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What Is A Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty, or 'eyelid reduction' or 'eyebag removal', is one of the five most common cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK, accounting for just over 10% of all cosmetic procedures in 2018 alone.

As we age the skin around our eyes starts to lose its elasticity and our muscles relax. This causes both the upper and lower eyelids to sag, and it is not uncommon for eyebags to develop and our eyelids to start to droop. This effect is often heightened in smokers or those who have had excessive sun exposure.

Blepharoplasty involves the removal of loose skin and excess fatty tissues around the eye area, tightening the relaxed muscles and giving the skin a firmer, more youthful appearance.

Introduction to Blepharoplasty

At A Glance

Eyelid Reduction (Blepharoplasty)

At A Glance

  • Surgery Time

    1 - 2 hours

  • Exercise Including Gym

    6 weeks

  • Time Off Work

    1 week

  • Sexual Activity

    Restricted activity after 4 weeks

  • Hospital Stay

    Day case

  • Full Recovery

    2 weeks

  • Washing

    Shower after 1 week (area to be kept totally dry until this point)

  • Sleeping Position

    On back, elevated is recommended for 2 – 4 weeks

  • Reasonably Mobile

    1 day

  • Driving

    1 week

Blepharoplasty
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My Face My Body Awards Finalist 2017 Aesthetics Awards Winner 2017 Highly Commended 2018 My Face My Body Awards Winner 2016

Blepharoplasty Surgeons

We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.

Miss. Elizabeth Hawkes

Consultant Ophthalmic And Oculoplastic Surgeon / GMC: 7049736

Miss Hawkes is a Consultant Ophthalmic and Oculoplastic surgeon. She is a specialist in cosmetic eyelid surgery, including upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty surgery...

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Dr. Maryam Zamani

Oculoplastic Surgeon & Aesthetic Doctor / GMC: 6151942

Dr Maryam Zamani is a Consultant Oculoplastic Surgeon and Aesthetic Doctor, with a global reputation for excellence in eye and facial aesthetics...

See Full Profile

Mr. David Gateley

Consultant Plastic And Reconstructive Surgeon / GMC: 2939470

Mr. David Gateley is a Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with a special interest in facial aesthetics, rhinoplasty and complimentary surgical and non-surgical rejuvenation techniques......

See Full Profile
See all Plastic Surgeons

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The Effect Of Ageing Around The Eyes:

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Why Do People Have It?

Blepharoplasty is a very common procedure for both men and women looking to achieve a fresher, more youthful and rejuvenated facial appearance.

Blepharoplasty is a short and highly effective procedure that can achieve immediate changes with very little downtime, and the treatment can deliver both an improved physical and psychological sense of wellbeing.

Who Is Suitable

Cadogan Clinic considers individuals fit for the procedure, if all of the following are true of them:

  • Physically and psychologically fit and healthy
  • Bothered by the appearance or by signs of ageing in the eye area of the face
  • Have realistic expectations of what can be achieved by surgery

Testimonials

Non-Surgical Options

At Cadogan Clinic we use eyelid surgery in conjunction with non-surgical techniques to counteract the effects of ageing around the eyes, such as anti-ageing injectables. These are best for targeting wrinkles and fine lines, however, with Blepharoplasty more suited in cases where major intervention is required.

The Process

The first step for all of our patients is to meet with the surgeon we feel is best placed to perform your procedure for a consultation.

At the consultation, you will be able to discuss with your surgeon what your hope to achieve from the procedure, as well as discuss in detail what may or may not be possible given your existing ageing profile.

Having established what will be done, several key measurements will be made and standard clinical photography will be taken.

Finally, a comprehensive discussion regarding risks and complications will take place, alongside a discussion regarding the post-procedure and recovery phase. Your previous medical history will also be recorded (including previous surgery, medications, allergies etc.) and an assessment of your fitness for surgery.

If your surgeon feels you are a good candidate for surgery, you are then invited to consider whether you would like to proceed for surgery or otherwise following a two-week 'cooling-off' period.

Within this period you are welcome to come in and discuss your potential surgery with your surgeon as many times as you like.

If you choose to proceed with surgery, the next time you come into the Clinic after your final consultation will be the day of your procedure.

