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Medically Reviewed by:

Robert Applebaum M.D.

7 Things You Should Know Before Getting an Eyelid Lift

The delicate and sensitive eye area often becomes a problem area as you age. The thin skin around the eyes tends to show age more than other areas of the face or body, leading to the formation of wrinkles, bags, fine lines, and sagging skin that make you look older than you really are. 

If you’re tired of hiding behind sunglasses or hopelessly applying anti-aging creams to your eyes with no avail, you may want to consider an eyelid lift as a solution. 

1. What Is an Eyelid Lift?

An eyelid lift or a blepharoplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery that involves the removal of excess skin from around the eye area to effectively “lift” the eyes and achieve a more youthful appearance. This is typically an outpatient procedure that is performed by a plastic surgeon in consultation with an eye doctor. Depending on the type of eyelid lift being performed, you could be left with minimal or non-visible scarring. 

2. What Are the Different Types of Eyelid Surgeries?

Depending on your needs and concerns, there are a few different types of eyelid surgeries that you may want to consider, including:

  • Upper eyelid surgery: This procedure focuses on removing sagging skin around the upper eyelid area to open up the eye, improve vision, and achieve a younger look. This procedure involves a small incision that can be hidden in the crease of the upper eyelid for a natural appearance. 
  • Lower eyelid surgery: This procedure focuses on removing sagging skin and “bags” around the lower eyelid area to achieve a more rested and youthful look. This procedure involves a small incision made behind the lower eyelids to completely avoid visible scarring on the face. 
  • Double eyelid surgery: This procedure involves creating a crease within the upper eyelid to give the eyes a larger and wider appearance. This procedure can address monolids by adding a natural-looking fold between the eyelashes and the eyebrows.

3. Am I a Good Candidate for an Eyelid Lift?

While an eyelid lift can effectively treat a wide variety of eyelid-related concerns, not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure. 

Speaking with a qualified and certified plastic surgeon is the best way to determine if you’re a good candidate for an eyelid lift surgery, but here are some things that a professional may consider during a consultation:

  • You have loose or sagging skin that causes folds and droopiness around the upper eyelid that may also impair vision.
  • You have sagging, wrinkly, or puffy skin around the lower eyelid that contributes to the appearance of bags and dark circles.
  • You have a monolid that does not have a crease. 
  • You are in good health and do not smoke.
  • You have realistic expectations for the procedure and do not expect perfect results. 

Conversely, you may not be a good candidate for an eyelid lift surgery if:

  • You want to address the appearance of crow’s feet or uneven eyes
  • You want to address the appearance of drooping eyebrows
  • You have symptoms of an eye infection, dry eye, or other eye diseases
  • You smoke or you have a severe illness or infection

4. What Are the Risks and Side Effects of an Eyelid Lift?

Although an eyelid lift surgery performed by an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon is not considered a dangerous procedure, there are some risks involved. For example, some potential risks of an eyelid lift include:

  • Bleeding and infection
  • Dry and irritated eyes
  • Visible scarring around the eye area
  • Difficulty closing your eyes
  • Skin discoloration around the surgical site
  • Injury to eye muscles
  • Temporarily blurred vision
  • Loss of eyesight in extreme cases

Some more common side effects that you may experience as a result of an eyelid lift include:

  • Pain or discomfort around the eye area
  • Swelling and bruising that may appear as a “black eye” 
  • Numb and puffy eyelids
  • Consistently watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision

5. What Is the Recovery Period for an Eyelid Lift?

Even though an eyelid lift isn’t generally considered major surgery, it does involve a very sensitive and delicate part of the body — the eyes. 

As a result, this procedure may require a period of recovery time wherein you’re unable to go to work, school, or perform daily activities. While everyone recovers from surgery differently, you can generally expect to stay at home for a week or two while your eyelids heal. 

During this time, you should avoid strenuous activities and swimming for a week after the procedure. You should also apply ice packs periodically to your eye area based on specific guidance from your surgeon. You also should protect your eyes from sunlight while avoiding rubbing or irritating them. Finally, gently clean your eyelids by using the eye drops or ointments prescribed by your surgeon. 

6. Non-Surgical Alternatives to an Eyelid Lift

Although an eyelid lift is an effective way of treating drooping and sagging skin around the eyelids, there may be non-surgical alternatives that can provide the same types of results. For instance, you may want to consider Botox injections to treat sagging skin around the upper eyelids and eyebrows. 

You may want to consider laser skin resurfacing to treat crow’s feet and other fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. Finally, you may want to consider a fractional eyelid lift that uses a fractional CO2 laser to stimulate collagen production in the skin and encourage lifting and tightening of the skin. 

7. How to Find the Right Provider for an Eyelid Lift

The success of your eyelid lift surgery largely depends on your provider. So if you want the best results, you’re going to need the best surgeon. However, finding the best surgeon is easier said than done. You should look for a surgeon that’s experienced, certified, and well-reviewed. 

Dr. Applebaum has spent almost 30 years practicing plastic surgery in Beverly Hills and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, among other esteemed organizations. His patient reviews and photo gallery of incredible before and after transformations also speak for themselves. 

Final Thoughts on Eyelid Lifts

If you’re looking to lift your eye area for a more youthful appearance, an eyelid lift could be the perfect solution for you! Reach out to Dr. Applebaum for a complimentary in-person or virtual consultation today for more information about the procedure, risks, and recovery process. 


Medically reviewed by Dr. Robert Applebaum

Dr. Robert Applebaum is a world renowned and highly respected Plastic Surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In his nearly 30 years as a practicing physician, Dr. Applebaum has become known as an innovator in the field of laser technology techniques for plastic surgery procedures. He has published numerous articles and scientific papers about the use of laser technology and educates physicians worldwide on the applications of laser technology for plastic surgery. Dr. Applebaum primarily practices out of his private outpatient surgery center, Four Thirty Six Aesthetic Surgery Center, which is located in Beverly Hills.


Blepharoplasty | Mayo Clinic

Three Things You Should Know Before Getting an Eyelid Lift | American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Laser Skin Resurfacing: Top 8 Things You Need to Know | American Board of Cosmetic Surgery

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