Eyelid Surgery: Cost, Risks, Recovery


Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty or eye lift, is a cosmetic surgery to remove and tighten excess eyelid skin, muscle or fat for a more open, refreshed, and naturally youthful appearance to aging eyes. Sometimes blepharoplasty also can improve your vision by providing a less obstructed field of view, once droopy eyelids are improved.

There are two types of eyelid surgery: upper and lower. Upper eyelid surgery removes excess skin and fat to leave the upper lid skin tighter. Lower eyelid surgery addresses the bags under your eyes. Sometimes these two surgeries are done together, but often upper or lower eyelid surgery are done on their own.


Good candidates for eyelid surgery have the following conditions:

  • Healthy people without medidcal conditions that impair the healing
  • People who have a positive and realistic outlook toward th esurgery
  • Nonsmokers
  • People who have no serious eye conditions


According to 2018 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of eyelid surgery is $3,163. However, since the extent of the procedure can be different, the total cost or range of the cost can vary widely. Factors that can influence the cost of an eyelid surgery include:

  • The surgeon’s experience
  • The type of procedure
  • Office location

Besides, the total cost of an eyelid surgery should include anesthesia fees, prescriptions for medication and fees for medical tests.


Before making the decision, you should discuss with your surgeon about risks and complications of eyelid surgery to make sure that you can accept them. These possible risks include:

  • Swelling and pain
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Bruising
  • Scarring
  • Dry eyes
  • Lid lag
  • Sensitivity to sun or other bright light
  • Difficulty closing your eyes
  • Ectropion, an outward rolling of the lower eyelid
  • Temporary or even permanent change in vision, and very rare chance of blindness


In your consultation with the surgeon, you should tell him or her your medical history and expectations for the surgery. Your doctor may also ask you to:

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • Taking certain medications or adjusting your current medications
  • Stopping smoking at least two weeks before surgery
  • Avoiding taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements due to the risk of increased bleeding.

In most cases, eyelid surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. So, be sure to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from surgery, and to stay with you the first night following surgery.

Surgical steps

An eyelid surgery often takes about two hours if both upper and lower eyelids are done together. Your surgeon will choose the best option for you depending on your anatomy and changes needed to achieve your goals. General procedures of this surgery are:

  • Anesthesia, most likely local anesthesia with oral or IV sedation
  • Making the incision

For the upper eyelid surgery, the surgeon will make an incision within the natural crease on the eyelid. This allows for removal or repositioning of fat deposits, tightening of muscles and removal of excess skin.

For the lower eyelid surgery, your surgeon will make an incision just below the lower lash line. Through this incision, he or she can remove excess skin or reposition the excess fat in the lower eyelid.

There is another technique called a transconjunctival incision. This is created on the inside of the lower eyelid. It can help correct lower eyelid conditions and redistribute or remove excess fat. With this technique, the surgeon doesn’t need to remove the skin.

  • Closing the incisions with sutures or skin glue
  • Waiting to see the results


After eyelid surgery, you will have stitches in both lids that will remain for as long as a week. It is common to have swelling and, occasionally, bruising, but your eyelids should look normal within a week or two.

During your recovery, you should follow your surgeon’s advice closely. He or she will tell you the proper way to clean the eyes, to elevate your head and to use cold compresses or lubricating eye drops. You should also avoid makeup, alcohol, television or contact lenses in the first days of the surgery.

It is worth mentioning that upper eyelid surgery can last at least five to seven years and lower eyelid surgery rarely needs to be repeated. Of course, your eyes will still age after the procedure. But if your lids sag again, a forehead lift rather than another eye lift may be the preferred procedure.

Keyword: eyelid surgery.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.