Blepharoplasty Upper & Lower Eye Lift

Kensington Medical specialises in eyelid surgery and eye bag removal surgery. If you feel you have sagging or hooded eyelids or under eyebags, we can help. Read on to find out about the best eyelid plastic surgeons in the UK, the most frequently asked questions and what to expect before the procedure, on the day of the procedure and our special aftercare.

People can feel self-conscious about their eyelids and some feel it gives them a tired look. A blepharoplasty helps refresh the upperlids and lower eye lids or eye bags, leaving patients with a more youthful, rested look. Blepharoplasty surgery is often performed in conjunction with other surgery such as facelift.

In its 2022 annual audit, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) estimated that eye lid surgery was one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK, with 2,778 cases performed in 2022, up 78%. For men, blepharoplasty was the second most popular procedure.

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Upper & Lower Eye Lift - Key Information

Procedure length

45m to 90m

Anaesthesia

Local anaesthesia, sedation, general anaesthesia

Hospital stay

Day care

Up & mobile

Same day

Sleeping position

On your back for around 2 weeks

Driving

1 week

Back to work

1 week

Exercise

2 to 3 weeks

What can a blepharoplasty of the upper and / or lower eyelids achieve?

A blepharoplasty of the upper eyelids, or upper eye lid surgery, is a surgical procedure that makes the eyes look bigger or creates a more open eye look by removing excess skin or fat from the upper eyelids. With age, the muscles supporting the eye lids weaken, making your eye lids droop, resulting in a hooded eyes appearance. The procedure is popular because it helps your eyes appear less droopy and more alert.

A blepharoplasty of the lower eyelids, commonly known as eye bag removal, can help reduce or remove bagginess from under the eyes. The main causes of lower eye fatty deposits can be ageing, weight gain, loss of skin elasticity, and the weakening of supporting tissue. It can also be due to medical conditions. By removing the fatty deposits, eye bag removal surgery can also help reduce dark circles under the eyes.

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Blepharoplasty Before & After Images

Blepharoplasty results can be long lasting and most of our patients tell us they feel refreshed. Many find they start to enjoy using eye make up again and feel more confident. 

How is a blepharoplasty of the upper and / or lower eyelids performed?

Eyelid surgery can be performed either by a plastic surgeon, an oculoplastic surgeon, or an ophthalmic surgeon.

An upper eyelid surgery usually involves making an incision along the natural crease of your upper eyelid.

For an eye bag surgery (lower eyelids), the incision is generally made inside the eyelid so the scar is not visible. Your eyelid surgeon uses surgical instruments to pull the skin, muscle, and fatty tissue back to create a more youthful appearance around your eyes. Your surgeon will also remove excess fat and tighten the muscles of your eyelids to support your new look. This procedure may also involve repositioning the fat pads in your lower eyelids to reduce or eliminate any puffiness under your eyes.

If you are having both the top and bottom eyelids done, your surgeon will start with the upper lids. They will make a small incision where the eyelid meets the bone around your eye. For the lower eye lid, the surgeon will begin in the natural crease below your eye area. They will remove or redistribute muscles, fat and skin to change the appearance of the eyelid. Once the procedure is complete, they will close the incision with dissolvable stitches.

An upper blepharoplasty can be performed under local anaesthesia. A lower blepharoplasty is generally performed under a general anaesthesia.  

Who is a suitable candidate for this procedure?

Blepharoplasty of the upper eye lids and lower eye lids are a good choice for people who are unhappy with excess skin or fat that sags near the eyes, causing a tired look. The procedure can also reduce puffy bags under the eyes or remove them altogether.

The best candidates are healthy people who have a realistic understanding of what this surgery can achieve. Like most surgical procedures patients are advised to stop smoking before the treatment. Blepharoplasty patients tend to be aged in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s years of age. 

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Your Journey with Kensington Medical

Our experienced team of Kensington Medical facial surgeons offer customised care and an individual approach to ensure you get the best results from your blepharoplasty procedure. 

Your journey starts with a conversation between you and your surgeon: the pre-operative consultation, which is crucial to the operation's success. Patients interested in surgery with Kensington Medical have multiple consultations with the surgeon. This is because we want our patients to be completely informed before they decide whether to proceed with surgery. In most cases, our patients have two pre-operative consultations.

The first preoperative consultation is generally face-to-face. Its purpose is:

  • For you to explain to your surgeon your concerns and what you want to achieve with surgery.
  • For the surgeon to examine you.
  • For the surgeon to demonstrate what they can achieve by showing you before-and-after
    photographs of their patients.
  • For you and the surgeon to discuss a treatment plan.

