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Blepharoplasty is the medical term for eyelid surgery. An “eye lift” removes sagging skin and other tissue, such as excess fat. Many people have eye lifts for cosmetic reasons, but blepharoplasty is also done to improve vision.

Your eye surgeon will talk with you about whether you need surgery on the upper or lower lids or both. Lower lid surgery reduces bags under the eyes, while upper lid surgery removes hooding from extra skin. Eyelid surgery does not keep the eyes from aging, but most people have just one blepharoplasty.

Before & after photos of an upper and lower blepharophasty. © 2013 American Academy of Ophthalmology

Eyelid lift to improve vision

Your eyelid skin can droop or sag enough to impair your vision, including peripheral (side) vision. This can cause problems with everyday activities such as driving and reading. If this happens, talk to your eye doctor. He or she can measure your vision and tell you if eyelid surgery will make a difference.

Blepharoplasty can also reduce ptosis (upper eyelid drooping). Learn more about ptosis treatment.

How is eyelid surgery done?

Eyelid surgery is usually done at a surgery center or clinic, with no overnight hospital stay. Your surgeon makes you comfortable with numbing eye drops, local anesthesia and sedation, so you stay relaxed throughout the procedure. The incisions are made in your eye’s natural creases or below the lash line to minimize scarring.

View a photo gallery of cosmetic eyelid surgery from the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Oregon Eye Specialists physicians provide medical eyelid surgery, but may be able to refer you to a cosmetic eyelid surgeon.

Eye lift recovery

Most people have some swelling and bruising for one to three weeks. Because eyelid tissue is delicate, it takes two or three months to finish healing and experience the final results.

Will my insurance cover an eye lift?

Eyelid surgery for medical conditions, including ptosis and vision problems, is covered. In general, medical insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery, including eye lifts.

Am I a candidate for eyelid surgery?

For an eye lift, you should be 35 or older (except for children with ptosis). You should also be in good health and realistic about what eyelid surgery can do for you.

Consult with a physician about eyelid surgery

If you believe excess skin may be blocking your vision, talking with an experienced eye surgeon is the best way to discover if eyelid surgery is for you.

Request an appointment online or call Oregon Eye Specialists at 503-935-5580.

Read more on Vasiliki Stoumbos, M.D.

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery): Cosmetic vs. Medical Treatment

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