Eyelid surgery is the second most popular plastic surgery procedure in the United States. More than 300,000 surgeries were performed in 2020, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Blepharoplasty – What To Expect

Blepharoplasty is the name for surgical eyelid rejuvenation. Excess skin is removed from the upper and/or lower eyelid to improve the cosmetic appearance of tired-looking, aged eyes. Blepharoplasty is performed for functional reasons such as when sagging upper eyelid skin impairs vision or for reconstructive purposes, such as if skin cancer is removed from the eyelid.

At Annapolis Plastic Surgery, eyelid surgery is performed by Dr. Bryan Ambro, a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. Dr. Ambro performs blepharoplasty in our in-office procedure suite or outpatient surgery center at Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland.

Eyelid surgery can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelids or both. Blepharoplasty is commonly combined with other procedures such as brow lift, facelift, fat grafting or skin rejuvenation procedure like laser skin resurfacing. Eyelid surgery involves the following basic steps:

  1. You will be relaxed using a light “twilight” sedation or local anesthesia (in some upper eyelid-only procedures).
  2. For the upper eyelids, Dr. Ambro will make an incision that can be well hidden in the creases of the eyelid. For a lower blepharoplasty, Dr. Ambro will conceal the incision inside of the eyelid or just below the lower lash line.
  3. Any fatty deposits will be removed or repositioned, the muscles will be tightened (if necessary), and excess skin will be trimmed. Dr. Ambro will close the incision with fine absorbable sutures.
  4. Eyelid surgery takes a few hours, and you will be able to return home the same day. You can expect mild bruising/swelling and little to no discomfort in the first 2-3 days.

A follow-up appointment will be made for 5 to 7 days after your surgery. The sutures are removed at this visit (if necessary).

Full recovery generally takes 2 weeks. Most patients return to work after 5-7 days with makeup to cover minor bruising and swelling.

How much does eyelid surgery cost?

The cost of blepharoplasty varies widely from one patient to another. Dr. Ambro offers consultations for you to come in to be examined in order to review your options. During that appointment, we will discuss the individual cost of your treatment. We offer CareCredit financing for qualified patients.

Is Blepharoplasty Covered By Insurance?

Generally, blepharoplasty is a cosmetic procedure and not covered by insurance. In some instances, carriers will cover a portion of the cost for functional and/or restorative blepharoplasty (check with your provider). In order to qualify, the redundant skin must cause significant visual impairment. Insurance may also cover reconstructive aspects for the removal of skin cancer, tumors, etc. Lower eyelid surgery is generally considered cosmetic, with a few exceptions. Please consult with your individual insurance carrier and benefits details for specific information about your plan.

Before & After Photos

Alternatives To Eyelid Surgery

There is no alternative to a surgical eyelid lift if you have significant excess skin or fat bulging. However, for patients with mild or moderate signs of eyelid aging, Dr. Ambro does offer alternatives that are also very effective at eliminating the “tired” eyelid appearance.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are one of the most popular non-surgical treatments to rejuvenate the eyes. Fillers can be used to eliminate the appearance of under-eye bags, smooth away wrinkles, crow’s feet, and fine lines around the eyes. A new filler, Voluma™, can be used to restore volume to the cheeks, which can also improve the appearance of the lower eyelids.

Botox® & Botulinum Injections

Botox®, Xeomin®, and Dysport® injections can be used to lessen the appearance of crow’s feet, and in some patients have a similar effect to an eyelid lift or brow lift. These cosmetic injectables work by temporarily disable the nerves in the muscles of the brows that cause a worried expression.

Laser Skin Rejuvenation

Our fractional laser can be used around the eyes to minimize fine lines and wrinkles and improve the tone and texture of the skin. Laser skin resurfacing can have a skin tightening effect that can make the area around the eyes look lifted and more youthful.

Fat Transfer

Fat transfer is a safe, natural and more long-lasting alternative to fillers to eliminate the appearance of upper eyelid hallowing and lower eyelid bags. Fat can be removed from practically anywhere on the body, purified and then carefully grafted into the eyelid region to restore youthful volume.