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Upper Eyelid Surgery

Upper Blepharoplasty: What to Expect


What is Upper Blepharoplasty?

The eyes are windows to the soul, as they say. This is why many people want the appearance of the area around their eyes to match the energy and sparkle of their inner soul. Upper blepharoplasty can help your eyes appear younger, brighter, happier, and more alert.

So, what is upper blepharoplasty, and what to expect from the procedure? Upper blepharoplasty is a type of facial cosmetic surgery that repairs or readjusts the upper eyelid by addressing the upper eyelid skin, orbital septum, ptosis, and preaponeurotic or medial orbital fat. It’s popularly done to lift sagging tissue, remove excess skin, and address hooding.

Upper blepharoplasty (upper eyelid surgery) addresses sagging eyelids and excess skin. It creates a revitalized and youthful appearance around the eyes by removing and repositioning excess tissue and fat. Results are usually noticeable immediately and will improve during the initial healing phase, with final improvements debuting in the following months.

Beyond improving drooping eyelids to restore a youthful appearance, upper blepharoplasty is also a powerful procedure for people genetically born with hooded eyes or without an upper eyelid crease. Many East Asian women and men seek upper eyelid surgery to achieve a natural crease and larger eyes.

If your concerns go beyond your upper eyelids and you want to improve upon under-eye bags, you may be better suited for double eyelid surgery.

More people decide to get upper eyelid surgery than you may believe, even the celebrities you see on television! According to RealSelf, some celebrities who have had upper blepharoplasty include:

Julie Chen Moonves

TV personality and news anchor Julie Chen Moonves had upper eyelid surgery early in her career to make her eyes appear wider and larger. “Since I first revealed my surgery on The Talk, the reaction from the Asian community—specifically from Asian women—has been tremendous. Many told me they finally felt free from feeling shamed,” said Chen in a 2016 interview. “Others told me they wanted to get it done, but it felt like it was a dirty little secret people in the Asian community didn’t discuss, especially with non-Asians and even with their own family.”

Emily Simpson

Real Housewives of Orange County star Emily Simpson showed off her upper eyelid surgery results in an Instagram post. Her caption read, “The area above my eyelid doesn’t have extra skin that droops down anymore. I was noticing in photos (prior to the surgery) that my eyes were disappearing.”

Jill Zarin

TV personality Jill Zarin posted to her TikTok about her reasoning for having upper eyelid surgery three weeks after her surgery. “I have hooded eyes, but the skin here got looser and looser. It was literally hanging down to my eyelashes, and I finally did something about it.”

How Long Does Upper Blepharoplasty Last?

According to Cleveland Clinic, you may enjoy your upper eyelid surgery results anywhere from 5-7 years to the rest of your life depending on several factors. 

The following factors can affect the longevity of your upper blepharoplasty results:

  • The quality of your skin elasticity
  • Your age
  • Genetics 
  • Whether you smoke
  • Sun exposure
  • Your skincare routine
  • Whether you follow your surgeon’s detailed aftercare instructions

Be aware that while blepharoplasty can make you appear younger, it does not stop the natural aging process, and you will continue to age naturally over time after your successful surgery. You may start to notice signs of aging such as deep lines and drooping eyebrows as you lose collagen and the skin, muscles, and fat around your eyes continue to weaken.

The best way to make your blepharoplasty results last long is to follow your surgical team’s recovery instructions and maintain a healthy lifestyle afterward. Here are our top tips for maximizing the longevity of your upper eyelid surgery results:

  • Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water.
  • Maintain a balanced diet. Try to include foods and supplements rich in collagen molecules, antioxidants, and protein to help your skin heal faster and maintain its elasticity.
  • Once you have completely recovered from your surgery, try to find a workout routine that works for you and your schedule. Regular physical activity can help you appear younger for longer and can even play a role in maintaining healthy skin!
  • Stay moisturized! Work with a skincare professional to develop a skincare routine customized to you that includes medical-grade products.
  • Team up with an aesthetic professional for regular less invasive facial rejuvenation treatments such as Botox, fillers, and lasers that can help you maintain a younger appearance after blepharoplasty.

How Much is an Upper Blepharoplasty?

According to over 5,000 reviews from patients on RealSelf, the average cost of eyelid surgery in 2024 is $4,950. However, in certain geographical areas and with certain surgeons, the price can range as high as $12,149.

The total cost of your upper eyelid surgery will include:

  • Surgeon’s fees
  • Anesthesia fees (which can vary depending on whether done by an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist)
  • Facility fees (depending on whether it is done in a private surgery center or a hospital)
  • Costs of necessary surgery supplies
  • Follow-up appointments and care
  • Recovery supplies such as the pain and infection prevention medications your surgeon will prescribe

How Long is Recovery from Upper Blepharoplasty?

If you are considering improving the appearance of your upper lids, you may ask, what is upper blepharoplasty recovery like? While surgeons like Dr. Ho Taghva have nailed the surgical techniques and medications needed to perform upper blepharoplasty with as little pain involved as possible after surgery, it’s normal to experience some initial swelling, bruising, and discomfort. 

Some people compare the appearance of the swelling and bruising after blepharoplasty to getting punched in the face. Most of this fades in 1-3 weeks and patients rarely feel much pain.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says most patients feel comfortable going out and about again within 2 weeks after their upper blepharoplasty, but to have fully healed may take a few months. The appearance of your eyes should continue to improve for 1-3 months after your surgery.

Are you in the Orange County area and wondering if upper eyelid surgery can help you appear as lively and happy on the outside as you are on the inside? Schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Goretti Ho Taghva, specializing in facial plastic surgery for all races and ethnicities, to discover if this treatment can help you reach your goals.