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What is Eyelid Surgery?

An eye lift, or blepharoplasty surgery, removes excess skin from the upper and/or lower eyelids, giving you a more refreshed, rested, and youthful look.

What concerns does an eyelid surgery address?

I have extra skin on my upper eyelids.

-a Baltimore patient

The eyelid procedure is requested by not only aging patient, but also patients who are in their twenties. Many of these patients have the outer corner of the eye situated at a level below that of the inner corner. Some describe this as a puppy dog look. They often request an almond shaped eye (Tiger Woods, Beyonce). Others (often of Asian heritage) request a widening of the eye. In the mid to late thirties the skin on the eyelids relaxes and becomes thinner. The cheek and the eyebrow also descend, giving a crowded look to the eyes. As these parts of the face descend they tend to pull the outer corner of the eye down.

Patients who request an eye lift often present the following symptoms:

  • crowded (hooded) eyes
  • outer corner of eye is lower than inner corner
  • sagging upper eyelid (ptosis)
  • drooping lower eyelids
  • bags under the eyes

How is eyelid surgery performed?

Eye lift surgery can be performed under local anesthesia in the office or in our AAAASF Accredited surgery center using IV anesthesia. If you elect to have the procedure under local anesthesia, I will ensure that the area is numbed enough so that you do not feel anything. This local experience is comparable to having a dental procedure.

During eyelid surgery, the upper lid is corrected through an incision made in the natural crease to remove excess skin, reposition fat and tighten muscle.The lower eyelid incision is generally made just below the lower lash line. Whether or not your surgery includes the upper eyelid, the lower eyelid, or both will be determined during your eyelid surgery consultation based on your specific goals.

Can my sagging upper eyelids be treated by a brow lift instead?

Yes, in fact, often times I prefer to treat sagging upper eyelids with a Brow Lift since drooping eyelids are usually a result of a sagging brow. Lifting the brow is often the most natural way to bring the eyebrows and lids back to where they were in their youthful state. You can get some idea if you might benefit from a brow lift by looking in the mirror and raising your upper brow 1/2 inch on each top side. To read more about my thoughts on why some patients benefit more from a brow lift than an eyelift, please read this blog post.

Can I get a Brow Lift AND an Upper Eyelid Lift?

If there is excessive eyelid skin, you may need both procedures. However, I prefers to perform the Brow Lift first, as more than 90% of the time, it is enough to lift the upper eyelids to a youthful position without any incision in the upper eyelid.

What are the pre-operative requirements?

Pre-op requirements depend on the type of anesthesia you choose during your eye lift consultation.  There is no pre-op testing if the procedure is performed under local anesthesia.  Patients who select IV anesthesia are required to have an H&P (physical) and CBC blood test for medical clearance two weeks prior to the procedure.  With IV sedation, you should stop smoking 4 weeks prior to the surgery, and stop taking aspirin 2 weeks before surgery.

What is the post-op recovery for like after eyelid surgery?

Following the procedure, you may use a cold compress to reduce swelling.  You should sleep with your head elevated for the first week .  The area around your eyes will be bruised for about 10 days. Many people go out in public with large sunglasses. Sometimes there is residual swelling for longer. However,  after the first few weeks of recovery, swelling can often be helped with massage. 

What are the risks and complications associated with eyelid surgery?

As with any surgery, there are risks and complications that can arise following an eye lift. Possible concerns include:

  • swelling and bruising
  • dry eyes
  • infection
  • unfavorable scarring
  • sensitivity to light
  • difficulty shutting the upper eyelids completely

How much does an Eyelid Lift procedure cost?

The eye lift procedure is less expensive if performed under local anesthesia because there are no hospital or anesthesia fees. Having local anesthesia is comparable to going to having a dental procedure.  If performed under local anesthesia,  the upper eye lift procedure is $2150.  If the procedure is performed under IV sedation in the main Operating Room, the total cost is approximately $3050.  Total cost includes surgeon's fee, OR fee, and anesthesia fees.  All post op office visits are also included in the total cost.

Financing is available, please call the office at office at 410-494-8100 to schedule an eyelid surgery consult or contact us online.

Eyelid Surgery Before and After Photos*

See our patient gallery of Eyelid Surgery Before and After Photos, all performed by me here in Baltimore. Please note that all of these patients have given written consent for us to use their photos at our website. We are very grateful for their participation in patient education!

Having Your Surgery in Baltimore

Contact UsWhile most of our eyelid surgery patients are local, many also come from out of town. Baltimore is only 30 miles from BWI airport and we are only 20 minutes from the downtown Amtrak train station. Give us a call at +1-410-494-8100 or Contact Us online to set up a consult. We're happy to schedule a time for you to visit our offices or participate in a virtual consultation to help determine if eyelid surgery will help you achieve your cosmetic goals.

doctor's signatureUpdated October 18, 2015
Ricardo L Rodriguez M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgery

*Note: Patients depicted in photos and videos have provided written consent to display their photos online. Every patient is unique, and surgical results may vary. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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