Eyelid Surgery

San Francisco Bay Area men and women of virtually all ages consider eyelid surgery for a range of concerns. Technically called blepharoplasty, eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper or lower eyelids, or both. As a fellowship-trained, board-certified facial plastic surgery specialist, Dr. Persons’ reputation for creating natural-looking results attracts eyelid surgery patients from Lafayette, Brentwood, and Walnut Creek, CA, and beyond.

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.

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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What Is Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper or lower eyelids, or both during a single operation. Both upper and lower eyelid surgical address issues that can make patients appear tired or older than they feel.

Upper Eyelid Surgery

Droopy upper eyelids can impede your vision, in addition to creating cosmetic concerns. Dr. Persons begins upper eyelid surgery by making incisions in the natural creases of the lid. Using these incisions, she removes excess skin, muscle, and possibly fat along your upper eyelid.

Lower Eyelid Surgery

For lower eyelid surgery, Dr. Persons makes an incision just below the lash line or on the inside of the lower lid so that no scar shows. If the incision is on the inside of the lid, the procedure may be combined with laser resurfacing of the lower lid skin. Lower eyelid surgery involves removing excess skin and fat before Dr. Persons closes the incisions with sutures. Sometimes loss of fat around the eye creates a hollowed out appearance. If this is the case, she transfers fat to areas around the eyes rather than removing it.

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 complications.

 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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How Long Is Recovery After Eyelid Surgery?

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 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. Eyeglasses may be worn 2 days after surgery, and makeup may be applied gently after approximately 8 days. 

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. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is upper eyelid surgery the best option for hooded eyes?

Upper eyelid surgery is usually the most effective way to tighten sagging eyelid skin that causes hooding. You may need a brow lift instead of or in addition to eyelid surgery to rejuvenate the upper eye area completely. Dr. Persons will perform a physical exam to determine the best surgical plan for your unique needs.  

Are there any nonsurgical alternatives to eyelid lift surgery?

Patients with mild to moderate upper eyelid sagging may benefit from a nonsurgical brow lift with BOTOX® Cosmetic injections. Results with this option are temporary and subtle.

Is the surgery painful?

Eyelid surgery generally involves minimal discomfort or incapacitation. The surgical area might be sore for the first few days, but most patients don’t require pain medication.

Are there any cons to getting eyelid surgery?

Having eyelid surgery involves taking time out for recovery. Inexperienced surgeons can remove too much skin, making it difficult to completely close the eyes, or remove too much fat from around the eyes, making the eye area look hollow.

What’s a functional blepharoplasty?

Functional blepharoplasty can improve the patient’s peripheral vision by removing excess upper eyelid skin that impinges on the field of vision.

Is the surgery risky?

The surgery involves minimal risks when performed on a carefully screened patient by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Persons.

Will my results look natural?

Dr. Persons takes care to use moderation when removing excess skin and fat from the eyelids so patients look refreshed and more youthful yet natural.

How long will my results last?

Upper blepharoplasty results generally last at least 10 years. Results tend to last longer on patients with good skin elasticity, who lead healthy lifestyles and minimize sun exposure. Lower blepharoplasty results last indefinitely.

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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