Eyelid Surgery

Men and women at our San Francisco Bay Area practice considering eyelid surgery have a range of concerns and include adults of virtually all ages. Eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, can be performed on the upper or lower eyelids, or both. Dr. Persons is a fellowship-trained, board-certified facial plastic surgery specialist whose expertise creates natural-looking results.

Barbara L. Persons, MD, FACS

Barbara L. Persons, MD, FACS

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

As a fellowship-trained plastic surgeon whose personal connection to plastic surgery inspired her to pursue this career as a lifelong calling, Dr. Persons engages with each of her patients on a very personal level. She's known for creating results that look natural and brings a woman's perspective that patients appreciate.

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Is Eyelid Surgery for You?

Wrinkles, loose skin, and bulges or bags under the eyes caused by genetics or the aging process can make someone look tired or older than they actually are. Sagging upper eyelids can even impair your peripheral vision. These concerns can be corrected with eyelid surgery. The bulges or bags of the upper and lower eyelids caused by herniation of the fat that normally surrounds the eyeball in the eye socket may be removed along with excess skin. This condition can be present in the 20- to 30-year-old age group and eventually becomes present in almost everyone over time. Once present, no matter the age, it can be surgically corrected.

Combining Procedures

If you’re considering eyelid surgery because of age-related wrinkles or sagging, it’s likely that similar signs of aging affect the rest of your appearance. Dr. Persons may recommend combining blepharoplasty with a facelift or brow lift surgery.

The Procedure

Dr. Persons usually performs eyelid surgery using Light Sleep Anesthesia for patients in the Surgery Center. Light Sleep Anesthesia induces a state of relaxation and a light sleep using medication. We use additional medication after you arrive at the surgery center to induce a state of profound relaxation. Patients usually sleep during the operation and have very little memory of the operation itself. Once the patient is asleep, we numb the surgical area with medication. Patients normally prefer this because it requires almost no recovery from the anesthetics themselves, unlike general anesthesia which may produce nausea after the surgery. It also entails a lower risk of complication.

Upper eyelid surgery begins with Dr. Persons making incisions in the natural creases of the lid. For lower eyelid surgery, she makes an incision just below the lash line. Sometimes the lower incision is performed on the inside of the lower lid so that no scar shows. In this instance, laser resurfacing of the lower lid skin is sometimes performed. Dr. Persons removes excess skin and fat and then closes the incisions with sutures. Sometimes loss of fat around the eye creates a sunken eye appearance. If this is the case, she transfers fat to areas around the eyes rather than removing it.

Eyelid surgery generally involves very little discomfort or incapacitation. The operation itself is generally painless. Swelling and discoloration after surgery are normal, which one needs to accept before contemplating this operation. Rarely, the whites of the eyes may become discolored. This disappears after several weeks.

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Recovery

First Week After Surgery

Immediately after the surgery, you spend about an hour in the recovery area. There, ice compresses are placed over the eyes, and you should keep them on your eyes for 48 to 72 hours. The compresses should be changed as often as is necessary to keep the eyes quite cool during this time. You should also keep your head elevated at least 30 degrees during this time. We schedule your first post-operative visit 6 to 8 days after the surgery.

With careful attention to elevation and cooling of the eyes, combined with our gentle surgical technique, most patients can go back to work in 8 to 10 days. It is important to keep the head elevated and refrain from lifting anything heavy, or exercising for 3 weeks. Regular activities may be slowly introduced at that time.

Possible Risks and Complications

As with any surgical procedure, there are some associated risks. The risk of bleeding and infection is less than one percent. Blindness is another risk, affecting less than one percent of patients who get eyelid surgery. You should not rub or clean the eyes until you’ve healed. Eyeglasses may be worn 2 days after surgery, and makeup may be applied gently after approximately 8 days. Occasionally, small cysts, which resemble whiteheads, may appear in the suture line. These are easily removed in the surgery center.

You may have blurred vision for the first several days to 2 weeks after surgery. This is due to the ointment that is placed in the eyes, along with swelling. Notify us if you are concerned or if any visual changes should occur. Finally, if you are undergoing any procedure in conjunction with eyelid surgery, please be sure to read the pertinent information on that procedure as well.

Get Started

Choosing an eyelid surgery specialist is the first step in your journey. Request an appointment with Dr. Persons using the online form or call our office at (925) 283-4012 to schedule an appointment.

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