Measuring in at less than 1mm, the skin around our eyes is the thinnest on the body and extremely liable to ageing (showing signs of wear and tear 36% faster than the rest of our skin). Perhaps it’s no wonder then that surgery on the eyelid (or as it’s medically known Blepahroplasty) is the second most popular procedure in the UK, with 7,752 performed last year alone.

The treatment is a surprisingly old one, with the earliest records of it taking place over 2000 years ago (albeit not as we know it). Today, it is one of the quickest and most simple plastic surgery procedures available (providing it is performed by a qualified surgeon), with less complex cases taking as little as 30 minutes and the majority of patients able to walk out afterwards.

It works by removing and repositioning excess skin and tissue around the eyelids which, in turn, reduces drooping, creases and folds of skin. It can, essentially, be separated into two separate procedures, and available via The Private Clinic's website as an Upper Blepharoplasty and a Lower Blepharoplasty.

Upper blepharoplasty

This is perhaps the ‘easiest’ form of Blepharoplasty in the sense that it requires minimal downtime and has lessened risks. During the procedure, your surgeon will trim excess folds of skin (usually under local rather than general anaesthetic) from above your eye while shaping the underlying soft tissues and fat in the area – thus ridding of heaviness.

It is commonly used for those with hooded eyelids (regardless of age), particularly when heavy upper lids may be causing vision problems or making a patient look tired. In some patients the sagging eyelid may be solely down to excess skin, while others may have outward bulging of fat or find their upper lid heavy due to weakened tendons in the eyelids. Younger patients will normally find the most benefit in having excess skin removed to avoid hollowness in the eyes later on, but this does vary on each patient’s case.

Lower blepharoplasty

More complex than the procedure for upper eyelids (but still extremely safe when performed by an experienced surgeon), Lower Blepharoplasty treatments will usually require general anaesthetic – taking around one or two hours to perform and sometimes requiring a hospital stay overnight for recovery.

The treatment is normally performed on those who appear to have eye ‘bags’ where weakened muscles, excess skin or bulging of fat in the lower lids cause them to sag or hang underneath. Droopy lower lids can often create the appearance of deep shadows and make those with them look older, or constantly tired making it a particularly popular anti-ageing treatment, but still something requested by patients of all ages.

Results of eyelid surgery

Today both Upper and Lower Blepharoplasty are amongst the least invasive plastic surgery treatments available, providing you work with the right team. Most surgeons will aim to keep any incision lines along the natural folds of your eyelids – meaning minimal risk of scarring as well as less downtime. Results are always entirely individual but, providing you communicate with your clinic regularly, should be precisely what you expect, with less fat and excess skin around the lids for a more youthful, open appearance. You’d normally be recommended to allow two to three months to see the final results of your treatment, though any bruising and swelling should begin to subside after around two weeks following treatment.


We all have different needs and wants, which is why your eyelid surgery will always be unique to your needs. This is why it is so crucial for you to work with an experienced (and highly regarded) plastic surgeon, who will only go ahead if it’s the right way forward for you. 

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