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Blepharoplasty (Double Eyelid Surgery)

Blepharoplasty refers to plastic surgery done to the eyelids. Blepharoplasties generally involve surgical removal/redistribution of skin, muscle and fat tissues around the eyes. A wide variety of techniques and methods are available; the exact method/technique used in a specific blepharoplasty procedure depends largely on the purpose of the procedure and the desired result. Local anesthesia is required.

Why It’s Done

Blepharoplasty is often done for cosmetic purposes.

  • The double eyelid surgery is a highly common cosmetic procedure in East Asia that transforms “single eyelid” into “double eyelid” via blepharoplasty.
  • Blepharoplasty can also be performed to remove eye bags and correct baggy/droopy upper and lower eyelids.
  • In Chinese societies, blepharoplasty is sometimes performed to create wo-can (臥蠶), little puffy bags directly attached to the lower eyelids.
  • In cases where vision is interfered/reduced by droopy upper eyelids, blepharoplasty can be performed to restore vision by removing the excess skin.
Note: To find out if blepharoplasty is right for you, you will need to see a plastic surgeon and possibly an eye specialist. The surgeon will need to know your medical history and your expectations of the procedure. You need to tell your surgeon quite exactly what you desire so that the procedure can be planned.

Before the Procedure

Certain medications (e.g. aspirin) and dietary supplements associated with increased bleeding may not be used several days to weeks before and after the procedure. Consult your surgeon for details. Also, since tobacco can hinder healing, it is advised that the patient quit smoking for several weeks before and after the procedure.

After the Procedure

The surgery typically takes a couple of hours (or less, depending on the method used and the area involved). After surgery, the patient will be monitored for complications. The patient may then go home, preferably with someone’s help since the patient may be left with blurred vision. Possible temporary side effects include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Watering eyes
  • Increased light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Redness, swelling, and/or bruising around the cuts
  • Numb, puffy eyelids
  • Scars (should fade in roughly 6 months)

Below are some suggestions of what should be avoided (for several days to weeks) after the procedure:

  • Strenuous activities/exercises, such as heaving lifting, aerobics, and jogging
  • Swimming
  • Smoking
  • Rubbing eyes
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Contact with sunlight and wind (wear sunglasses for protection)
  • Medications and dietary supplement associated with increased bleeding
Note: Shortness of breath, chest pain, unusual heartbeat, severe eye pain, bleeding, and visual problems are unusual; see a doctor immediately if you experience any of the mentioned after the procedure.


Like all other surgical procedure, blepharoplasty comes with certain risks. We list some possible risks below for reference. However, the risks may or may not apply to a case depending on the method used and the area involved. Before accepting the procedure, the patient should discuss with his/her surgeon on what risks are associated with the patient’s specific case.

  • Bacterial/viral infections
  • Bleeding
  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Eyelids problems (e.g. difficulty closing the eyes)
  • Scarring
  • Eye muscles injury
  • Skin discoloration around the eyes
  • Blurred vision for a prolonged period, or in some rare cases, loss of eyesight


The results depend, apparently, on why and how the procedure was done. Blepharoplasty in general will result in a more energetic or rested appearance and an increased self-confidence. The results are mostly permanent, but conditions like droopy eyelids may reoccur.

Looking for Double Eyelid Surgery clinics in your area?

All information provided on this page is general and meant for educational purposes only.
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