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Cosmetic Eye Surgery

Cosmetic eye surgery is also known as blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty is the name used for functional and cosmetic eye surgery and eyelid reshaping. This is done by removing and/or repositioning excess tissue as well as by reinforcement of surrounding muscles and tendons. Blepharoplasty is usually undertaken by the aged when upper eyelid descent is severe, to open up the field of vision impaired by the overhanging skin. But the cosmetic eye surgery procedure is also used cosmetically to improve the appearance of sagging upper eyelids and puffy lower “bags”.

The procedure involves external incisions being made along the natural skin lines of the eyelids, such as the creases of the upper lids and below the lashes of the lower lids, or from the inside surface of the lower eyelid. Initial swelling and bruising take one to two weeks to resolve but at least several months are needed until the final result becomes stable. Depending on the scope of the procedure, the operation takes one to three hours to complete.

The cosmetic and functional outcomes after blepharoplasty are all affected by the anatomy of the upper/lower eyelids, the patient’s skin quality, the patient’s age and the adjacent bony and soft tissue. Complication can be caused if one does not take into consideration things such as pre-existing dry eyes, which may become exacerbated by disrupting the natural tear film, looseness of the lower lid edge, which predisposes to lower lid malposition, and prominence of the eye in relation to the cheek complex, which predisposes to lower lid malposition.

There have been reported cases of loss of visions with lower lid blepharoplasty although this is very rare and is estimated at only one per 40 thousand cases. This exceedingly rare complication does not appear to occur with upper lid blepharoplasty.

Interestingly, there is a racial difference between the upper lids in Europeans and Chinese with the latter having very low or absent skin creases. In a “Westernisation procedure” a skin crease is formed in the oriental upper eyelid.


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