Dr. Steven Fagien & Dr. Elbert Vaca

Upper Blepharoplasty / Upper Eyelid Lift


Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, refers to surgery of the upper and/or lower eyelids. The eyelids are one of the first areas of the face to demonstrate noticeable aging changes – however, each patient’s aging changes are unique, requiring a thorough analysis and individualized treatment plan.

Upper eyelid aging is complex and can result from a combination of factors including: “extra skin” (i.e. dermatochalasis), droopy upper lids (i.e. ptosis), hollowing of the upper eyelid, bulging of upper lid fat, and changes in the position and curvature of the brow. In the lower eyelid, aging can present as “puffy bags”, dark circles beneath the eyes, excess skin, and changes in the shape of eyelid and upper cheek.

Older eyelid surgery techniques typically involved removing loose appearing skin, muscle and fat. However, this risks a noticeably “surgical” and aged appearance. For this reason, it is extremely important that eyelid surgery be customized to your individual needs.

Am I a good candidate for surgery?

The best candidates for surgery are those with aging changes of their eyelids who are in good health and have realistic aging concerns and expectations. During your consultation, you and Dr. Fagien or Dr. Vaca will discuss the details of your concerns and determine if you are a good candidate for surgery.

What is the typical age of patients seeking eyelid surgery?

While most patients seeking eyelid surgery are in their 40’s or older, there is no set age range for eyelid surgery as long as patients are healthy enough to undergo surgery. Some patients in their 20’s can have lower eyelid bags or dark circles and can be excellent surgical candidates.

Where are incisions made for eyelid surgery?

In the upper eyelid, an incision is typically placed and concealed along the upper eyelid crease – this incision typically heals extremely well.

In the lower eyelid, an incision can be made inside the lower eyelid (i.e. no external visible incision) or just below the lower eyelashes. During your consultation, both you and your surgeon can help decide which is the best surgical approach to best address your concerns.

Can eyelid surgery be combined with other procedures?

Yes. Depending on your individual goals and needs, other surgical and non-surgical procedures can be performed at the same time as eyelid surgery.

Does eyelid surgery require general anesthesia?

It depends. Many upper eyelid surgical procedures can be performed with you awake under local anesthesia in an office setting. Most lower eyelid surgery is performed in the operating room under general anesthesia (i.e. with the patient asleep under the care of an anesthesiologist). If you are having other combined procedures during eyelid surgery, this is typically performed under general anesthesia for your comfort.

What are the risks of eyelid surgery?

All surgical procedures carry a degree of uncertainty and risk. Thankfully, the risk of any major complication is rare.

Eyelid scars are very faint and well concealed in the majority of patients. However, scars may be more prominent in some patients.

Infection and bleeding are rare but can occur. Eyelid surgery results in temporary numbness of the eyelashes, but this recovers over time in the vast majority of patients.

We all have natural asymmetries between each side of our face and eyelids – some people more than others. While one of the goals of surgery is minimize any preexisting asymmetry between the eyelids, it is important to know that some asymmetry will still exist. After surgery, patients tend to scrutinize their face more intently and may notice some asymmetries for the first time.

Meet Dr. Fagien

Dr. Fagien

Dr. Steven Fagien is one of the foremost oculoplastic surgeons in the United States and the world. He completed his medical training at the University of Florida and a fellowship in oculoplastic surgery at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Learn more...

Meet Dr. Vaca

Dr. Vaca

Dr. Elbert E. Vaca is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon who completed his medical training at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Learn more...

Request a Consultation