solutions that are effective.

two girls in one photo

There are many alternatives to eyelid surgery including non -surgical options that can be tried if the patient wants to improve the look of eyes

The examples of an alternative to eyelid surgery include:

  • cosmetic injections – the most popular forms are dermal fillers (e.g. Juvederm) and wrinkle relaxers (e.g. Botox) – they are proved to give great results for the eye area appearance with no downtime; they can heal dark circles, under eyes, crow’s feet and wrinkles on the eye area;
  • radiofrequency microneedling – it allows for creating a young, rejuvenated, lifted and tight skin of the eye area; this techniques involves making thousands of micro-injuries on the skin which provokes skin regeneration and increases the production of collagen and elastin;
  • platelet-rich plasma therapy – it is an innovative technique combined with RF microneedling where the patient’s blood taken from other body part is massaged to the skin after microneedling; 
  • laser skin treatment;
  • ultherapy – it uses the ultrasound energy to induce collagen production and to tighten the skin; it makes the eyes look less tired and larger, without droopy eyelids or eye bags.

There are also non invasive double eyelid surgery alternatives. They include various glues and tapes which can be obtained in drugstores. The advantages of these alternatives include: 

  • you get an immediate temporary effect
  • you may see the possible results before you decide for the surgery
  • you avoid all the risks associated with the surgery
  • if you don’t like the results, you may reverse it quickly.

The disadvantages of non-surgical double eyelid solutions are:

  • they must be applied every day
  • they may cause allergies or skin irritation
  • they may get repositioned or become visible
  • the glue may get in the eye and damage vision.

Blepharoplasty cost

piggy bank

The average blepharoplasty cost UK is between 2000 GBP and 6000 GBP

Blepharoplasty cost is generally low compared to other plastic surgeries concerning the face. Of course, the price depends on what is treated, so only upper eyelid surgery cost UK or only lower eyelid surgery cost UK is lower than the cost of both upper and lower eyelift. However, usually, the price for combined upper and lower eyelids is lower than for these procedures performed separately. So, you need to think about your expectations and if you consider performing lower and upper eye lift at different times, you may pay more than for doing it together. So, how much is eyelid surgery? The average blepharoplasty cost UK is between 2000 GBP and 6000 GBP. The prices are set by the clinics, so they may depend on the clinic location, its prestige, surgeons’ experience, and price components. You also need to make sure what the cost of eyelid surgery includes because one eyelid surgery price may be low, but you need to pay extra for examination, anaesthesia, and hospital stay, while the higher price already contains these elements. So, what you should pay attention to is the overall eyelid surgery cost. Regarding the cost for double eyelid surgery, it ranges from 2500 GBP to 8000 GBP.

Eyelid surgery NHS

Eyelid surgery nhs is rarely possible. If you would like to have the surgery due to purely cosmetic and aesthetic reasons, you would need to pay the full cost. In fact, there is only one condition of blepharoplasty NHS – it is a droopy eyelid surgery NHS. If the droopy eyelids make your sight disturbed and affect your vision, then you can apply for NHS funding. Can I get eyelid surgery on the NHS under other conditions? Basically no, in any other cases, it needs to be fully paid for.

Eyelids surgery abroad

When you are not qualified for eyelid surgery NHS and cannot afford the surgery in a private hospital, blepharoplasty abroad is a good solution. The prices for eyelid surgery vary across the countries and once the UK, the USA, or Sweden have quite high plastic surgery costs, Poland, Turkey or Mexico offer procedures being even three times cheaper. Blepharoplasty cost abroad may be lower than 1000 GBP and at the same time, the quality of the surgery and surgeon’s training are on the same level as in other countries. So, getting eye lift abroad is a good chance to save money, visit a new place and get short holidays. So-called medical tourism has pushed the clinics to increase their standard, offer competitive prices and hire only top-rated doctors. Below, we provide more details about the two most popular destinations for medical tourists in Europe. 

