Dos and Don’ts of Eyelid Surgery

Over time, our eyelids can become puffy, droopy or saggy, which can make us appear older or more tired than we desire. In extreme cases, saggy eyelids can actually hamper your vision. Droopy eyelids may even run in your family.

Surgery may correct this condition, making you look younger and perhaps even increasing your ability to see more clearly.

Who‘s a Good Candidate?

Most people who elect this surgery are over 35 years old and are doing it for cosmetic reasons. The eyelids may have excess skin and the skin may resemble crepe paper, and when the eyes are opened the natural crease may not be visible.

Good candidates are physically healthy and psychologically stable. Certain medical conditions may make eyelid surgery more risky, such as thyroid problems, dry eyes, high blood pressure, a detached retina, glaucoma, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The Surgery

The surgical procedure removes fat, excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids through an incision. It’s usually performed under local anaesthesia and done on an outpatient basis, meaning there’s no hospital stay. The surgeon will make incisions that follow the natural lines of your eyelids, then reshape the eyelids and the skin is closed with stitches.

After surgery, you’ll need to keep your head elevated for a few days. There will be swelling and discoloration, and cold compresses are often recommended for relief. Your surgeon may recommend moisturising eye drops.

For a few weeks after the surgery, your eyes may tear up more often and you may be more sensitive to light. Although they rarely occur, additional complications may include temporary changes in eyesight such as double vision or blurring. However the good news are that eyelid skin heals quickly!


Getting an eyelid lift can make you look younger and more alert, increasing your self-esteem and self-confidence. The results are usually natural looking and scars are usually not noticeable because they fall along natural creases in your eyelid. Recovery time is quick; within a week or two you should be completely healed. You may also see better if the eyelids obstructed your vision pre-procedure.


Some people may be disappointed in the outcome of their surgery. Perhaps they expected more dramatic results. The results can be very subtle. The surgery does not lift sagging eyebrows, or change certain ethnic characteristics of the eyes.

There may be temporary discomfort or minor complications after surgery. Vision may be become blurred or you may experience double vision, and the eyes will be discoloured, swollen and sometimes itchy. Small whiteheads may develop where stitches were removed, and patients may have trouble closing their eyes to sleep. Later, there may be some asymmetry in healing.

Since it is an elective surgery, it is not available on the NHS. There may be exceptions in cases where eyelids are blocking someone’s vision.


Before considering surgery, examine your expectations. Eyelid surgery won’t stop the aging process or erase ethnic characteristics; it only alters your eyelids slightly. Get clearance from your family doctor to see if you’re a good candidate for this type of surgery, since quick recovery depends on your body’s ability to heal itself.


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