Blepharoplasty: Your Eyelid Surgery Options And Costs

Blepharoplasty, commonly referred to as an eyelift, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that can be performed on the upper, lower or both eyelids.

Generally an anti-ageing cosmetic procedure to improve hooded or droopy eyelids and/or eye bags, the procedure is also increasingly common to achieve a double eyelid effect for Asian patients.

While the procedure is increasing in popularity, there are a few versions of the procedure and each has its own benefits, depending on your desired outcome.

Because it can be overwhelming to decide which version of a blepharoplasty procedure suits your needs best, we have put together this guide to answer the frequently asked questions and to help you determine which method to choose.

Looking for a more youthful appearance?

As we get older, our skin can lose elasticity and our facial muscles slacken. This can result in an accumulation of loose skin folds in the upper eye region, or deeper creases or bagginess in the lower region.

Fillers and fat grafting can be effective options to change the look of your eyes and fill in wrinkles or under-eye indents, and can be a temporary way to explore what a blepharoplasty may achieve more permanently.

Additionally, the procedure can also be combined with a face lift to achieve a more youthful look.

If you have decided to undergo a blepharoplasty for your anti-ageing needs, the procedure varies slightly depending on your problem areas.

If you have droopiness or excessive skin in the upper eyelid area as your key concern, surgery on this area generally involves:

  • Cutting an incision along the eyelid crease, in the natural skin fold of the eyelid
  • Removing the excess skin, fat or muscle causing the issue
  • Closing up the incision – the scar will be hidden in the natural fold of the eyelid

If a baggy or puffy lower eyelid is your target area, the procedure is very much the same, but can be slightly altered depending on your desired outcome:

  • Making an incision either just below the lower lashes (subciliary incision) or on the inside of the eyelid (transconjunctival incision)
  • Moving or removing fat from the bags under the eyes, also sometimes a small amount of skin
  • Supporting the muscles and tendon of the eyelid if necessary

An upper blepharoplasty usually takes about one hour, while lower lid surgery can take up to two.

Searching for the double eyelid effect instead?

There are two standard techniques to achieve the double eyelid effect: incisional or non incisional surgery.

Non incisional surgery is quick and effective, involving simply suturing the eyelid into the desired shape. While this version of the procedure heals fast and is reversible, it is important to know it is usually only a temporary solution.

Over time, factors such as skin and fat distribution, ageing and activities such as the use of contact lenses or eyelid tape can all affect the longevity of the procedure.

Incisional surgery removes excess skin and fat and then involves sewing a new fold into the eyelid. However, this option is permanent and non-reversible, with a slower healing time.

What is the recovery time?

Regardless of which type of blepharoplasty you choose, the recovery process is fairly straightforward.

Common symptoms after surgery include bruising, scarring and redness that can take several weeks to visibly fade. However, the worst is generally over after the first week or two.

You may experience:

  • Puffy, numb eyelids that are difficult to close
  • Irritated, sensitive or watery eyes – this may last a few weeks
  • Bruising
  • Pink scars - but these eventually fade to almost be invisible

To ensure comfort after surgery, you can:

  • Prop your head up with pillows when resting to reduce the swelling
  • Gently clean your eyelids using prescribed ointment or eye drops
  • Hold a cold compress to your eye for a few days
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and wind
  • Take paracetamol or another prescribed painkiller to relieve any mild pain

It is also advised to bring a friend or loved one to assist you once discharged from the hospital, as swelling can impair your vision.

Following surgery, it is typically recommended you take about a week off work to recover and avoid driving until swelling and discomfort fades.

Exercise and wearing contact lenses or makeup during this initial healing time is highly discouraged, but after consulting your surgeon you should be able to resume these activities after 3-4 weeks.

What are the risks?

To minimise risks, the ideal patient is someone in good general health. However, besides the general risks associated with anaesthesia and blood clots, the possible negative side effects are generally limited to infection and bleeding, irritated eyes, difficulty closing eyes or noticeable scarring.

These can generally be avoided by speaking with your surgeon about any medicine you may be taking to reduce your risk of blood clots (e.g. aspirin or warfarin), notifying them of any medical conditions and good post-procedure care.

How much does blepharoplasty cost?

A lower eyelid blepharoplasty can cost anywhere from 1200-6700€, depending on where you are having the procedure.

For example Thailand, Hungary and Netherlands are all under 2000€, France, Spain and Turkey are 3000€ or less, while the UK can cost over 6000€.

With an upper eyelid blepharoplasty, the price can fluctuate between a similar price range as the lower, but really depends on the type of procedure you choose, anaesthesia options and location of the surgery.

For both options, to obtain an accurate price, it is best to get in touch with us so we can find your personalised quote.

where can i get eyelid surgery?

We partner with top clinics and hospitals around the world to offer you the best possible service. Below are our partner clinics that offer blepharoplasty.

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About the author

Caitlin Russell, Communications Manager

Caitlin is our communications expert who is responsible for sharing the stories of our patients and partner clinics. She has a healthcare and travel communications background and a passion for empowering people to find and access affordable, high quality healthcare.

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