Why Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?

Improve the appearance and function of your eyes.

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is a broad name for a group of procedures that are designed to repair sagging eyelids, under-eye bags, and even lines and wrinkles.

Procedures can be performed on both your upper and lower eyelids to reposition fat, tighten muscle, support tendons, and remove excess skin. It’s also an effective way to improve your sight if sagging eyelids are obstructing your vision.

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Do I Need Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?

Medical and cosmetic reasons for eyelid surgery.

If you have excess skin causing your upper eyelids to droop and even impair your vision, you may want to consider eyelid surgery. You may also consider the procedure for cosmetic reasons, such as eliminating sagging and under-eye bags.

Like any facial plastic surgery procedure, eyelid surgery is designed to improve, not perfect, your appearance. The best way to understand your possibilities is to meet with our Facial Plastic Surgery Specialists, Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS, and Renata Khelemsky, MD.

Hear Dr. Clevens explain who makes a good eyelid surgery candidate. 

Brow Lift vs. Eyelid Surgery: Which is Right for You

Blepharoplasty Benefits

Restore a refreshed and youthful appearance to your eyes.

Eyelid surgery can improve several conditions, including under-eye sagging due to age, hereditary under-eye bags that cause you to look perpetually tired or sad, or wrinkling exacerbated by chronic allergies, sun exposure, or excessive squinting and rubbing.

Droopiness in the upper eyelids will be corrected and lower eyelids achieve a smoother appearance. You may also experience an increase in your field of vision. Hear Dr. Khelemsky explain how you can enhance the benefits of eyelid surgery by combining it with other procedures.

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Blepharoplasty Procedure

More than 250 sets of eyelid procedures performed each year.

Dr. Clevens and Dr. Khelemsky are two of the most skilled facial plastic surgeons at blepharoplasty, performing thousands in their careers combined. They will remove excess skin, muscle, and fatty tissue on your upper eyelid via a tiny incision hidden in the eyelid crease. The lower eyelid incision is completely hidden, making it an “invisible” lower eyelid surgery.

Our facial plastic surgeons perform procedures in state-licensed, nationally accredited Ambulatory Surgery Centers alongside an anesthesiologist. Watch Dr. Clevens explain the eyelid surgery procedure.

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Blepharoplasty Recovery

The best aftercare for the fastest, most comfortable recovery possible.

Most patients take between five and 10 days to recover before they return to work, though we advise patients to refrain from strenuous exercise as they continue to heal.

As with any surgery, there are rare risks, such as dryness, itching or burning eyes, excessive tear production, light sensitivity, or blurred vision. Hear Dr. Khelemsky explain the recovery process for eyelid surgery.

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What Our Patients Say

Hear from one of our blepharoplasty patients.

“Genetically, through my family, we've had fat patties down on the lower parts. Dr. Clevens recommended while I was getting my lowers done, I should absolutely get my uppers done.” 


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Before and After Photos


Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.

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Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.

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Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.

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Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.

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Is eyelid surgery ever medically necessary?

Blepharoplasty is generally considered medically necessary when the eyelids cause functional problems. Usually this occurs when the upper eyelid droops so far that it obstructs the field of vision. To qualify for insurance coverage, most companies require documentation of at least a 25% obstruction.

I’ve heard of a “skin pinch” option for eyelid surgery. What exactly does that do?

 A skin pinch blepharoplasty is a somewhat less-invasive version of full lower-eyelid surgery. It removes a small amount of skin but does not touch the muscle. It’s useful for patients with less extra skin and for those who may be more prone to dry eyes. Dr. Clevens can determine its viability in your specific case after a professional evaluation.

Will I be able to wear makeup again after my eyelid surgery?

Yes, absolutely. In order to allow the incisions to heal properly, though, you should wait for 2-3 weeks. Not only is the makeup itself irritating to fresh incisions, but the bacteria present on the brushes and the cleanser used to remove it can be very damaging as well. To minimize risks of infection, hold off on the makeup until everything is healed.


Is eyelid taping a good alternative to eyelid surgery?

Eyelid tape can create a natural-looking crease on mono-lidded eyes, but it only lasts for as long as you have the tape on. It’s a good temporary option to make sure that you like how you look with the added crease, but for long-lasting results, surgery is necessary.


How visible will the scarring be?

In most cases, the scars will be invisible or nearly so. Scars on the eyelids usually heal very well and become narrow, flat, and close to your natural skin color. Since the locations are well-protected in the crease or near the lash-line, they will not be very apparent. However, they may be quite red and raised for the first month or two, so it’s important to be patient while they heal.


What is blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty, often referred to as eyelid surgery, or simply having your eyes done, is a popular procedure that can dramatically improve sagging upper eyelids and bulging bags in the under eye region. The delicate eye area is one of the first to be visibly effected by the aging process, causing a tired or fatigued appearance. As early as your thirties, these signs may become visible and those around you might comment that you look tired or sad. Dr. Clevens performs blepharoplasty in order to restore a refreshed and youthful look to your eyes. The lower eyelids achieve a smoother appearance. The droopiness in the upper eyelids is corrected. In addition to its cosmetic effects, those who are experiencing a decrease in their field of vision because of sagging upper eyelids may benefit from this procedure.


Does Dr. Clevens perform cosmetic eyelid surgery often?