Eyelid surgery in Poland

Warszawa

Poland is a very popular destination when it comes to medical travel. There are many places where the patient can get cheap eyelid surgery

Blepharoplasty Poland is one of the most affordable procedures. Performing plastic surgery Poland is very popular among Europeans mainly because the quality of medical care in Polsih clinics is one of the highest in Europe and Polish surgeons are world-class professionals. And the good news is that together with the excellent surgery quality, Poland offers really competitive plastic surgery Poland prices. The average cost of upper or lower eyelid surgery in Poland is 1000 GBP while both upper and lower eyelid surgery costs 1800 GBP on average. If you find it difficult to make the decision regarding the surgery, you may read some plastic surgery Poland reviews from international patients that are available online. And finally, Poland is a very attractive region in terms of summer and winter tourism. You may spend a great time by the Sea, in mountains, by the lakes, in cities (e.g. Kraków, Warsaw) – its history, natural assets, landscapes, and numerous tourist attractions make Poland a country visited by millions of tourists every year. 

Eyelid surgery in Turkey

Turkey

Traveling to Turkey for plastic surgery is also very popular nowadays due to low prices and high quality of treatment

Blepharoplasty Turkey is the second popular destination. Turkey is mainly famous for its incredibly low plastic surgery Turkey prices. The health care standard in international clinics has significantly improved recently, so once you check the clinic and surgeon’s credibility, you may be sure to get great care there. Plastic surgery Turkey is the most popular sector there, no wonder clinics hire the best surgeons and increase their quality. Both eyelids surgery costs 1500 GBP on average, the prices for only upper or lower eyelids are often lower than 1000 GBP. Turkey is also a very popular holiday resort and many patients coming there combine summer holidays with the surgery. The prices for surgeries in Turkey often include the stay in a luxurious hotel, so you can save money on that also. So, if you plan getting plastic surgery Turkey Istanbul, or Antalya, the best option is planning short holidays at the same time.

Eyelid surgery reviews

Eyelid surgery reviews are the best way to make the right decision, so reading the reviews from other patients can be really helpful while looking for a plastic surgeon or plastic surgery clinic.

Eyelid surgery before and after

If you are interested in eyelid surgery before and after pictures, below you may find the eyelid surgery before and after as well as eyelid surgery recovery photos.

Summary

Eyelid surgery is a cosmetic procedure addressing lower and upper eyelids. It makes the eye area look refreshed, young and attractive. It also solves such problems as droopy eyelid, eyebags, dark circles, and wrinkles. Eyelid procedure is a safe, fast, and really effective surgery which involves a small body area but gives amazing results. You just need to find such a clinic and surgeon who builds your trust and makes you feel safe – in fact it doesn’t really matter where it is as most places in the world offer a high private healthcare level. There are many pros and cons of doing the surgery abroad, so you need to think it over and make your own decision that satisfies you. If you consider getting eyelid surgery abroad, contact Clinic Hunter to get more details.

green eyes

Sources

Adam J. Cohen, MD FACS. “Blepharoplasty Cost & Recovery Time for Eyelid Surgery.” MedicineNet, MedicineNet, 5 Dec. 2019, www.medicinenet.com/blepharoplasty__eyelid_surgery/article.htm.

“Asian Blepharoplasty – Procedure Overview, Cost, Recovery, Before & After: AEDIT.” Aedit.com | Aesthetic Edit, aedit.com/procedure/asian-blepharoplasty.

Cassoobhoy, Arefa. “Eye Lift: Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) Information.” WebMD, WebMD, 15 July 2020, www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-eyelid-surgery#1.

Lipner, Maxine. “What to Know About Double Eyelid Surgery.” Verywell Health, www.verywellhealth.com/double-eyelid-surgery-5083476.

Person. “What Are Hooded Eyes, and Do I Have Them?” All About Vision, All About Vision, 20 Jan. 2021, www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/hooded-eyes/.

Rod Rohrich, MD, et al. “Eyelid Surgery Candidates.” American Society of Plastic Surgeons, www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/eyelid-surgery/candidates. 

 

Klaudia Grabowska

Klaudia started to work for Clinic Hunter many years ago, just after graduating from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland and since that time, this job has become her biggest passion and inspiration.

She has gained necessary expertise and experience by serving patients from all over the world (mainly the UK, Scandinavian countries, and the USA), taking an active part in numerous live and video trainings with clinics in Poland, Hungary and Turkey, participating in international medical tourism conferences and events, and completing internal Clinic Hunter courses. Now, Klaudia is an accomplished patient advisor specialising in such fields as dentistry, plastic and bariatric surgery and hair loss treatment. Her main idea is helping people nad making their lives better, that is why this job brings her so much satisfaction and joy.

In private, Klaudia is a bike-tour lover. She travelled to over 25 countries and many of them she visited by bike. However, now she spends every spare moment with her little son.

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