After the first consultation, the surgeon will write to you summarising your discussion with them. We will issue you with a quotation based on the treatment plan that you have discussed at the consultation. We will also send you extensive information about the procedure you are considering, including the risks it involves and the steps you should take pre-operatively and post-operatively in order to get the best possible outcome from your surgery.

A second pre-operative appointment is frequently required. This is because:

  • You will have additional questions for the surgeon after the first consultation and after reading
    the information provided to you.
  • Several treatment options are sometimes discussed at the first consultation, so further
    discussions are sometimes necessary to decide which one suits you best.
  • The surgeon wants to ensure you have a good understanding of the risks of surgery and of
    what to expect from surgery.

The second consultation takes place by video call or in person.

Once you've decided to proceed with surgery, we will schedule your procedure at one of our specialist cosmetic surgery hospitals.

If you undergo an Upper and Lower Blepharoplasty, or a Lower Blepharoplasty, your procedure is likely to be carried out under general anaesthesia. You will be asked to fill out a health questionnaire ahead of surgery. Your anaesthetist will evaluate this and may call you to go over aspects of your medical history. You may need to visit the hospital for blood tests. One of our medical staff members will go through this with you before your planned appointment. An Upper Blepharoplasty is generally carried out under local anaesthesia, in which case no anaesthetist will be involved.

We will also issue you with preoperative instructions. In particular:

  • You should discontinue smoking for several weeks before your facelift, as smoking can
    increase the risk of complications during the healing process.
  • You should refrain from taking blood thinning drugs (such as aspirin) for 10 days before your
    procedure.
  • If your operation involves a general anaesthesia, you should not eat six hours before surgery;
    you should not drink two hours before surgery.

If your surgery is under general anaesthesia, you will be asked to arrive at the hospital at least an hour before your operation. The hospital's nursing staff will check your blood pressure, temperature and pulse. You will then meet your anaesthetist for a final check and your surgeon for a mark-up. For a local anaesthesia procedure, you will arrive around 30 minutes before the scheduled time and meet only the surgeon and nursing staff.

For an upper blepharoplasty, or upper lid surgery, the surgeon makes a cut following the eyelid fold, then trims away unwanted skin, muscle and fat to finally stitch up the wound. The operation generally lasts 45 to 60 minutes.

For a lower blepharoplasty (also known as lower lid surgery or eye bag removal), the surgeon cuts inside the lower lid or in the natural crease on the lower lid, below the lashes. The surgeon trims or repositions unwanted muscle, fat and loose skin. The wound is then stitched up. The operation lasts 60 to 75 minutes.

When both sets of eye lids are involved (upper and lower blepharoplasty), the operation lasts 75 to 90
minutes.

Following an operation under general anaesthesia, you will be transferred to the hospital’s recovery room. There, the nursing team will look after you and monitor you. Depending on the surgery and your reaction to it, you should spend two to four hours in the recovery room. If the operation is under local anaesthesia, the recovery period is quicker and sometimes takes place in the operating theatre. You will leave the hospital with a friend or a family member after the nursing staff is confident that you are in a fit condition to return home. You should make plans for someone to spend the first night after surgery with you. Although post-operative discomfort is typically not severe, you will be given painkillers just in case.

The quality of the postoperative care following a blepharoplasty is crucial to ensure a good outcome to the surgery.

Our nursing staff will be on call around the clock after you leave the hospital to make sure your recovery is comfortable and to answer any questions you may have.

In the weeks following your operation, your surgeon and / or our nursing team will see you in
consultation several times to assist you and check on the facial skin and scars:

  • The surgeon will inspect the wounds and dressings on the next day following surgery.
  • There will be another consultation one week after surgery, and the surgeon might decide to remove the sutures then, based on your healing progress.
  • At around two weeks post surgery, all sutures that are still in place will be removed and the surgeon will monitor your progress.
  • At six weeks, a final post-operative visit is scheduled. At that point, if the surgeon is happy with the outcome of your operation, he will discharge you from his care.

Following a blepharoplasty, bruising and swelling may persist for one month to six weeks.

You will be given aftercare recommendations by our medical staff specific to the operation you have undergone and taking into account your medical profile. The advice will cover a number of subjects, including: when it is safe for you to resume your daily activities, exercise, make-up, travelling, looking after your dressing; washing, diet, etc. It is crucial that you follow these directions carefully in order to reduce the likelihood of postoperative complications.

The sun can cause scarring, discolouration, and other undesirable side effects. It is therefore essential that you protect your face by wearing a hat (or using an umbrella) and applying sunscreen when going outside.

