Eyelid Surgery FAQs

If you have loose or excess skin above the eyes, tired eyes or bags under your eyes, you might be considering cosmetic eyelid surgery, better known as blepharoplasty. The appearance of your eyelids can be improved dramatically with eyelid surgery and can change the look of your upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both.

For many, eyelid surgery is an opportunity to rejuvenate the area around the eyes for a younger appearance. For others, eyelid surgery may be necessary because of health reasons or discomfort due to excess skin, fatty deposits, or drooping eyelids.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about eyelid plastic surgery.

What I Need to Know About Eyelid Surgery?

First and foremost, the changes in your eyelids are likely very normal. As we all age, our eyelid skin can change pretty dramatically. By your late 30s or early 40s, our eyelid skin starts to lose its elasticity and begins to stretch, resulting in excess folds of skin. These folds may hang down over the edge of your upper eyelids.

Regardless of the reason for getting eyelid surgery, it’s important to consider if you are a good candidate for the surgery. Good candidates for blepharoplasty are men and women that have healthy facial tissue, do not smoke, and do not have a life-threatening illness or medical condition that could impact healing.

Eyelid surgery is a common and safe plastic surgery procedure that can give you the results you want.

How Much Does Eyelid Surgery Cost?

As with most cosmetic procedures, eyelid surgery costs can vary depending on a number of factors. Where you live, the individual surgeon, the facility, and the extent of eyelid surgery can impact overall cost.

Generally, cosmetic blepharoplasty ranges from about $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the factors listed above. Some eyelid surgeries are less extensive than others and therefore take less of the plastic surgeon’s time. This can lead to a reduced overall cost to the patient.

In some cases, if it is medically necessary to get eyelid surgery, surgical costs might be covered by insurance. Your insurance provider may need proper documentation of medical necessity before the surgery can be performed.

Purely cosmetic eyelid procedures are rarely covered by any form of private or public insurance.

How Long Does it Take to Recover from Eyelid Surgery

Under standard conditions, you should be back up, moving, and active within seven to ten days. This range can vary slightly depending on how quickly your body heals. Warm compresses and topical antibiotic ointment can assist in speeding up the recovery process.

Though recovery usually is not extensive, it sometimes may take up to a few weeks before healing is complete. During the healing process, it is incredibly important that you do not wear any form of eye makeup, as this can complicate the recovery process.

What to Expect After Eyelid Surgery

While the recovery process directly after eyelid surgery is not incredibly taxing, you should expect to be resting for several days after the surgery. You can expect some mild discomfort immediately after the surgery. If you experience severe pain and/or vision changes, call your surgeon’s office as soon as possible.

On the first day after surgery, you should apply cold packs to your eyelids every hour that you are awake for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Make sure to wrap your cold ice packs with cloth to reduce direct contact with the eyelids. The ice pack should help reduce swelling and keep bruising to a minimum. On the second day, apply cold packs every few hours for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. After 48 hours, warm compresses should be applied to promote faster healing.

Your surgeon/doctor will recommend any pain medication to take if you deem it necessary.

You can begin wearing contact lenses again when eyelid swelling subsides enough to allow the contact lenses to be comfortable. If you wear prescription eyeglasses, you can wear them at any time after surgery as long as you put them on carefully.

How Long Do the Effects of Eyelid Surgery Last?

Most people who receive eyelid surgery report overall satisfaction and an improved appearance. Most patients never have another surgery. However, natural aging processes still occur after the surgery. Patients usually report some natural aging effects around the 5-7 year mark post-surgery. 

At this time, some choose to have a touch-up surgery. This is not necessary, but it can extend the longevity of eyelid surgery results.

Are There Visible Scars?

The eyelid heals better than almost any other part of the body. For this reason, your visible scarring will be relatively minimal. If someone knows you received eyelid surgery, they might know to look for scars, but blepharoplasty scars are typically not visible to the casual observer.

Eyelid scars are typically only visible when your eyes are closed. Even then, someone would need to heavily focus on your eyelids to see the scarring.