Blepharoplasty (Inpatient Care) Care Guide

  • Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgery to fix your sagging or baggy eyelids, which occurs as you get older. Sagging eyelids can make you look older, more tired, and sad. The sagging skin can also get in the way of your eyesight. Blepharoplasty may be done in a hospital or in your caregiver's office. During blepharoplasty, extra folds of skin or fat may be removed from your eyelids. At the same time, your caregiver may also fix a drooping eyelid (a condition called ptosis). He may also do other cosmetic surgeries, such as a face lift or eyebrow lift.

  • You and your caregiver will decide on a plan and set goals for the surgery. Blepharoplasty may help you see better if you have extra skin blocking your eyesight. It may also make the skin around your eyes smoother and less fat. With blepharoplasty, you may look younger and feel better about your appearance.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


  • Your eyelids may become red and swollen for weeks or months. You may have blurry or double vision. You may also have problems shedding tears, which may cause your eyes to become too dry. The way your eyelids look after the surgery may not be what you expected. You may have unwanted changes in the shape and look of your eyelids. Your eyes may look round, unequal, or sunken. Visible scars may form from the cuts made during the surgery.

  • Ptosis or webbing (folding of the upper eyelid skin near your nose) may occur. Your eyelids may not close all the way. You may get retrobulbar hematoma (bleeding or bruising inside your eyes), which may lead to blindness. Call your caregiver if you have questions about your surgery. If any of these problems occur or continue, you may need to have surgery again. People who have diabetes, a blood disorder, or other eye ailment are at increased risk of having problems. If you do not have blepharoplasty, the skin may block your eyesight. Your eyelids may also become more saggy, wrinkled, and fat.


  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

  • Pre-op care: While sitting, your caregiver will mark the areas on your eyelids where the cuts will be made during surgery. You may be given medicine to help you feel relaxed and sleepy. You are taken to the room where your surgery is done, and moved to a table or bed. You are placed lying on your back, with your head slightly raised. You are given medicine called local anesthesia or general anesthesia. You may be hooked up to machines to check your heart and lungs during the surgery.

    • Local anesthesia: This is medicine to make you comfortable during surgery. It is a shot of medicine put into your eyelid. It is used to number the area and dull your pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery. An adult may need to drive you home and stay with you after you have had local anesthesia.

    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

    • Heart monitor: This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.

During your surgery:

  • A shield may be placed over each eyeball for protection. Using a blade or special laser, your caregiver cuts your skin along the natural folds of your eyelids. Your eyeball may be pushed back gently to help your caregiver reach all of your eyelid fat. Sagging skin and extra fat will be removed from your eyelids. Your caregiver may also tighten and change the position of your eyelids. The removed fat may be placed onto another part of your eyelid.

  • If you are given only local anesthesia, your caregiver may ask you to do certain movements. He may ask you to open and close your eyes, move your eyes, or open your mouth. These movements help your caregiver cut off the proper amount of skin. The cuts are closed with stitches or thin strips of skin tape. The eyes are washed with water solution to remove any blood. Eye drops and antibiotic ointment may be applied to your eyes. These help keep your eyes moist while your eyelids heal, and help prevent wound infection.

After your surgery:

You are taken to a room where you can rest. Your caregiver checks on you often to see how you are doing. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is OK. You may be allowed to go home when you are fully awake. Your caregiver will give you instructions on your diet, activities, and medicines before you are sent home. Your eyelids may be bruised, itchy, and sore. You may also have blurring or double vision. Your caregiver may tell you to use an ice pack to decrease swelling in your eyelids. You may need to stay in a hospital if you have problems with your eyes.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.