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Eyelid lift (Blepharoplasty) and brow lift

About the procedure

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift, is a plastic surgery procedure that is used to improve the appearance of the eyelids. As people age, there are characteristic changes that occur in eyelid appearance. In the upper eyelids, the skin tends to sag and droop, and the upper eyelid fat can protrude abnormally. The combination of skin drooping and fat bulging can give the appearance of being tired or sleepy. In the lower eyelid, there can be fat bulging and excess skin as well, which often causes deep bags to form under the eyes. Occasionally, there may even be discoloration of the lower eyelid skin. In addition to the change in eyelid skin and fat, there may be a change in the eyebrow position. The eyebrow may tend to droop down closer to the eye, which also leads to a tired appearance.

In order to correct the changes of aging and restore the eyelids to a more youthful appearance, Dr. Hirsch will perform a blepharoplasty procedure. The actual steps of the procedure are tailored to the specific needs of each patient. In the upper eyelid, Dr. Hirsch will first carefully measure the amount of skin that needs to be removed. Next, Dr. Hirsch will trim off the excess skin, and then either remove or reposition the fat from the upper lid to minimize the bulging. Occasionally, Dr. Hirsch will even add fat to the upper lid if it has a hollowed out, sunken appearance. The incision in the upper eyelid is made in the natural lid crease, so the scar is barely visible. If the eyebrow position is too low, this can be corrected at the time of the eyelid lift as well. There are different ways to perform this procedure- occasionally it can be performed through the upper eyelid lift incision while other times it is necessary to make a separate incision in the hairline.

Similarly, during the lower eyelid lift procedure, Dr. Hirsch takes care to make sure that the treatment plan is tailored to the needs of each patient. Dr. Hirsch will either make an incision inside the lower eyelid or in the skin of the lower eyelid. If the incision is inside the lower eyelid, there is no visible scar! He will then remove fat and skin as necessary to create a more youthful lower eyelid.

During the recovery period after a blepharoplasty procedure or a brow lift procedure, it is normal to experience some swelling. Patients should use ice for the first 24-48 hours in order to reduce the amount of bruising or swelling that can occur. Typically, the swelling is worst in the first 1-2 days after surgery and then improves over the next 1-2 weeks. The sutures that are used to close the upper eyelid incision can be removed at 1 week, and patients are usually able to go back to work between 7-10 days after surgery.

Frequently asked questions about blepharoplasty and browlift:

People always tell me that my eyelids look low, is this normal?

If your eyelids look low, you may have a condition called eyelid ptosis. In this condition, your upper eyelids tend to droop lower than they normally would. There are many causes for eyelid ptosis- some of them are medical while other causes may be surgically corrected. There are several different ways of correcting eyelid ptosis as well, depending on the cause and degree of eyelid ptosis. If you think that you have eyelid ptosis, you should mention this to Dr. Hirsch at the time of your consultation. Eyelid ptosis repair can be combined with a blepharoplasty procedure!

When can I start exercising again after blepharoplasty or browlift?

It is very important that you start walking the same night as your blepharoplasty or browlift! You should perform only light activity for the first 2 weeks after your blepharoplasty or browlift, and try to keep your head elevated as you sleep in order to minimize swelling. As long as your blepharoplasty incisions are healing well, Dr. Hirsch will usually clear you to begin light exercise (light treadmill or light bike riding) between 2-4 weeks after surgery and resume full exercise 6 weeks after surgery. It is important to wait for Dr. Hirsch to clear you to resume exercises at each post operative stage.

When can I go back to work after blepharoplasty?

It really depends on what type of work you do. If you work at a desk job, you might feel like going back to work after a week or so following your blepharoplasty or browlift. If you work at a job that requires heavy physical activity, you might need to be off work for a longer period of time.

Additional resources about eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) and brow lift

Feel free to browse the following links to learn more about eyelid lifts (blepharoplasty) and brow lifts:

Dr. Elliot Hirsch

Meet Dr. Elliot Hirsch

Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Elliot M. Hirsch has been educated at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern California, and Northwestern University. He is an active researcher and has published over 40 original papers and book chapters, and holds patents for his inventions in plastic surgery. Dr. Hirsch’s specialties include not only aesthetic surgery, but reconstructive surgery with special attention to aesthetic detail to ensure that patients achieve the best possible results.

To read more about Dr. Hirsch, please visit his extended biography page.

Read Dr. Hirsch's Biography