Consultant Ophthalmologist,
Cataract & Refractive Surgeon

BMedSci BM BS MRCS MRCSEd MRCOpth FRCOphth MMedLaw PgD Cataract & Refractive Surgery

Eye Bag Removal/Blepharoplasty

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belpharoplastycertifiedbadge170As we get older, for many people the skin around our eyes is the first to show signs of ageing. Excess skin and fat can create a heavy looking eyelid - giving the area around the eyes a puffy, aged appearance. This affects men as well as women and is becoming more popular for gentlemen too.

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is a common cosmetic procedure during which Mr Alwitry removes skin, fat and muscle from the eyelids (including removing the ‘bags’). It can also improve vision for some people if the excess tissue was impairing it.

If the excess skin above your eyes makes them feel heavy or the skin rests on your lashes you should benefit from upper lid blepharoplasty.

When you look in the mirror you might feel that your appearance, thanks to droopy eyes or bags, does not fit with the vigour or general good health of your mind and body. That can affect your confidence, and you may feel that people don't see the real you.

Eyelid surgery aims to smooth these out to give you a more alert and youthful appearance. People who have had this procedure done with us have said they feel more confident and relaxed about their appearance afterwards.

This surgery cannot remove crow’s feet or change the colour of dark shadows under the eyes. If you are worried about the appearance of crow’s feet and other wrinkles around the eye socket, you should speak with our medical aesthetician partner.

We understand that having cosmetic surgery can cause you anxiety and worry - even if the procedure is as common and relatively straightforward as eyelid surgery.

belpharoplasty 2You can have surgery to the upper, lower or both lids and this is usually done bilaterally. It can be done under local or general anaesthetic. As a general rule if you are just having upper lids done then this is best done under local anaesthetic whereas bottom lids often require a general anaesthetic.

Blepharoplasty removes excess skin, fat and muscle from around your eyes. For surgery on the upper eyelids, Mr Alwitry will make cuts into the natural lines and creases in the lid and into the laughter lines at the corner of your eye. On the lower eyelids, the cut will usually be just below your eyelashes. This means the scars will run along the eye’s natural folds, hiding them as much as possible.

Fine sutures are then applied to close the incision.

You can usually go home so day and then return in 1 to 2 weeks when you will be reviewed and potentially have stitches removed.

The lids will be very swollen in the early stages and you are likely to be bruised. The bruising will settle over a week or so but the swelling can take a full 6 months to completely disappear. It will be much better however in the first few weeks.

There are never any guarantees but the aim is to make you look younger and fresher.


Who Are the Best Candidates for Eyelid Surgery?

You might consider blepharoplasty if you have excessive drooping and sagging of skin around eyes, which often is due to normal aging. Sagging skin also can be exaggerated when you have other conditions such as puffy eyes caused by eye allergies or recurrent swelling.

If you are interested in blepharoplasty strictly for cosmetic reasons then we need to be realistic about what we can achieve.

The aging process will continue and, as with any cosmetic procedure, your improved appearance will sadly not last indefinitely. And at some point in the future, you might want to consider repeating the procedure.

Eyelid surgery tends to be more difficult to perform on people of Oriental descent because of the unique structure of this ethnic group's eyelids.

Possible Complications of Eyelid Surgery

A possible complication of eyelid surgery is a temporary inability to close your eyelids completely. This means that eyes may become abnormally dry.

Usually this condition resolves after a few weeks or months, during which time you would need remedies such as eye drops, humidifiers and even taping the eyes closed at night to protect the cornea.

If the condition persists beyond two or three months, an additional procedure might be required to restore enough skin to the eyelid to enable complete closure over the eye.

The risk of the eyes not closing properly (called lagophthalmos) is increased by how "heroic" we are with regards trying to take the excess skin away. If we are aiming to take away all the loose skin then the risk of over correcting (taking too much) increases. If we are happy to take most of the skin but leave a little fold then the risks reduce.

Other potential complications of blepharoplasty include:

Vision loss from retrobulbar haemorrhage – this is one of the most devastating complications of blepharoplasty surgery. It is thankfully extremely rare but it reminds us that this is a cosmetic procedure which was not strictly necessary and so we have to have to be sure about going ahead with it.

Infection, scarring, undercorrection (too much skin left behind) and an undesirable cosmetic appearance are always a possibility.

I hope that you will be happy with the appearance but it is impossible to please everyone.

Please call or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make an appointment.