Upper Blepharoplasty Overview
Length: 1-2 hours
Anesthesia: Asleep or Awake
Side Effects: Swelling and some bruising. Temporary double vision and blindness may also occur, which usually remedy themselves within a day. Eye itching, dryness, and other discomfort can be medicated with eye drops or other prescriptions.
Risks: Anytime a patient has surgery, there is a risk of bleeding, infection, scarring, or side effects from anesthesia.
Recovery: Recovery from eyelid surgery generally takes several weeks. Within two days to a week, the stitches will be removed. In the first week, patients will want to make sure that their eyes receive plenty of rest. The redness and swelling occurring after the blepharoplasty procedure will fade with time.
Duration of Results: 10+ years
Remarkable Results, Exceptional Care
It’s all about your eyes. At Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte, North Carolina, we believe that the eyes play a crucial role in communication and the expression of emotions. The eyes are the focal point of the face as they express over 70% of our non-verbal facial expressions. As the eyes age, their appearance may change from bright and open to heavy and tired. If the eyes appear different than how we feel, this is typically the time patients will seek options to improve the appearance of the eyes. Some patients may experience drooping and sagging in their eyes as early as their late twenties, and other patients might be born with heavier shaped eyes.
The top aesthetic destination of the south, Carolina Facial Plastics, is led by double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh. With his team of cosmetic experts, a fully accredited surgery center, and a private recovery retreat all located in the heart of SouthPark, Carolina Facial Plastics is known for
unparalleled and natural-looking results exclusively for the face.
Dr. Kulbersh owns the Fairview Surgery Suites, a single-room surgery center, as well as Fairview Recovery Retreat for patients wanting an extended stay while recovering from surgery. These facilities offer the best in patient safety, comfort, and privacy.
Upper blepharoplasty or an upper eyelid lift is a surgical procedure used to correct drooping or heavy upper eyelids. The surgery entails making incisions on the upper eyelids, removing excess skin, and modifying the fat of the upper eyelid. The result is a more open eye and a refreshed appearance. If the lid was drooping enough to interfere with vision, upper blepharoplasty restores the full line of sight as well.
To learn more about upper blepharoplasty surgery, visit medlineplus.gov.
Upper blepharoplasty can remedy various eyelid and eye-related issues or concerns that range from cosmetic to medically necessary. Upper blepharoplasty can treat:
- Drooping upper eyelids that create a perpetually weary appearance
- Obstructed vision due to heavy lids
- Excess fatty deposits that create puffiness above the eye
Dr. Kulbersh performs upper blepharoplasty as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia (awake) or general anesthesia (asleep). Upper blepharoplasty is comfortable for all patients, whether awake or asleep under anesthesia.
Patients that choose to have the procedure while awake will take medications an hour or two before the surgery that will relax them for the surgery. In the office, Dr. Kulbersh will mark the amount of excess skin to remove directly on the eyelid. Next, he will inject the upper eyelids with numbing medication, which only takes a few minutes and ensures patients will not feel any pain.
Dr. Kulbersh creates the incisions for an upper blepharoplasty in the natural eyelid crease. This method ensures the incision is hidden in the crease after healing. During surgery, Dr. Kulbersh removes skin and fat, customizing the process for each patient. The following are the different approaches Dr. Kulbersh takes to perform an upper blepharoplasty:
- Remove only excess skin
- Remove excess skin and fat
- Remove excess skin and move excess fat into hollow areas around the eye
Surgeons were traditionally very aggressive at removing fat in the upper eyelids during a blepharoplasty. This approach created a hollow and gaunt appearance to the eyes. Dr. Kulbersh prefers to maintain as much fat and volume around the eye as possible. If necessary, he will move excess fat into hollow areas to create a youthful and natural result, a technique known as fat repositioning upper blepharoplasty.
Recovering from upper blepharoplasty is a relatively comfortable experience, and at Carolina Facial Plastics, we strive to make it as painless as possible. Immediately after the surgery, patients have small stitches in the upper eyelids and some swelling. For the first 24 hours, the patient should minimize activity, get plenty of rest, and keep the head elevated. Patients should place a bag of frozen peas on the eyes for ten minutes every hour they are awake for two days immediately following the procedure. After that time, patients are allowed to get the eyes wet in the shower.
For the first week, it is essential to keep the eyes moist with artificial tears and eye ointment. Patients will periodically use drops during the day and ointment before bed. These products can make the eyes blurry for a brief time after applying. Typically Tylenol will be enough to control any pain post-surgery, but Dr. Kulbersh may provide additional medication if it is necessary.
Dr. Kulbersh removes the stitches after 5-7 days. At this time, patients usually feel comfortable enough with their appearance to resume their activities. There is a small subset of patients that may have some light-bruising present at this time. Two weeks after surgery, patients can resume full physical activity, wear makeup on the upper eyelids, and resume wearing contact lenses. Makeup can be worn immediately after surgery on the rest of the face.
The incisions on the upper eyelids will continue to heal for up to one year after surgery. After the complete healing of the incisions, they become virtually undetectable.
Blepharoplasty can be done alone or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures. Dr. Kulbersh frequently combines upper blepharoplasty with these procedures:
Dr. Kulbersh is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon in the Southpark area of Charlotte, North Carolina. If you would like to schedule a consultation with him, please call (704) 842-3644 or fill out the online contact form on this website. Patients should plan on spending one hour in the office for the consultation, and he will create a customize blepharoplasty plan.
Frequently asked questions
The key feature of the upper eyelid is the shape and curve of the upper eyelid crease. Heavy upper eyelids will shrink or obliterate the upper eyelid crease. When that crease disappears, the eye will appear sad or tired. The primary goal of upper blepharoplasty is the creation of a defined upper eyelid crease. This gentle curve will create space between the eyelashes and the upper eyelid skin. The height of the crease can be made high or low, depending on the wishes of the patient. Many times, I will look at old pictures of the patient to help guide the future placement of the upper eyelid crease.
An upper blepharoplasty can be done asleep or awake. Both methods can create equally great results. There are some advantages to doing the procedure while awake. They are:
- Anesthesia – Some patients do not tolerate general anesthesia well, so they can opt to have the procedure while awake.
- Cost – It is less expensive to have a blepharoplasty while awake.
- Time – The overall time of the procedure is faster if done in the awake setting.
Anyone who is in good health and has a positive outlook and expectations in regards to surgery is a good candidate for an upper blepharoplasty in Charlotte. Patients that may not be a candidate are ones who have the following conditions:
- Symptoms or history of dry eye syndrome
- Previous eyelid surgery
- Other ocular conditions
An upper blepharoplasty will last forever. The face and eyes will continue to change during the aging process, but the eyes will always look better than if a patient never had surgery. On the conservative side, Dr. Kulbersh believes an upper blepharoplasty will last 10 years, but he has seen some last over 20 years.