Before admission the following behavioural changes are recommended/required:

  • In the 6 weeks before your procedure we recommend smoking is discontinued as patients who smoke have a higher risk of healing more slowly and complications
  • In the week before your procedure you must cease taking Aspirin or any medication that contains Aspirin
  • In the 6 hours prior to surgery you must not consume food or any drink, other than small sips of clear fluid (e.g. still water, black coffee, black tea) which are allowed up to 2 hours before admission

On the day of your procedure, we ask that you arrive for your admission an hour before the agreed start time of surgery. At this point a nurse will come and record blood pressure and other relevant vitals, you will meet with your anaesthetist and your surgeon who will make the final mark-ups.

The procedure itself is straightforward and takes place under general anaesthetic over the course of between thirty minutes and one hour. The surgery involves your surgeon making tiny incisions along the natural crease of the eye carefully separating the skin from underlying structures and removing or repositioning the fatty tissue before stretching the skin and stitching it back together ensuring any wrinkles are smoothed out.

Following the procedure, you will recover in our ambulatory recovery rooms for between one to two hours, dependent on the scale of the procedure. Once our specialist nursing team are happy that your initial recovery is complete and you are safe to return home, you will be allowed to leave the Clinic accompanied by a friend or member of your family.

Once home you will have access to our dedicated oncall nursing team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This team of specialists are dedicated to your comfort and pain control, and are there to field any questions you may have in the immediate post operative phase.

Blepharoplasty recovery is relatively quick and any residual swelling should subside in a matter of days. We advise total rest for several days after treatment. We recommend at least 1 week off work to allow adequately for this process. We also recommend avoiding UV light for 2 -4 weeks to aid the scarring process.

We ask that you come in and see our nursing team 1 week after surgery to ensure your incision sites have been properly reviewed. At this juncture we also recommend you meet with one of our on site aestheticians to discuss ongoing treatment to support the healing and scarring process.

We ask that you come in to see your surgeon after 6 - 8 weeks for a final check up.

What are the risks

Complications are unlikely. That said, as with all surgery, some complications are possible, please read our FAQ's for more information.

Why come to The Cadogan Clinic for your Blepharoplasty?

What Can I Expect From My Surgery?

Our Surgical Patient Advisor, Ellie, answers our patients most frequently asked questions.

What can I expect from my surgery?

Frequently Asked Questions

Blepharoplasty (also known as eyelid reduction, eye lift or eye bag removal), is eyelid surgery designed to rejuvenate the eye and eyelid area.

Eyelid surgery can relate to both the upper and the lower eyelids, but the common aim is to counteract the effects of ageing on the skin, muscle and fat around the eyes.

Eyelid surgery is most common among slightly older patients (50 years old or more) but can be necessary for younger patients, either to change existing genetic features (e.g. droopy eyelids, sunken eyes, lumps on eyelid) or to remove bulging pockets of fat (eyebags) that can build at a young age.

Eyelid surgery can also be performed in conjunction with other surgical procedures of the face, brow or nose. The most common supplementary procedure would be fat grafting for the ageing face and is now included in most combination cases to achieve youthful vitality.

Eyelid reduction is another term for blepharoplasty, but is specifically used to refer to techniques designed to tighten the eyelids and reduce, reshape or lift the eyelid skin around the eye to achieve a refreshed, rejuvenated appearance.

It is possible to tighten the eyelids and reduce, reshape and lift the eyelid skin in just 45 minutes, and this treatment is appropriate for both men and women.

It is very common after surgery to have puffy eyelids for a while, but significant complications are rare. You might have more trouble in the evening when trying to shut your eyes to sleep the first few nights. Your eyes may be irritated or watery for several weeks following the surgery, but this will return rapidly to normal. You may also have bruising resembling a black eye, and some light pink scarring that will fade over time.

Blurred vision immediately after surgery due to persisting local anaesthetic and ointment applied to the eye at the end of the procedure.

Our surgeons will explain all the risks, the likeliness of them occurring and any possibilities of complications upon consultation. 

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid reduction, is highly effective at fixing droopy eyelids, or ptosis, and is the one lifting procedure which rarely needs to be repeated.

Whilst the occasional non-surgical touch-up may be required to maintain the full effects of droopy eyelid surgery, another skin excision is unlikely and you can expect droopy eyelids to be restored following one surgery.

Your surgeon will need to be aware of any medical eye conditions you may suffer from as there are some occasions when surgery is contraindicated. In particular, dry eye can appear worse after surgery. Your experienced surgeon will also need to ascertain whether it is just the eyelids, which are of concern, or whether the surrounding brow, temple, cheekbones and tear trough are also requiring treatment.

