Droopy Eyelids? How Blepharoplasty Can Help You

By: Dr. Danahey, MD, PhD
Topics: General


They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul; and if your eyelids are puffy or droopy it can affect how you feel about yourself or how others perceive your mood.  I often have patients tell me that they are frequently asked if they feel tired or ill, and the reality is they just have droopy or puffy upper or lower eyelids.  They may feel bright and energetic, but the appearance of their eyelids sends a different message to the world.  Fortunately, a surgery to improve the appearance of the eyelids is a relatively simple and greatly effective solution. 

Known as blepharoplasty, there are a number of issues that this procedure can correct for both the upper and lower eyelids.  For the upper eyelids, the skin may have become very loose or “lax”, causing the eyelids to droop.  There may also be pockets of fat in the upper lids which have begun to protrude due to the laxity of the skin; or patients may have puffy eyes just due to their anatomy.  During an upper eyelid blepharoplasty, the excess eyelid skin is removed through an incision that becomes hidden in the natural contour or crease of the upper lid.  If there is excess fat protruding, this may also be removed.  The incision is closed and sutures are kept in place for the first week of healing. 

The most common issue with the lower eyelids is protruding fat.  As you age, the skin which holds the fat in place weakens and the fat bulges outward.  This is addressed surgically through an incision placed inside the lower eyelid; the fat is either partially removed or repositioned.  If there is any excess lower lid skin, it is removed through an external incision concealed just below the lower lash line.

Recovery for both procedures is usually 7 to 10 days; however, most patients report they have minimal pain and discomfort by the second day after surgery.   I give my patients the option of having their upper or lower blepharoplasty procedures performed either at a surgical facility, or in my office procedure room, under a local anesthetic.  Their comfort is of the utmost importance, and we determine together which option will work best for them.

Upper and lower blepharoplasty will not address the wrinkles around the eyes known as “crows feet,” and it is often combined with laser resurfacing, chemical skin peels or neurotoxin injections for improved rejuvenation, based upon the patient’s desired outcome.   To maximize the longevity of the results of your blepharoplasty, I strongly recommend using sun protection (sunglasses and sunblock) whenever you are outdoors and using high quality skincare products.