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Eyelid Surgery

How Is Eyelid Surgery Performed?

An eyelift usually takes about two hours if both upper and lower eyelids are done together. Your doctor will most likely use local anesthesia (a painkiller injected around the eye) with oral sedation.

If you are having the procedure done at a hospital or surgical center, you will most likely receive IV sedation.

If you're having all four eyelids done, the surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first. The surgeon will usually cut following the natural lines of your eyelids. Through these cuts, your surgeon will separate the skin from the underlying tissue and remove the excess fat, skin, and muscle. Next, the surgeon will close those cuts with very small stitches. The stitches in the upper lids will stay for three to six days. The lower lids may or may not require stitches, depending on the technique used.

Surgery on the lower eyelids may be done using one of several techniques. In one method, your surgeon makes a cut inside your lower eyelid to remove fat. That cut won't be visible. Your surgeon can then soften fine lines in the skin using a C02 or erbium laser.

Another method involves making a cut along the eyelash margin. Through that cut, your surgeon can remove excess skin, loose muscle, and fat. The cut line fades after a short time.

After either of these procedures, your surgeon may recommend laser resurfacing.

What Is Recovery Like After Eyelid Surgery?

After eyelid surgery, you will have stitches in both lids that will remain for as long as a week. It is common to have swelling and, occasionally, bruising, but your eyelids should look normal within a week or two.

What Are the Possible Complications From Eyelid Surgery?

Complications and unwanted results from an eye lift are rare, but sometimes they do occur. They can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Dry eyes
  • Abnormal coloring of the eyelids
  • Eyelid skin that folds in or out abnormally
  • Not being able to fully close your eyes
  • A pulled-down lower lid lash line
  • A possible loss of vision

If you have any of these complications, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Does Insurance Cover Eyelid Surgery?

Health insurance companies typically don't cover cosmetic procedures. 

If you're getting eyelid surgery for a medical reason (for instance, because your eyelids are drooping so much that it affects your vision), and if a vision test confirms that, your insurance company may cover it. Check on that before you get the surgery so you know exactly what you will pay.

WebMD Medical Reference

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