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Eye Lift


What you need to know about an eye lift:

Eye lift, or blepharoplasty, is surgery to fix a sagging, drooping, or baggy eyelid. The upper and lower eyelids may be fixed.

How to prepare for surgery:

Your surgeon will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He or she will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may be given antibiotics before your surgery starts. Arrange to have someone drive you home and stay with you.

What will happen during surgery:

  • You may be given local anesthesia to numb the surgery area. You may also be given sedation. With local anesthesia and sedation, you may feel pressure or pushing, but you should not feel any pain. You may instead be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep during surgery.
  • Your surgeon will make cuts in the natural folds of your eyelid with a blade or laser. Extra skin and fat will be removed. Your surgeon may also tighten the eyelid or change its position. The cuts will be closed with tiny stitches, medical tape, or medical glue.

What will happen after surgery:

Eye drops and ointment may be applied to your eye. These will help keep your eye moist while your eyelid heals. They will also help prevent infection. You may expect watery eye, double vision, and sensitivity to light. Your eye may be swollen and numb.

Risks of surgery:

  • You may have temporary numbness of your eyelid. Your eye may become dry and irritated. Your eyelid may be red and swollen for weeks or months. You may have blurry or double vision. You may develop scars. Your eye muscles may be damaged. You may have bleeding or bruising in your eye, which can lead to blindness.
  • Your eyelid may not close all the way. Your eyelid may look different than you expected. Your eye may look round, different from the other eye, or sunken. Ptosis (drooping) or webbing (folding of the upper eyelid skin near your nose) may occur.

Call 911 if:

  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing.
  • You have vision loss.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your eye begins to bleed.
  • You feel sudden, sharp pain in your eye.
  • Your stitches come apart.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your eye is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have a rash around your eye.
  • You have a fever and chills.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for your eye:

  • Do not rub your eyes for several weeks until all incisions have completely healed.
  • Use artificial tears 2 times a day if you have dry eye.
  • Apply ice on your eye 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Elevate your head and upper back when you rest, such as in a recliner. Place extra pillows under your head and neck when you sleep in bed. Elevation will help decrease swelling.
  • Limit activity as directed. Do not lift objects over 20 pounds. Lifting heavy objects can put pressure on your eyes and cause damage to the surgery area. Ask when you can return to your usual daily activities.
  • Care for your wound as directed. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Gently pat dry.
  • Do not wear contact lenses or eye makeup until your eye has healed. Wear sunglasses to protect your eye when you are outside.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return to have your eyelid checked or your stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.