All surgery can be carried out as a day case. Usually under Total Intravenous Anaesthesia (TIVA) with the patient only lightly anaesthetised. Smaller procedures can be carried out under local anaesthetic. Your eyes will not be bandaged at the end of the procedure and although vision may be slightly reduced because of the local anaesthesia used, this is only temporary. You should not drive a car for 24 hours. The eyelid skin heals very quickly and in a few days, any stitches can be removed. Bruising varies but like all bruises settles, and will become less visible over 10 days. Swelling accompanies all surgery and on the eyelid, this may give a watery look to the eye (chemosis) which can be annoying and last a few weeks. If patients have festoons or swelling over the cheekbones, then this can remain swollen for a month or two. Patients should be reassured that all this swelling does eventually settle.

Finally, the surgery itself is not painful and the only restrictions are intended to reduce temporary swelling. Wearing a cold compress immediately after surgery and sitting propped up in bed for the first night are useful, but probably do not affect the final result. The eye is also watery because the swelling around the tear ducts which naturally drain tears into the nose, swell up and become blocked, again this is only temporary and usually lasts a day or so. You will probably not wish to go to work the next day because of the appearance of dressings, swelling and bruising, but working from home is reasonable for many.

Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery is safe in expert hands; however, every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand the risk before proceeding. You should discuss any existing medical problems with your surgeon, for instance, patients taking blood thinning agents are at risk of bruising which in certain types of lower eyelid surgery could cause bleeding behind the eye and in the exceptionally rare occasion, blindness. It is wise to avoid any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for 10 days before surgery as this too can increase the risk of bleeding.

Dry Irritated Eyes - Individuals who normally have dry eyes, may be advised to use special caution in considering Blepharoplasty surgery. If patients do use eye drops before surgery, they are quite likely to be using more afterwards.

Infection – Infection is rare and can be treated with antibiotic eye drops and ointment.

Watery Eye (Epiphora)- the tear ducts normally draining into the nose will temporarily block due to swelling. In addition, the swelling may give a watery appearance to the eye due to fluid under the conjunctiva. This is called Chemosis and may last a week or two.

Ectropion – Swelling after surgery can cause drooping of the lower eyelid and push the eyelid away from the eyeball. This usually settles as the swelling goes down and will be helped by massaging the swelling away from the eye and taping the eyelid upwards onto the eyeball. This can be a problem in the older patient and may be pre-existing to any surgery. There are operative procedures to correct it.

Your surgeon will give you all your pre-operative advice at your consultation. This may include having an eye test, if you have eye health issues, as well as a physical examination and eyelid photography from all angles. 

You will need to stop taking blood thinning medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and any other medication or herbal supplement associated with increased bleeding. Your surgeon will advise how long before surgery you need to stop taking these medicines.

You are advised to stop smoking for at least two weeks before your surgery. Smoking reduces healing and increases the risk of complications. Arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery on the day.

Blepharoplasty is basically skin deep and there is little pain in the post-operative recovery phase. Any discomfort is minor and can be controlled with simple pain relief and eye ointments provided by your surgeon.

Most patients need no analgesia at all after this surgery. Any feeling of grittiness after surgery can be treated with the eye ointment given to you at the time of surgery. Although patients may look bruised and have visible dressings, they can often work from home the next day, and be back to their daily activities after a few days. The pain is minimal. 

Recovery from Blepharoplasty is quick but because surgery is in the middle of the face, the dressings and any bruising will be visible. There are a few patients who disregard this and continue normal life, however, we would suggest that exercise is a bad thing as it will delay recovery from bruising and swelling. Working from home is a good option, but it will take 10 days for bruising of the lower eyelids to settle, the upper eyelids generally settle rather quicker. Bruising can be disguised with make-up and we can advise you about cosmetic camouflage. If you are at all sensitive, you should take two weeks before appearing at work. Stitches are removed in the first week. You should also remember that vision can be a little blurred the first day. This is partly due to the surgery and local anaesthesia used, even when you have a general anaesthetic, but also the ointment applied inside the eyelid morning and night does to some extent obscure vision.

On occasion surgery to the lower rather than the upper eyelid can cause swelling which is a nuisance for longer. There is always swelling of tissues after surgery and if this extends under the conjunctiva and on to the eyeball, this is called chemosis. It makes the eye look watery and this can take several weeks to completely settle. In addition, any bruising under the conjunctiva gives bright red ‘haemorrhages’. Chemosis and haemorrhages are of no significance other than the appearance, it does eventually settle.