Regarding exercise, sport, strenuous movements or activities involving much facial movement, please wait until our medical team at Kensington Medical has given you the all-clear.

A healthy lifestyle that includes enough rest, a balanced diet and plenty of hydration is also a key contributing factor to ensure a good recovery and surgical outcome. This being the case, it is advisable not to smoke or consume alcohol before the operation and throughout the healing process.

The time it takes to get back to a normal daily routine and work after a blepharoplasty varies from one patient to the next. Several factors are at play: the actual speed of the recovery and each patient’s perception of how they look.

In the first 7 to 10 days post surgery, there can be some swelling and bruising. In addition, the scars will be more visible until the stitches come out. Some patients are happy to return to work or to their normal routine during that phase, while others prefer to take time off.

Generally, in the second week post surgery, patients are able to put concealant on their lids and most of them are happy to return to work or to their daily routine. After three or four weeks, the healing will be advanced, the swelling and bruising should have gone and you will start to look very good indeed.

You should enjoy the full results from your surgery six to seven weeks after surgery.

Upper & Lower Eye Lift (blepharoplasty) Surgeons

What other treatments can complement a blepharoplasty?

If you feel self-conscious about your forehead, combining the blepharoplasty with another procedure known as a temporal lift can be a good idea. As people age, their skin loses its elasticity and support tissues around the eyes. A temporal lift may help raise sagging eyebrows and reduce wrinkles on the forehead.

If you are looking for a combined procedure you can discuss in consultation with your plastic surgeon. 

Frequently asked questions

As with any surgery, blepharoplasty of the upper and lower eye offers a variety of potential risks. They include excess bleeding, infection, swelling, and problems with your vision or eye movement. Most side effects resolve as your body heals.

Blepharoplasty is a same day procedure. We advise that you have someone to drive you home and stay with you for the night.

A first follow-up visit will be booked around one week after the surgery. In this visit the sutures will be removed, following which any redness around the surgical wounds will dissipate quickly.

In the case of an upper eyelid surgery (upper blepharoplasty), you will be able to use concealant in the second week following the surgery. And from the third or fourth week, you will start to look very good indeed. 

For a lower eyelid surgery (lower blepharoplasty), the recovery is slower as it is a more involved procedure, with more extensive surgery. So you will take slightly lon to settle down, usually four weeks. You can use eye makeup from the second or third week. 

We recommend the use of silicon products and sunblock on the scars to protect them against UV light.

Regarding the downtime following surgery, every patient is different: some are happy to go back to work with residual swelling; others prefer to wait until swelling has fully subsided. Generally, as the swelling decreases and patients are able to use eye makeup, they resume work within two weeks.

 



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After your upper eye lift surgery, you will have a small scar located in the crease of your eyelid. It is not noticeable and most small scars will fade over time.

For a lower eyelid surgery, the incision is generally made inside your lower eyelid so the scar is not visible.

Your facial surgeon will go over the details of scarring in your pre-surgical appointment.



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This procedure can be highly effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles around your eyes. Many people may see changes immediately after the swelling and bruising subsides, although it can take a few months for the full results to show.

In most cases, these effects will last for years. However, your skin will lose its elasticity over time through the natural ageing process.

At Kensington Medical, our blepharoplasty cost starts from £2,300 for an upper eye lid lift, or eye lift surgery. If you are interested in finding out if you are suitable for a hooded eyelift at our London hospital, please get in touch. At your consultation, our expert facial plastic surgeon will discuss suitability, timelines and recovery times. You will see blepharoplasty before and after photos and will leave having a good understanding of how long you will need to looking refreshed again.

The next step to a refreshed you is a consultation with our expert plastic surgeons. At your appointment, they will discuss the details of the procedure and answer any questions that you may have about blepharoplasty.

To prepare for your consultation we would ask you to consider:

  • Your surgeon will want to review your medical history. 
  • Ask about any prescription medications you might take. 

During your consultation, your surgeon will share before and after images of previous eyelid and eye bag removal surgeries that they have performed so that you can see the types of results you should expect.



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The next step to a refreshed you

The Kensington Medical team provides a smooth and exciting journey to your blepharoplasty. A consultation with your facial surgeon is where you'll discuss the details, what you want to achieve and perhaps any other procedures that might be of interest.

Your face is everything, and we’ll ensure that the procedure gives you the confidence and refreshed look you are after.  Find out more by filling in the contact form or call us.  

Medically reviewed by Mr David Gateley MA, FRCS, FRCS (Plast), GMC number 2939470 - last update on 16 August, 2023.