What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is eyelid surgery, which involves the removal of excess skin, fat or a combination of techniques. Excess skin (dermatochalasis) and fat (steatoblepharon) develop as an aging process and can affect both the upper eyelids and lower eyelids.


Upper Blepharoplasty

Upper blepharoplasty is the removal of redundant skin from the upper eyelid area. Patients who require the procedure often describe the upper eyelid as feeling ‘heavy’. The upper blepharoplasty procedure reduces this excess skin and fat in the upper eyelid, and has a visual effect on the eyebrow and forehead as these elements are all interconnected.


Lower Blepharoplasty

Like upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty is a similar procedure but for the removal of excess skin and fat in the lower part of the eyelid. Unlike the procedure for the upper eyelid, lower blepharoplasty involves more fat repositioning or removal, rather than skin. The procedure also involves reestablishing the connection between the eyelids and cheeks. It is often more complicated than upper blepharoplasty.


Blepharoplasty in British Columbia

In BC, when the excess upper lid skin is blocking your vision and is documented so by a visual field test, the surgery can be covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP). The benefit of the surgery is to eliminate the heaviness on your lids and improve your peripheral (side) vision. MSP will not cover surgery for the purpose of improving the appearance (cosmetics) of your eyelids. For more information about cosmetic eyelid surgeries please refer to our page on facial rejuvenation.

Get in touch with your family doctor or eye care provider for a referral to us for functional blepharoplasty.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is blepharoplasty performed?

For both upper and lower blepharoplasty, we cut into the section of eyelid, remove excess skin, muscle, or fat to recontour the eyelid. For upper blepharoplasty, skin removal is the biggest component of the procedure, whereas the removal of fat is the prominent part of the procedure for lower blepharoplasty. The procedure lasts between 1 and 3 hours depending on the patient, and can be performed under local anaesthetic.

Are you awake during blepharoplasty?

Patients are typically awake during a blepharoplasty procedure under local anesthesia but we do prescribe anti-anxiety medication to help make the experience less daunting.

Is blepharoplasty a risky procedure?

Blepharoplasty is not a high risk surgery, however, all surgeries can carry risks. The surgery can result in some worsening in dry eye symptoms, which is temporary in the majority of cases. If you have dry eyes, you may need to use artificial tears to manage your symptoms. The risk of blindness is extremely low and occurs when there is a bleed after the surgery that is not properly managed. As such, please make sure you follow the doctor’s instruction carefully.

How long does it take to recover from blepharoplasty surgery?

There is usually swelling and bruising for 2-3 weeks after surgery. Ice water compress and avoiding strenuous activities will help with faster recovery. You will be able to see clearly right after surgery and this is not a painful surgery.

Will there be a scar after surgery?

Every attempt is made to try to minimize scarring after surgery, however, every patient heals differently. The incision is hidden within the folds of your eyelid when possible, making it not visible to others when your eyes are open. However, when you close your eyes, some people can see or feel a faint line.

How long does upper or lower blepharoplasty last?

The benefits of blepharoplasty can last up to years, but it’s all about aftercare following your procedure. There are several factors that reduce the effectiveness of blepharoplasty, like sun exposure, weight gain and not resting properly after the procedure.

What is the fastest way to recover from a blepharoplasty?

Avoid anything that will cause bleeding or swelling, such as strenuous exercise or sun exposure. Use an ice water compress for the first few days to help prevent scarring.

Does lower blepharoplasty help dark circles?

This all depends on what is causing the dark circles. Dark circles are either a skin pigmentation or can be caused by a shadowing of bulging skin. If the dark circles are a result of shadowing of excess skin, lower blepharoplasty may help reduce them.

How do I qualify for eyelid surgery?

If you experience excess eyelid skin or fat which is documented as blocking your central vision, your doctor can refer you to have blepharoplasty surgery. To find out whether you qualify for eyelid surgery, contact your doctor.