Eyelid Lift Surgery Can Improve Appearance and Function

Call for an Appointment 855-855-6484

The skin around the eyes is one of the first places to show signs of age. Droopy eyelids and bags under the eyes can make people look tired or older, and in some cases, they can affect your eyesight. Duke’s experts in oculofacial plastic surgery perform blepharoplasty (eyelid lift surgery) to enhance your eyes, reduce the signs of aging, and improve vision. It can also improve your appearance and function following injury, disease, or deformity. 

Find a Blepharoplasty Doctor
Matching Results
Filter Results
Filter by:
Use My Current Location
Located Near You
Loading Results
Showing of Doctors
Load More View All

About Blepharoplasty

If non-surgical treatments have not given you the results you want, blepharoplasty may be an option. It can be performed on the upper eyelid, the lower eyelid, or both. Although ptosis surgery is not a type of blepharoplasty, in cases where vision is compromised, it may be combined with upper blepharoplasty.

Upper Blepharoplasty

Upper eyelids can appear droopy due to excess skin or decreased muscle tone. Upper blepharoplasty removes and sculpts skin, fat, and muscle in the upper eyelid through small incisions. 

Lower Blepharoplasty

Fat pads under the eyes can become more prominent with age, resulting in under-eye bags and circles. In lower eyelid blepharoplasty, these fat pads are removed or repositioned through a cut made inside the lower eyelid. If under-eye skin is wrinkled after fat removal, laser resurfacing can be performed to tighten the skin and promote new collagen formation, which decreases the appearance of dark circles.

Ptosis Surgery

Ptosis is a form of droopy eyelid caused by weakened upper eyelid muscles. It can occur in one or both eyes and can affect peripheral vision, making tasks like reading and driving difficult. Ptosis surgery tightens the muscle through a cut made in the crease of the upper eyelid.

The Process

Blepharoplasty Consultation and Examination

An initial visit with your surgeon may take place via telehealth or in person. You will discuss your reasons for pursuing eyelid surgery as well as your desired outcome and expected results. We conduct a thorough medical history, including your family history, general health status, previous operations, and any medications you may be taking. During an additional in-person visit, your surgeon examines your eyelids and takes photographs for your medical record. This visit usually lasts two to three hours. Finally, we recommend a course of treatment that meets your needs. 

Understanding the Risks

Cosmetic surgery carries the same risks as any other standard surgery. These include bleeding, blood clots, infection, and scarring. Eyelid surgery comes with additional risks such as worsening of existing eye conditions like dry eyes, vision loss, and even blindness. Your doctor will discuss these risks with you as you consider your options.

Blepharoplasty Surgery Cost

Eyelid lift surgery may be covered by insurance if it is performed for a medical reason. For instance, if droopy upper eyelids impede your vision and limit everyday activities, then upper blepharoplasty or ptosis repair may be considered medically necessary. Insurance does not cover procedures performed for purely cosmetic reasons. Our financial counselor will discuss this with you and provide an estimate to help you determine if this is the right approach for you.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

On the Day of Surgery

Eyelid lift surgeries are usually performed under local anesthesia, so your doctor can assess the symmetry of your eyes during surgery. Individually, the procedures take about 30 to 45 minutes to perform. Upper and lower eyelid lift surgery with laser skin resurfacing takes about 90 minutes to two hours in total. Stitches will be placed. These are usually outpatient procedures, meaning you will go home the same day.  


Your eyes will be swollen after surgery, but most swelling is gone after one month. Some stitches will dissolve on their own. If non-dissolvable stitches are placed, they will be removed after one week. Your doctor will see you for one or more follow-up visits to ensure you are healing in a timely fashion.

Call for an Appointment

Why Choose Duke

Personalized Treatment Recommendations

After an extensive consultation and careful evaluation, we recommend the procedure or combination of procedures that are most likely to give you the results you want.

Minimally Invasive Techniques

Whenever possible, we use small incisions to perform cosmetic procedures. A minimally invasive approach results in less bleeding and scarring and a lower risk of infection. It also helps you recover faster than with traditional surgical methods.

A Team Approach

Your medical team may include oculofacial plastic surgeons -- ophthalmologists who subspecialize in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery on the eyes and the facial structure surrounding the eyes, facial plastic surgeonsophthalmologists, aestheticians; nurses, and other staff who work together to ensure you get the best possible care.

Nonsurgical Options and Skin Care Therapies

Our aestheticians, doctors, and surgeons may recommend nonsurgical options and skin care therapies to improve and rejuvenate your appearance, including laser skin resurfacing, wrinkle-relaxing injections (Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin), and facial fillers. General skin care services are also available to improve and rejuvenate skin damaged by age, excessive sun exposure, discoloration, and skin-related disorders.

Consistently Ranked Among the Nation’s Best Hospitals

Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why we are once again recognized as the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 11 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.

This page was medically reviewed on 07/27/2022 by