Eyelid cosmetic surgery FAQs from Connecticut plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph B. O'Connell. From Plastic Surgery of Southern Connecticut. Plastic Surgery of Southern Connecticut home Contact us Site map
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Home > Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Procedures > Eyelids (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelid lift plastic surgery

To get answers to the most frequent questions about eyelids plastic surgery (blepharoplasty), please select one of the links below:


What is a blepharoplasty?

A blepharoplasty (or eyelid lift) is an operation on either the upper or the lower eyelids designed to remove excess skin and fat. It is one of the most common operations performed by plastic surgeons.

In the upper eyelid a blepharoplasty is designed primarily to improve the aged, tired appearance caused by the redundant fold of skin that descends over the eyelid with age.

In the lower eyelid a blepharoplasty tightens the skin and muscle and removes the excess fat or "bag."

  • View photos of eyelift plastic surgery - Patient #1.
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  • View photos of eyelift plastic surgery - Patient #4.

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Where is the eyelid lift surgery performed?

Dr. O'Connell performs most blepharoplasties in his office surgical facility.

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What type of anesthesia is used?

Dr. O'Connell performs most upper lid blepharoplasties under only local anesthesia and in 2005 he appeared on the CBS Early Show performing this procedure.

Dr. O'Connell performs most lower lid blepharoplasties under local anesthesia alone or local anesthesia with monitored intravenous sedation.

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What is a fat sparing blepharoplasty?

Recently emphasis has been placed upon the importance of more conservative fat removal to prevent a sunken or unnatural appearance postoperatively. In some fat sparing techniques, emphasis is on the repositioning rather than removal of periorbital fat.

Dr. O'Connell believes that all blepharoplasties should be fat sparing in nature to prevent a malnourished, harsh appearance postoperatively -- this is in keeping with his philosophy that "less is more" and that all aesthetic surgery should be conservative in nature.

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What is a transconjunctival blepharoplasty?

In this operation the fat of the lower eyelids is removed through an incision on the inside of the eyelid, without need for an external incision. It offers many advantages over the traditional approach where an external incision is used for access to the "bag" but is limited by its ability to tighten skin and reduce wrinkling.

In early 2000 Dr. O'Connell published an article on combining the transconjuntival technique with Erbium laser resurfacing and his article on eyelid rejuvenation with the Derma-K laser was published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology in 2002. By combining the transconjuctival approach with laser techniques, wrinkling and loose skin can be addressed and many of the pitfalls of the traditional approach to blepharoplasty can be avoided.

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What is a pinch excision?

A pinch excision is a less invasive means of removing excess skin from the lower eyelid that carries less risk of complications. Dr. O'Connell frequently utilizes this technique.

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Are there scars from a blepharoplasty?

All surgery leaves scars. Plastic surgeons are trained to close incisions in a way as to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible. Some scars eventually become a faintly visible fine line.

Scars from blepharoplasty are in most cases quite acceptable as they are usually placed within or near normal creases and folds of the upper and lower eyelids. As with all surgery, the type of procedure and the individual person's healing ability play a large role in the scar that ultimately occurs.

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Will the fine wrinkling around my eyes (crows feet) go away and what about the dark circles under my eyes?

A blepharoplasty will not eradicate the wrinkles around the eyes (crows feet) and these are usually best treated by other means such as laser resurfacing or Botox™. By combining laser resurfacing with blepharoplasty, Dr. O'Connell is able to achieve a more complete rejuvenation of the periorbital area (the area around the eye and eyelids) which he believes should be the goal of eyelid surgery.

Dark circles under the eyes may improve if they are related to large bags but a blepharoplasty will usually not improve the dark pigmentation of lower eyelid skin. Droopy eyebrows are also not corrected by a blepharoplasty.

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What about laser blepharoplasty?

Dr. O'Connell usually does not use a laser as a substitute for a scalpel when performing a blepharoplasty. He does however combine laser resurfacing with blepharoplasty in order to minimize scarring and correct fine wrinkling.

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Are there risks with eyelid lift plastic surgery?

Complications are usually infrequent and minor when blepharoplasty is performed by a board certified plastic surgeon. Patients with some medical conditions such as thyroid disease, hypertension and patients with dry eyes have an increased risk following blepharoplasty.

All patients experience some bruising and swelling for several days after surgery. A careful consideration of all risks, alternatives and potential benefits is an important part of the pre-operative consultative process.

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To contact Connecticut plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph B. O'Connell about any cosmetic surgery procedures, please fill out our contact form or call us at (203) 454-0044.


Plastic Surgery of Southern Connecticut
208 Post Road West • Westport, CT 06680
Phone: 203-454-0044 • Email: jbomd@aol.com

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