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Is an Upper Lid Blepharoplasty Painful?

Generally, an upper lid blepharoplasty is a non painful procedure that patients can usually have performed, and enjoy a minimal amount of post-operative pain medicine, because the procedure is very mild. It’s almost like a skin excision, and the eyelid itself is not particularly painful. It may swell and bruise a lot, but it is not very painful. Many of my patients don’t even take any narcotics after surgery. They only take acetaminophen or Tylenol. We often give them a prescription for narcotic pain medicine, such as hydrocodone, but they usually don’t have to take it. And if they do, they might only take it the evening of surgery, then likely not the next day.

What’s done in upper lid blepharoplasty?

For me, it’s a relatively simple procedure. It involves an incision that is in the upper eyelid crease, and we remove skin above the crease. It’s the redundant skin that makes the eyelid look heavy and aged. Like we’re tired. If the patient has a lot of excess fat, this is a minority of my patients, we sometimes will take a little bit of fat out. However in my practice, it’s uncommon that I take much fat out of the upper eyelid. In an upper eyelid blepharoplasty, I’m usually removing a little skin above the upper eyelid crease. I generally do not take fat out of the upper eyelid, because that makes the eyelid look more hollow. And that actually ages the upper eyelid if too much, fat is removed.

What I do commonly is raise the level of the eyelid. People think that their eyelid looks heavy, because it has extra skin. And they think that their eyelid looks heavy when the lid itself is drooping. I tell patients this is like the window shade coming down on the window. The window shade may be positioned too low, or it may be coming down too low. So it may be one or the other, or both of those I’m correcting. My goals is to open the aperture of the eye a little bit, and remove the redundant or excess skin.

How long does it take to recover from an upper eyelid blepharoplasty or upper eyelid lift?

Bottomline, most of my patients are doing 95% of what they normally do 5-7 days after the eyelid surgery. Because this is really pretty minor surgery, people recover from it pretty quickly. However, because eyelid surgery is performed on the very thin skin of the upper eyelid, we can swell and even bruise a little bit. Sometimes the bruising moves down in the cheek, where we haven’t even worked. In other words, the bruising and the swelling go south of where we’ve done the operating. So that adds to the recovery, because people don’t look perfect. I think to look generally good from an from eyelid surgery takes about a week. Sutures are removed after about five days. And it takes about a week to look good, not great. It takes about a month to look great.

How much does an upper eyelid blepharoplasty cost?

The cost of blepharoplasty depends on the surgeon, the region, and the procedure itself. A lot of factors come into play. But as a general rule, costs might start at $3500 and go up to $6500. My prices are a little more in the middle of that, about $4500 to do upper eyelid surgery. If you have questions about this pretty minor surgery, which can be done alone or with many other things, call me or email my office. I’d love to hear from you, and I look forward to seeing you.

About Dr. Jonathan Sykes

Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.

He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr.Sykes at: [email protected]