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Upper Blepharoplasty

Upper blepharoplasty is an operation in which appearance of the eyes are rejuvenated. This is achieved using a variety of techniques that involve removal of excess skin, with or without the underlying muscle, followed by treatment of the deep fat responsible for bulging, asymmetry and the feeling of heaviness that many patients describe. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all operation and care must be taken to treat the various parts correctly to avoid the hollow eyes or the over-corrected startled look that can be occasionally seen on celebrities.

The surgery can be combined with a brow lift or lower blepharoplasty depending on your anatomy and wishes. The brow is an important component and a droopy brow can exacerbate excess skin of the upper eyelid. Failing to treat the brow can result in further descent of the brow following surgery and result in a sub-optimal result. Many people with ageing of the upper eyelids show similar features on the lower eyelids. This is why many opt for surgery to the upper and lower eyelids at the same time.

James Smith Plastic Surgery York and Leeds

Procedure Overview

Procedure Time

2 hours.

Hospital Time


Time off Work

2 weeks.

No Exercise

3 weeks.

No Driving

1 week.


24 hours.

Follow Up

1,4,6 weeks.

Who is Upper Blepharoplasty for?

• Men and woman who feel that their eyes make them look tired or sad.
• Men and women who have so much excess eyelid skin that it interferes with their vision.
• Women (and men!) who struggle to apply makeup, especially mascara, without it flaking off due to the eyelid skin rubbing on the lashes.


The Consultation

You consultation will consists of a full medical history and examination. You will have photos taken. We will then discuss the various techniques available to you and the different scars. I will show you a presentation showing pictures of results and scars that are to be expected. We will discuss your brow position and whether this needs to be addressed at the same time. We can also discuss other procedures that may complement an upper blepharoplasty. Following the consultation you will receive a comprehensive clinic letter complemented supplemented with some information leaflets to help you decide if this surgery is for you.


The Planning

Once a surgery date has been booked, you will be seen again, free of charge, to go through the operation in detail, answer any questions you may have, and prepare you adequately for surgery. This is a good opportunity for a friend to come for support. Importantly we advise no surgery within 2 months of a holiday abroad to ensure you have recovered fully.

This is a good opportunity for a friend to come for support. We advise no holiday abroad within two months of surgery.


The Procedure

This surgery can be performed under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic. Most patients I see prefer general anaesthetic as it can be quite disconcerting to have someone operating near your eye whilst you are awake. Most people are able to go home a few hours following the surgery.


The Aftercare

You will be seen at one week for your stitches to be removed. Most people are socially presentable at one week with make-up. By 2-3 weeks all bruising should have settled.

During or Shortly After the Surgery

Immediate Risks

Bleeding – mainly bruising
Poor scarring – the scars are usually very well hidden
Blindness – reported in the literature at 1:30,000
Chemosis: this is swelling to the whites of the eye and is not very common and is treated with medicated eye drops.
Double vision. This usually settles once the anaesthetic has worn off

Days Following the Surgery

Early Risks

Dry eyes – this settles once the swelling of the eyelids has improved
Cyst formation due to buried stitch
Eyelid numbness
Corneal injury – this is damage to the lens of the eye and can be painful. It is treated with medicated eyedrops.

After Returning Home

Late Risks

Undercorrection resulting in residual excess skin
Overcorrecton giving a hollowed eye appearance
Overcorrection resulting in difficulty fully closing the eye – The Liberace sign!
Brow droopiness – if undiagnosed at the time of surgery

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