Over 250 men and women each place their trust in Dr. Clevens and elect to have blepharoplasty performed, making it one of the most popular facial plastic surgery procedures. Patients who choose to have a blepharoplasty procedure performed by Dr. Clevens can expect to achieve more rested, vibrant eyes. Dr. Clevens has performed thousands of cosmetic eyelid procedures and offers extensive experience in many techniques of blepharoplasty, including a method that does not use external scars (Transconjunctival blepharoplasty) laser blepharoplasty, fat preservation, and revision blepharoplasty.


How do I know if I am a good candidate for an eyelid lift?

The best candidate for blepharoplasty is a physically healthy person who is realistic in their expectations regarding improvement of droopy upper eyelids and bulging lower eyelid bags. Blepharoplasty will not correct sagging of the brows, forehead furrows, or deep lines and wrinkles. These patients may benefit from other procedures, such as brow lift or skin resurfacing. Dr. Clevens will help you decide which procedures are right for you during your initial consultation.


Where is the blepharoplasty procedure performed?

To ensure your safety and comfort, Dr. Clevens performs eyelid surgery in a state-licensed, fully accredited ambulatory surgical facility or Outpatient Surgicenter.


What type of anesthesia is used during the blepharoplasty procedure?

Blepharoplasty may be performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Regardless, a board certified physician MD anesthesiologist will be responsible for administering your anesthesia or sedation. Dr. Clevens and your anesthesiologist will help determine what best suits your particular needs.


How does Dr. Clevens perform an eyelid lift?

During upper eyelid blepharoplasty, the excess skin, muscle and fatty tissue that have created a sad or tired appearance are simply removed through a tiny incision hidden in the crease of the upper eyelid. Dr. Clevens performs ‘invisible’ lower eyelid surgery where the incision is hidden inside the lower eyelid so there is not visible external incision.


How long does the actual blepharoplasty procedure take to perform?

Blepharoplasty typically takes Dr. Clevens about one hour to perform, depending on the case.


What other procedures may be combined with cosmetic eyelid surgery?

A number of other cosmetic procedures may be safely performed at the same time as blepharoplasty. These include skin resurfacing, facelift, neck lift, brow or forehead lift, neck and cheek liposuction.


Where are the incisions made for blepharoplasty? Are there scars after blepharoplasty?

When performing blepharoplasty of the upper eyelid, Dr. Clevens makes an imperceptible incision in the upper eyelid crease. These incisions are made in such a way that they will heal into tiny, virtually hidden scar. During blepharoplasty of the lower eyelids, Dr. Clevens makes a small incision on the inside of the eyelid, which results in no external scar whatsoever – the incision is ‘invisible’.


What is the recovery like after blepharoplasty? When are the stitches removed?

Patients may expect to have some swelling and bruising for as little as one to two weeks. Patients sometimes experience dryness, itching or burning of the eyes, excessive production of tears, a sensitivity to bright light, or blurred or double vision. Dr. Clevens uses dissolving stitches that vanish a few days after your procedure. Dr. Clevens and his staff are devoted to delivering the best aftercare and aid you in the speediest and most comfortable recovery possible.


How much time will I need to take off from work after my blepharoplasty procedure?

Patients are advised to take off five to seven to ten days of work after their blepharoplasty procedure. Dr. Clevens has an experienced team of medical aesthesticians on his staff available to instruct you how to conceal any bruising and swelling that may remain when you are ready to return to your normal routine. After surgery care with our aestheticians is offered as a complimentary service to our patients.


When can I exercise after my blepharoplasty procedure?

Even though you may feel ready to resume your normal physical activities and grow restless within a few days, to achieve the best results of your blepharoplasty, it is very important that you give your body its very best chance to recuperate and take it easy. The healing process is a delicate time, and you should cease your exercise regimen and avoid other sTRenuous activities for several weeks after your procedure. It is also wise to stop consuming alcohol prior to and during your recovery period.


When are the stitches removed after the blepharoplasty procedure?

Dr. Clevens uses dissolving stitches that vanish a few days after your procedure.

What are the risks or complications associated with blepharoplasty?

Patients should be informed that every surgical procedure carries certain risks and the potential for complications. Potential complications associated with blepharoplasty may include the following: bleeding, difficulty in completely closing the eyes, dry eyes, infection, pulling down of the lower lids, slight asymmetry in healing or scarring, swelling at the corners of the eyelids, temporary blurred or double vision, and whiteheads. To help ensure a good outcome, it is important to select an experienced facial plastic surgeon such as Dr. Clevens. Dr. Clevens performs over 250 sets of eyelid procedures each year.


Does insurance cover the cost of blepharoplasty?

If your blepharoplasty is performed solely to achieve a cosmetic benefit, insurance will not provide coverage. In such instances where your vision is being affected by drooping of the upper eyelids, insurance may cover part of all of the cost of the procedure. Dr. Clevens has insurance specialists on staff who can help guide you through this process.


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Request a private and comprehensive consultation.

See how eyelid surgery can help you meet your goals: Meet with Dr. Clevens or Dr. Khelemsky and their team.

First, our facial plastic surgery specialists will listen to your goals, evaluate your eye area, and discuss potential solutions that can help you look refreshed and improve your vision. Many patients opt to add a brow lift to correct forehead wrinkles, laser treatments to improve fine lines, and dermal filler or fat transfer to add volume.

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