News | Published July 31, 2012 | Written by Emily Peterson, MD, reconstructive & cosmetic surgery, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Is an eye lift right for you?

As you age, your eyelids stretch and the muscles supporting them weaken, which causes any excess fat to gather and thus sag. If your eyelids are creating an older appearance or are obstructing your vision, a blepharoplasty procedure may be right for you.

Blepharoplasty, more commonly known as an "eye lift," can be performed to improve the upper or lower eyelids by enhancing your features and/or fixing your visual impairment - one of the procedure's functional benefits.

In addition to creating an older appearance, the extra skin of the upper eyelid is significant enough in some cases to cause visual impairment. This can be corrected through upper blepharoplasty.

Blepharoplasty does not treat dark circles under the eyes or lift sagging eyebrows, but does focus on treating puffiness under the eyes. This procedure can be combined with other facial procedures such as facelift or brow lift to achieve a desired look.

Blepharoplasty is conveniently performed as an outpatient surgery. Minimal recovery time is required, although there can be some bruising and swelling. Sutures are removed around the fifth day following surgery. Incisions are made in the upper lid crease and just below the eyelashes on the lower lid so that they will be well hidden. The most common risks are bleeding, infection, difficulty in closing the eyes while sleeping, swelling, double or blurred vision, scarring and dry eye.

Candidates for blepharoplasty procedures are healthy nonsmokers. They should be sure to talk with their surgeon about any medical conditions they may have, particularly thyroid problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, or eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye or any recent eye surgery. For some individuals, blepharoplasty may not be the best option and other treatments may be recommended.

Upper eyelid surgery may be covered by your insurance if drooping eyelids are obstructing your vision. Surgery to remove excess skin and fat from lower eyelids is typically considered cosmetic, which means it is not usually covered by your insurance.

To learn more about the types of blepharoplasty surgery options offered through Mount Nittany Physician Group, visit If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss a potential procedure, please call 814.231.7878.