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You may have noticed that the skin on your upper eyelids and brows is sagging, which can make you look tired or angry even if you feel fine. Unfortunately, this is a common problem as we age.

But an upper eyelid lift can address this problem by removing extra skin, fat, and muscle from the upper eyelids. The result is a more rested and rejuvenated appearance that makes you look younger. People will notice you look ‘different’ and better but may not know why.

If you think you may want an upper eyelid lift, below is essential information to know.

Why Have An Upper Eyelid Lift?

Do you look in the mirror and notice how tired you always look? Or perhaps you think your face makes you look unhappy when you don’t feel that way. These can be signs that your upper eyelids are sagging and making you look less alert and older.

Your surgeon may recommend an upper eyelid lift to remove sagging and loose skin from the eyelids and brows. The eyelid lift may also enhance your vision by removing skin that is hanging over the eyes.

Your surgeon also can do a lower eyelid lift, which may be a good choice if you have bags and puffiness under the eyes.

The best candidates for this procedure are adults in good health who have healthy tissue and muscles in the face and no serious eye problems or disorders. Your surgeon may recommend an eyelid lift if:

  • You have extra fat and skin that causes sagging and puffiness in your upper eyelids.
  • You have sagging skin that affects your eyelid contours and may impair your vision.
  • You have wrinkles and extra skin in your lower eyelids, bags below your eyes, and droopiness in the lower lids.

Upper Eyelid Lift Procedure

An eyelid lift is done in an outpatient clinic or hospital. Your plastic surgeon will put incisions on the upper lids and usually in the natural eyelid creases, so the incisions aren’t visible.

The surgeon will reposition and remove tissue, tighten muscles, and tighten the remaining skin and tissue to create a more awake and alert appearance. Finally, the incisions are closed with tiny sutures and skin adhesives.

This is usually an outpatient procedure, but your surgeon will decide where and how to do the eyelid lift. Occasionally, it may be necessary for the patient to stay overnight in the hospital.

Upper Eyelid Lift Risks And Complications

Any surgery involves risks, but most upper eyelid lifts are completed without severe problems.

Some of the general risks with surgery are:

  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia, which can include breathing and heart problems
  • Bleeding, which can cause shock
  • Blood clots that travel to the heart, lungs, or brain
  • Infection

Possible complications of an upper eyelid lift are:

  • Eyelid asymmetry requiring additional surgery
  • Impaired or blurred vision, excessive tearing, and dry or irritated eyes
  • Trouble closing the eyes
  • Hematoma causing blood and fluid buildup under the skin
  • Pain, swelling and bruising
  • Temporary loss of vision

Upper Eyelid Lift Recovery

You’ll stay in the recovery room after the procedure until you are awake and stable. However, you may be drowsy from anesthesia for the rest of the day, so you’ll need a family member or friend to drive you home.

You’ll probably have tiny sutures on your upper lids as well as lubricating eye gel, which can cause blurry vision. Your surgeon also may lightly wrap your eyes with gauze.

Recovering after this procedure usually takes about two weeks, but it varies based on your incisions, age, overall health, and other factors.

There will probably be bruising and swelling around the face and eyes after surgery, but it should fade after seven to 10 days. Swelling can take several months to resolve fully, and scars should fade after three to six months.

There may be minor pain and discomfort after the eyelid lift, but your surgeon will give you pain medication to get you through the first few days.

Some additional pointers to speed your recovery:

  • Your eyes will likely be more tired than usual for the first month, so you should let them rest as much as you can. If your employment requires you to sit at a computer, try to work less for a few weeks.
  • It’s essential to shield your eyes from the sun and wind for a few weeks. Wear sunglasses and follow your surgeon’s instructions about which sunscreen to use when you go outdoors.
  • Avoid straining, lifting, and bending down to pick things up for about one month after surgery. This can be annoying, but it’s vital not to increase your blood pressure to ensure the incisions heal correctly.

Complementary Procedures

When your surgeon performs your eyelid lift, he also can do other procedures that can enhance your results. Some of the most popular to pair with an eyelid lift are a:

Your eyelid lift results should last for 10 years or more with a healthy diet, exercise, and proper skincare. The extra skin and sagging will be gone, so you’ll look more refreshed and alert.

If you had a lower eyelid lift, those dark, puffy bags also will be gone. While we cannot stop the normal aging process, your surgery results will age naturally, and you’ll feel a surge of self-confidence with your new look.

Request A Body Lift Consultation

Thinking about an upper eyelid lift in Chicago? Dr. Otto Placik is proud to serve Chicago area patients at his practice. He’ll go over the options, goals, and more to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for an upper eyelid lift.


Eyelid Surgery. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-eyelid-surgery#1

Eyelid Surgery Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/eyelid-surgery

About Eyelid Lift. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/blepharoplasty/about/pac-20385174#

What Is An Eyelid Lift? (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/eyelid-surgery-blepharoplasty

Author: Dr. Otto Placik

Dr. Otto Placik is a Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Chicago, a leader in the field of body sculpting, and is recognized for his artistry in a wide range of modern cosmetic enhancements.


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