What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift surgery, removes sagging skin from the eyelids to lift, tighten, and rejuvenate the eye area. Blepharoplasty achieves a more youthful, refreshed appearance, focusing on either the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. 

During upper eyelid surgery in New York, the excess skin and fat of the upper lids is removed to correct hooded or sleepy-looking eyelids. Lower eyelid surgery addresses the puffy bags or hollows, and loose skin under the eyes to achieve a smoother, rejuvenated eyelid appearance. 

A close up of a woman's greenish blue eye and brown eyebrow

What Does Blepharoplasty Improve?

  • Sagging skin around the eyes
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Under eye bags
  • Fine lines around the eyes
  • Drooping or excess skin that is blocking vision

What are the Benefits of Eyelid Surgery?

Blepharoplasty is now the most popular facial plastic surgery procedure after rhinoplasty (cosmetic surgery of the nose.) The popularity of this procedure reflects the importance of the eyes in optimizing overall facial appearance. In fact, most adults consider the eyes to be the defining feature of the face. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your eyes, you may want to consider blepharoplasty to improve your look and boost your confidence through a safe procedure with minimal downtime. This procedure can be beneficial to both men and women alike.

How the Eyes Age

Our eyes serve crucial functions for both vision and communication with others. The way our eyes look is very important, as they are a key physical attribute of both aesthetics and displaying emotion. Unfortunately, the area around the eyes is often one of the first to exhibit signs of age, as the skin of the eyelid is extremely thin and delicate and any changes in this area are quickly evident.

The skin and shape of the eyelids give an indication of a person’s age. The eyelids may start to droop and sag as the supporting tissues become thinner. This may be caused by several factors, such sun damage, smoking, obesity, and simply age itself. In addition, eyelids that droop or bulge can cause people to appear much older or fatigued than they actually are.

Fantastic plastic surgeon! I am absolutely thrilled with my entire experience with Dr. Hutchinson and her office staff. I had my upper and lower eyelids done to get rid of the bags under my eyes and my fix my droopy upper lids, so I now look years younger. My results are beautiful and natural, my recovery was a breeze, and I am so happy I had the surgery with her. 

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Who is a Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?

Men and women who would be appropriate candidates for eyelid surgery in New York are those who:

  • Have primarily cosmetic concerns and no serious ophthalmologic problems
  • Feel that their eyes make them look old or tired
  • Have upper eyelids that hang down over their eyes, are hooded due to excess skin, or have an unattractive contour
  • Have lower eyelids with “bags,” excess lid skin, loose, crepey, wrinkled skin, dark undereye circles, or a visible bony ridge
  • Are non-smokers in overall good health

It’s also important for patients to have realistic expectations for what eyelid surgery can do. While this procedure can certainly enhance your appearance and may improve self-confidence as a result, it cannot alter your entire facial appearance or change the structure of your face.

Getting Ready for Blepharoplasty

We want you to have the best possible experience during your procedure and recovery. To ensure this happens, Dr. Hutchinson will provide you with precise instructions to be followed before your appointment. These instructions include recommendations for any pre operative evaluation by an ophthalmologist, as well as requirements for medical clearance and bloodwork prior to surgery. She will also talk to you about being an active participant in optimizing your wellness, including maintaining a healthy lifestyle, diet, and weight, avoiding smoking, and not taking medications that can increase your risk of complications.

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Your Blepharoplasty Consultation

Before your eyelid surgery, you will meet with Dr. Hutchinson for a consultation so that she can formulate a personalized treatment plan for you. She will meet with you within an elegant, quiet, and unhurried ambiance where you can feel relaxed and comfortable asking her anything. Here’s what you can expect during your consultation:

  • You will have a comprehensive, in-person discussion with Dr. Hutchinson where she will go over your medical history. 
  • You will be given the opportunity to explain what bothers you about your eyelids, as well as the results you want to achieve with the procedure.
  • Dr. Hutchinson will perform a detailed physical examination of your face so that she can assess your unique physical features.
  • Dr. Hutchinson will take “before” photographs to provide additional information when discussing your eyelid surgery.
  • Dr. Hutchinson will discuss your surgical options for blepharoplasty and will then develop the ideal customized surgical plan for you.
  • You will be provided with detailed information about what to do before and after your eyelid surgery. 
  • You will be given the opportunity to ask any questions you have.
  • If you decide to proceed with surgery, you will be given the opportunity to schedule your blepharoplasty.

Blepharoplasty Surgical Details

Dr. Hutchinson performs all surgeries either in her fully AAAASF accredited operating room at her Upper East Side office or at one of her affiliated NYC hospitals. 

The blepharoplasty procedure is most often performed under monitored local anesthesia with intravenous sedation.

Patients may choose to have this procedure on either their upper or lower eyelids or on both upper and lower eyelids concurrently. 

Depending on these choices, the procedure can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. 

If the upper eyelids are being treated, Dr. Hutchinson will make an incision along the natural crease of the eyelid. Once this incision is made, she may remove fat deposits, excess muscle, and loose skin to create a more youthful, awakened appearance. 

