FAQ: Eye Lift Surgery

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift) Surgery

It’s with your eyes that you first interact with other people; it’s also your eyes that first reveal your age. Blepharoplasty, a thoroughly tested procedure performed for more than 75 years, holds the potential to turn back the clock on many of those years, producing a dramatically youthful result.


What are the specifics of the blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) procedure?

Local sedation is administered continuously to make you sleepy and comfortable during surgery, which takes place in either a surgeon’s office or a hospital. Essentially, excess skin, muscle and eyelid fat are removed through carefully placed incisions. The procedure usually takes about an hour. Immediately afterwards, a light temporary bandage covers your lids, ice packs minimize swelling and you are given a short rest period to recover, after which you may either go home or stay overnight. Generally, only dissolving stitches are used.

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Should I expect bruising after my eyelid surgery?

The degree to which you generally bruise determines how much discoloration develops around your eyes. Bruising typically lasts 5-10 days, give or take a few days. After stitches are removed, a light cosmetics application camouflages bruising until it disappears altogether. We recommend this approach for both men and women.

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How much time will I need to take off work following eyelid surgery?

It is crucial to rest for 2-3 days, because overdoing activity can cause bleeding, which will prolong your recovery. After three days, you may return to work, though some discoloration will remain. Most of my San Francisco blepharoplasty patients allow 1-2 weeks to recover before resuming a full schedule.

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Where do you make the incisions in eyelid surgery?

One incision is made at the normal horizontal fold in the middle of the upper eyelid. On the lowers, the incision is placed just below the eyelashes. Most scarring is nearly undetectable over time. In some cases, such as when treating under eye bags, incisions can be placed inside the eyelid, so there are no exterior scars.

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Is it possible to reshape my eyes with blepharoplasty?

Increasingly, yes. Scientific knowledge has grown in recent years, accommodating such procedures as creating folds in Asian eyes and raising sagging eyelids. These types of alterations are slightly more complex, and can be discussed at your consultation.

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How will my ability to wear cosmetics be affected by eyelid surgery?

Some people are initially drawn to blepharoplasty when they can no longer apply cosmetics to the upper eyelid because of drooping. After surgery, this is generally corrected. We will also suggest new makeup application techniques, so that your fresh eyes are shown to best advantage!

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Can my blepharoplasty procedure be covered by my insurance?

If eyelid droop drastically compromises your peripheral vision, insurance companies may partially cover the surgery, although the trend is toward increasing restrictions on coverage. You may be asked to submit to an ophthalmologic exam to establish the extent of the problem.

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At what age is blepharoplasty most appropriate?

The answer is simple: whenever it’s necessary! Occasionally, treatment is indicated on lower lids in the late teens or early 20’s. More often, image-conscious men and women in their early to mid-30’s choose upper eyelid surgery, while the 40’s are the average time for both men and women.

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Do you perform eyelid surgery for men?

Certainly! Of all facial cosmetic surgeries, blepharoplasty is the most popular among men. Why? Saggy eyelids are not only aging, they can create the impression of constant exhaustion. Although we tend to be more accepting of male aging, men too may suffer the stigma of eye bags or apparent exhaustion.

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How long can I expect the results of my eyelid surgery to last?

Eyelid surgery produces very long-term results. Nevertheless, natural aging progresses from the new baseline of improvement. It is rare for patients to desire surgery before the 7- to 10-year mark; most patients never require additional surgery. Eyebrow droop may create the appearance of heaviness in the upper eyelids, but this is a separate problem. Click here for more information on browlift surgery.

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What are the risks and possible complications of blepharoplasty?

There are a few risks to blepharoplasty, as with any surgical procedure. These include bleeding, infection and scarring, asymmetry between the eyelids or continued eyelid sag. It is not unusual to experience eye dryness for several weeks after the procedure. Loss of vision, though extremely rare, has occurred. By making an informed decision, you can choose this generally safe procedure feeling confident about the results.


Dr. Mosser is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in eye lift surgery in San Francisco. If you have any further questions about blepharoplasty or wish to schedule a consultation, please contact us.