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Blepharoplasty Surgery in Sydney

Blepharoplasty Surgery

A blepharoplasty or “eyelift” is a surgical procedure which addresses excess tissue in the upper or lower eyelids. This tissue may be excess skin, muscle or fat or occasionally fluid. The anatomy of the upper and lower eyelids although similar is actually quite different and the upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty procedures are also different. The surgery can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. The procedure involves the removal or repositioning of excess skin, muscle, and fat to rejuvenate the eye area and correct functional issues. Like the face, the way the eyelids age is often hereditary. You may have noticed your parents’ eyes changing as they aged. You may see some early signs of their eyes in your own.

Risks of surgery

Cosmetic surgery is a serious decision. Information about the risks of a blepharoplasty can be found here.


  • Excess Skin: Sagging or drooping skin that affects the natural contour of the upper eyelid or creates folds.
  • Puffiness and Bags: Fat deposits that create puffiness in the upper eyelids or bags under the eyes.
  • Impaired Vision: Overhanging skin that obstructs peripheral vision.
  • Wrinkles and Fine Lines: Excess skin and fine wrinkles on the lower eyelids.
  • Functional and Aesthetic Improvement: Desire to enhance the appearance and function of the eyelids for a more youthful and alert look.

Preoperative Assessment

  1. Consultation:
    • Detailed discussion of the patient’s goals and expectations.
    • Comprehensive medical history review, including any previous eye surgeries, medical conditions, medications, and allergies.
    • Physical examination of the eyes and eyelids, assessing skin quality, muscle tone, and fat deposits.
    • Evaluation of tear production and eye health to rule out conditions like dry eye.
  2. Photography:
    • Preoperative photographs are taken for surgical planning and comparison of postoperative results.
  3. Discussion of Risks and Benefits:
    • Explanation of potential risks, benefits, and realistic outcomes of the surgery.
    • Review of the patient’s medical history and discussion of any specific concerns.


  • Local Anesthesia with Sedation: Commonly used to numb the surgical area while the patient remains relaxed and comfortable.
  • General Anesthesia: In some cases, general anesthesia may be preferred based on patient and surgeon preference.

Surgical Procedure

Upper eyelid blepharoplasty

In the upper eyelids this excess tissue can cause hooding over the eyelids which can eventually interfere with vision. In some instances it is actually the eyebrow or forehead skin which is drooping down into the eyes. In that situation a browlift would be necessary to reposition this.

  1. Marking the Incision:
    • The surgeon marks the natural crease of the upper eyelid to determine the incision line. This ensures that the scar will be hidden within the natural fold of the eyelid.
  2. Making the Incision:
    • An incision is made along the marked lines in the natural crease of the upper eyelid, extending slightly beyond the outer corner to address any lateral hooding.
    • This approach minimizes visible scarring.
  3. Removal of Excess Tissue:
    • Skin: Excess skin is excised to eliminate the droopy appearance.
    • Muscle: A strip of the underlying orbicularis oculi muscle may be removed to enhance the eyelid contour.
    • Fat: Protruding fat pockets, often found in the inner part of the upper eyelid, may be removed or repositioned to reduce puffiness.
  4. Repositioning:
    • In some cases, fat may be repositioned rather than removed to avoid a hollowed appearance and to maintain a natural look.
  5. Closure:
    • The incision is closed with fine sutures, usually 6-0 or 7-0 nylon or absorbable sutures.
    • The surgeon may use tissue adhesives to minimize scarring and promote better healing.
    • Skin glue or adhesive strips might be applied to support the incision during the initial healing period.

Lower eyelid blepharoplasty

In the lower eyelids there is often bulging or prolapse of fat. This bulging accentuates the appearance of the bony rim of the eyelid and creates an unnatural shape. The eyelid muscle can also become droopy with age forming what is called a festoon. Some people unfortunately develop recurrent swelling of the lower eyelids from conditions such as allergic rhinitis. This condition generally persists despite surgery.

Lower eyelid blepharoplasty can be performed in a number of ways. Traditionally, a small incision was made under the eyelid and skin and muscle was removed externally. More recently the technique of transconjunctival lower eyelid blepharoplasty was developed. This involves making small hidden incisions just inside the eyelid to access the tissues. Dr Roth generally recommends the transconjunctival blepharoplasty technique for most patients.