For the lower eyelids, Dr. Hutchinson’s scarless procedure uses a transconjunctival approach.

This involves operating from within the inside of the lower lid, which leaves no visible scar. Alternatively, an external incision may be made just below the lash line so that excess skin can be removed. 

After the eyelid lift surgery is performed, the incisions are closed with sutures, which will be removed after 5-7 days.

A transconjunctival lower eyelid blepharoplasty does not require any sutures.

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Eyelid Surgery Recovery

After your eyelid surgery in New York, Dr. Hutchinson may recommend applying eye drops, lubricating ointment, and cold compresses to aid the healing process and minimize side effects such as swelling, bruising, irritation, or dry eyes. It is essential that you maintain head elevation during recovery.

Patients can usually return to work within a few days but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for two weeks.

Swelling and bruising usually subside within a couple of weeks after surgery. Dr. Hutchinson will give you specific and detailed instructions on how to care for your eyes after blepharoplasty surgery.

Eyelid Surgery Results

Eyelid surgery results become apparent as swelling and bruising resolve and will continue to improve for several weeks after surgery. The scars from an eyelid lift are usually imperceptible and will fade with time until they are virtually invisible. The incision is hidden in the crease of the eyelid in an upper blepharoplasty. In a lower blepharoplasty, it is placed inconspicuously just below the lower lashes or completely hidden inside the eyelids.

Blepharoplasty is designed to produce long lasting results, with permanent removal of the skin, fat, and muscle. While surgery cannot prevent your eyes from aging, most patients are extremely satisfied with their results and notice a significant improvement in their appearance.

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Assessing the Current Appearance of Your Eyes

In order to help you understand what results can be achieved with an eyelid lift and what the right option for you is, Dr. Hutchinson will discuss specific details and physical characteristics of your eyes and eyelids. Factors that may affect your results include the following:

  • The amount of upper eyelid skin excess you have
  • Your degree of upper eyelid fat protrusion
  • Volume and function of muscles around the eyes
  • Presence of low positioned upper eyelids (“ptosis”)
  • The eyebrow position
  • The extent of lower eyelid fat bags
  • Lower eyelid tone and laxity
  • The position of the lower eyelids relative to your eyes
  • The prominence of your eyes
  • Any asymmetry between eyelids
  • Any prior scars and surgery 
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New York female plastic surgeon, Dr. Olivia Hutchinson, in surgical attire
A sitting area in New York Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Olivia Hutchinson's surgical suite
Dr. Olivia Hutchinson's surgical practice in Upper East Side - 5

Why Choose Dr. Hutchinson for Eyelid Surgery in New York?

Dr. Olivia Hutchinson seeks to exceed her patients’ expectations and provide the highest level of care for each individual patient. A diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, she has advanced specialized training in aesthetic plastic surgery. Considered one of the top plastic surgeons in New York City, Dr. Hutchinson is frequently sought out due to her outstanding credentials from Harvard and Columbia and excellent results that her patients appreciate. If you’re interested in eyelid surgery with Dr. Hutchinson, contact us online or call us at (212) 452-1400.

Eyelid Lift FAQ

How long do eyes feel tight after blepharoplasty?

What should you not do before blepharoplasty?

How long after blepharoplasty will I look normal?

How do you clean your eyes after blepharoplasty?

How should I sleep after eyelid surgery?

What other procedures complement blepharoplasty?

What are the risks of blepharoplasty?

How long do eyes feel tight after blepharoplasty?

It is normal to feel some swelling and tightness for about one week after eyelid surgery. This is expected as part of the recovery process and will gradually resolve on its own.

What should you not do before blepharoplasty?

You should not take aspirin or any blood-thinning medications for 2 weeks before surgery, as these can increase bleeding and bruising. Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks prior to your surgery as it interferes with normal healing.

How long after blepharoplasty will I look normal?

It will take about 2 - 3 weeks for bruising and swelling to resolve sufficiently so signs of eyelid surgery become inconspicuous. Sutures are usually removed 5 days after surgery and most patients are comfortable going back to their usual routine or work schedule within 14 days.

How do you clean your eyes after blepharoplasty?

Use cotton-tipped applicators with saline to gently clean your eyelids. Only use ophthalmic drops and/or lubricating ointment as prescribed.

How should I sleep after eyelid surgery?

The best way to sleep after eyelid lift surgery is on your back with your head elevated. This helps minimize swelling and speed up recovery. Keeping cool compresses on your eyelids for the first 48 hours after surgery will also help reduce swelling.

What other procedures complement blepharoplasty?

For even more noticeable results, some patients may benefit from additional facial rejuvenation procedures performed at the same time as their eyelid surgery. These procedures include brow lift, facelift, neck lift, and rhinoplasty. The skin of the lower eyelid may also be smoothed and tightened with a resurfacing procedure such as microneedling, a chemical peel, or laser treatment, which creates smoother skin with fewer wrinkles.

What are the risks of blepharoplasty?

As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks. Although rare, these include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, eyelid malposition, and an inability to fully close the eyes. Many of these risks can be minimized by choosing an experienced surgeon such as Dr. Hutchinson and closely following proper care instructions after surgery.

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