Surgical Contouring of the Eyelids


A blepharoplasty is an operation which removes excess skin from the upper eyelids, which occurs most commonly due to the ageing process. This is because the skin loses its natural elasticity with age. Chronic sun exposure and cigarette smoking can accelerate such changes. Blepharoplasty aims to provide the patient with a more alert appearance and reduces morning swelling that occurs around the eyes.

This operation is usually carried out under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. The skin the be removed is marked out by the surgeon and is cut away, followed by wound closure with absorbable sutures. The wound usually heals very well and is concealed by the natural skin folds of the eyelid.

It is very common for the tissue around the eyes to become swollen and bruised following the operation and may take up to 3 weeks to settle.

As with any operation, there are risks to the surgery. Specific risks to blepharoplasty operations causing the tissue around the eye, and the eyeball itself, to swell (chemosis). This usually settles in a few weeks. The eyes may become drier and grittier than usual, which may be aided by lubricant eye drops. Very rarely, significant bleeding behind the eye can cause permanent impairment to vision. Additionally, the eyelid may be impaired in its ability to close following the operation, which may require further surgery to correct. General risks include bleeding, infection and formation of blood clots after surgery.

Mr Anton Fries, Consultant in reconstructive plastic surgery, would be delighted to discuss options for blepharoplasty surgery with you during a private consultation.