Swelling can also push the lower eyelid away from the eyeball causing an ectropion, which is annoying but in most cases settles spontaneously within a few days or weeks.

This really depends on your tolerance to of your appearance. All the surgery is in the middle of the face and therefore rather obvious. There will be some small dressings for about a week and a little bruising of the cheeks below the eyelids. There may be some minor pain and swelling around the incision areas, and your eyes will tend to water.

Alternatively, there may be some dryness that occurs, which is easily relieved with some ointment that your surgeon will provide. Occasionally the ointment will cause the patient to have slightly blurred vision, so you may want to rest and take some extra time off work to just relax at home where you’ll be comfortable. Some patients may have added sensitivity to light temporarily following eyelid surgery, so bare that in mind if your work involves bright lights.

Longer term you may develop chemosis, which is oedema (swelling) of the conjunctiva covering the white of the eye. It settles, but it may take a week or two. Those people who have malar pads or festoons of the upper cheek will find that these swell and persists for a month or two.

We would advise you to rest, avoid putting your head down and ad an extra pillow at night, so that any swelling or bruising settles quicker. We do have patients, who completely disregard this advice, without long-term issues and go back to full work or off on holiday the following day. We do however, like to see the patients to remove stitches a few days later. We will advise on make-up or in the form of cosmetic camouflage which does allow you to get out and about with confidence.

Blepharoplasty surgery can give life-changing results and an experienced expert surgeon will not change the shape of the eyes, unless this is the aim. Surgery has evolved in recent years and less muscle fat and skin are being removed.

Fat may be repositioned rather than removed. There will be no tell-tale signs that it has been removed, you will have a natural, face new look to your face. In addition, we aim for an extra youthful vitality which is achieved by fat grafting of the brow, temple, cheekbones, lower eyelids that surround the eye. Fat grafts include stem cells, which improve skin quality as well as contours This is a very specialised technique which makes all the difference in achieving incredible results you’ll be happy with. 

The skin of the eyelids is excellent at hiding scars, and any blepharoplasty scars will be hidden in the fold of the upper eyelid, making them nearly invisible on most people.

The only way the blepharoplasty scars would potentially be visible, is when there is a hood of skin to be removed which extends beyond the eyelid, however, again for most people this blepharoplasty scar becomes invisible.

The blepharoplasty scar of the lower eyelid will heal very well, and it is disguised under the eyelashes and in the crow’s feet.

Typical genetic causes for eyelid surgery include an array of cosmetic issues such as lumps on the eyelid, sunken eyes, droopy eyelids (ptosis).

Some individuals are also genetically predisposed toward dark circles under the eyes, and the early formation of bags under the eyes.

All of these genetic conditions can be addressed by eyelid surgery and blepharoplasty.

The folds of skin beyond the lower eyelid overlying the cheekbone are often called Festoons and are more difficult to eliminate. There are a few different ways we will work at removing Festoons, either through skin removal, excision, fat or filler, liposuction and steroid injection.

The best treatment for eye bags is eyelid surgery.

The eyebag removal surgery begins with a surgical incision underneath the eye. Fatty deposits are then surgically removed and excess skin cut away, before the incision points are sewn back together. Scars are hidden in the folds of the eye.

Eyebag removal surgery take no longer than 45 minutes to 1 hour and is a highly effective rejuvenating surgical procedure. It is widely held as the best treatment for eye bags and the most effective method for how to remove bags from under the eyes

Eyebag removal surgery is suitable for both men and women.

Dark circles under the eyes are caused by a variety of factors including fatigue, age, dehydration, eye strain, allergies and genetics.

Any or all of these can combine to cause dark circles under the eyes, even at a fairly young age.

It is possible to get rid of dark circles under the eyes via a number of surgical and non surgical treatments. These range from laser, to skin peels, fillers to surgical removal of excess fat and skin to reveal a smoother and more even skin surface.

By far the best treatment to get rid of dark circles under the eyes permanently is eyelid surgery, and a transformative effect can be achieved in just 45 minutes.

Eyelid surgery is also the best treatment for getting rid of dark circles above the eyes and getting rid of dark circles around the eyes via the same technique.

Blepharoplasty procedures start from £4,000, however every individual is different, and an accurate price will be quoted depending on your individual needs on consultation with your surgeon. Book a consultation today at our clinic to find out exactly what your surgery will cost and what will be required for your particular case. 

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