  1. Approaches:
    • Transconjunctival Approach: Incision is made on the inside of the lower eyelid (conjunctiva), leaving no visible external scar. Ideal for younger patients with good skin elasticity and primarily fat-related issues.
    • Transcutaneous Approach: Incision is made just below the lower lash line, extending slightly beyond the outer corner. Preferred when there is significant excess skin or muscle laxity.
  2. Fat Removal or Repositioning:
    • Fat Removal: Excess fat that causes puffiness is carefully removed.
    • Fat Repositioning: Fat may be redistributed to fill hollow areas and create a smoother contour, reducing the appearance of tear troughs and hollow eyes.
  3. Skin and Muscle Modification:
    • Excess Skin Removal: Loose or sagging skin is excised.
    • Muscle Tightening: Orbicularis oculi muscle may be tightened or repositioned to improve support and contour.
  4. Re-draping and Closure:
    • Re-draping: Skin and tissues are gently re-draped to create a smooth, natural look.
    • Closure: Incisions are closed with fine sutures. For the transcutaneous approach, sutures are typically placed just below the lash line to minimize visible scarring.
  5. Additional Techniques:
    • Laser Resurfacing or Chemical Peels: Sometimes used in conjunction to improve skin texture and reduce fine wrinkles.
    • Canthopexy or Canthoplasty: Procedures to tighten and support the outer corner of the eyelid if needed.

Postoperative Care

  1. Immediate Postoperative Care:
    • The patient is monitored in the recovery area until the effects of anesthesia wear off.
    • Cold compresses are applied to reduce swelling and bruising.
  2. Instructions:
    • Detailed postoperative care instructions are provided, including how to clean the eyes, apply prescribed ointments, and manage pain with medications.
    • Avoiding strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and bending over for at least a week.
    • Keeping the head elevated to minimize swelling.
  3. Follow-Up Visits:
    • Scheduled follow-up appointments to monitor healing, remove sutures (if non-absorbable sutures are used), and address any complications.
  4. Recovery Timeline:
    • Initial swelling and bruising typically subside within 1-2 weeks.
    • Most patients can return to normal activities within 7-10 days, but should avoid strenuous activities and contact lenses for a few weeks.

Expected Results

  1. Immediate Effects:
    • Initial results are visible once swelling and bruising diminish, usually within a few weeks.
  2. Final Outcome:
    • Full results become more apparent after a few months as tissues settle and incision lines fade.
    • Patients can expect a more youthful and refreshed appearance with smoother, firmer eyelids and reduced puffiness.

Potential Risks and Complications

  1. Common Risks:
    • Swelling and bruising
    • Temporary discomfort and dry eyes
    • Itching or sensitivity to light
  2. Rare Complications:
    • Infection
    • Bleeding
    • Scarring
    • Asymmetry
    • Changes in sensation
    • Ectropion (outward turning of the eyelid)
    • Difficulty closing the eyes (lagophthalmos)
  3. Managing Complications:
    • Most complications can be managed with appropriate medical care and follow-up visits.
    • Severe complications are rare but may require additional surgical intervention.


  1. Aesthetic Improvement:
    • Provides a more youthful and refreshed appearance, reducing signs of aging and fatigue.
  2. Functional Improvement:
    • Can significantly improve vision if excess skin obstructs the visual field.
  3. Minimal Scarring:
    • Scars are well-concealed within the natural eyelid creases and tend to fade over time.


Am I a good candidate for a blepharoplasty?

Eyelid surgery can address a large number of problems. These include droopiness, bags, fat pockets or excess skin or muscle. A blepharoplasty alone will not lift saggy eyebrows or remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles around the eyes. A blepharoplasty will not remove dark circles under the eyes (melasma).

During your consultation Dr Roth will take photos of your eyes and assess for symmetry. It is not unusual to discover quite a lot of asymmetry between the two eyes. If you have one eyelid that is much more droopy than the other (ptosis) he may refer you to an ophthalmologist to have this addressed as this is a very specialised area.

A blepharoplasty is often performed at the same time as other cosmetic facial surgery. It is fairly routine to address ageing eyelids at the time of a facelift. Younger patients often combine a blepharoplasty with a rhinoplasty.


What Happens After Eyelift Surgery

Mild discomfort and swelling is normal and to be expected after surgery. Generally pain (if any is very mild). You will be given a topical antibiotic ointment to apply.
When you arrive home after surgery, you should apply cold packs for 10-15 minutes every hour. This will help minimise bruising and swelling. On the second day, cold packs can be applied every few hours rather than every hour.

It may take two weeks for your healing to be complete. During that time, your eye area will be bruised, swollen, and red, especially during the first few days. You may also notice that the whites of your eyes are red and bloodshot. These symptoms will all slowly disappear. Sutures may be either dissolving or non-dissolving but are generally removed after 5 to 7 days.


Blepharoplasty is a highly effective procedure for improving both the function and appearance of the eyelids. With proper surgical technique and postoperative care, patients can achieve significant rejuvenation of the eye area, resulting in a more youthful, alert, and refreshed look.

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