Eyelid surgery


Even at old age, eyes can still sparkle with youthful shine, but there is no natural way of preventing the traces of time on eyelids. Sagging tissue is bound to lead to a tired expression or drooping eyelids and eye bags.

In plastic surgery, a distinction is made between excess skin at the upper or lower eyelid and the so-called eye bags in the lower lid area, which are caused by small fat pads.

At Park-Klinik Birkenwerder/Berlin, eyelid lift surgery is also one of the most commonly performed aesthetic plastic surgeries in the face. After eyelid surgery, the eye contour becomes firmer again, the outlines clearer, and this makes the faces of men and women alike look younger and more vital. There are different types of eyelid lifts, the choice of which depends on your individual predisposition. Most of the time, the surgery combines the removal of excess skin and protruding fat pads on the upper and lower eyelid.

Before deciding to undergo surgery, the underlying cause always needs to be determined:

  1. Sunken brows: When the lid skin creates a fold in the outer area, which goes beyond the lateral limit of the eye zone, it makes more sense to lift the brow area rather than just removing excess skin in the upper lid area, since the brows would otherwise be pulled down further, which in turn, accentuates the tired look even more.
  2. Excess skin of the upper lid area: If the brows are above the superior orbital rim and the eyelid skin can be lifted without the eyelids opening, there is a presence of excess skin, which can be removed by upper eyelid surgery (upper eyelid lift).
  3. Sunken brows and excess skin in the upper eyelid area: In many cases, there is a combination of sunken brows and excess skin.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a personal consultation. Our surgeons will review, explain in detail, and discuss your options regarding »eyelid lift« at Park-Klinik Birkenwerder/Berlin.

When is lower eyelid surgery an option?

In the lower eyelid area, excess skin and eye bags may be bothersome. Initially, the doctor has to check whether the edge of the lid is still firm, whether there is excess fatty tissue or whether excess skin is the main issue. Only then is it possible to determine the appropriate option – lower lid surgery with skin removal, with fat removal, with lifting of the inner conjunctiva (septum) or with palpebral ligament lifting – and which type of incision (from the inside or from the outside) is indicated in your particular case.

Can I have my »eye bags« removed?

In case you only have small fat bags under your eyes and there is no need to remove excess skin, it is possible to perform a so-called transconjunctival blepharoplasty (eye bag removal).

This procedure only requires incisions at the inner side of the lower eyelids, thus there will be no visible scars. If at the same time, there is a lot of excess skin, an incision is made right under the lashes, the bags are exposed and the fat will be either removed or dispersed.

The brow lift procedure

In order to lift the external part of the eyebrows, a small zig-zag-shaped incision is made behind the hairline on the temple. From there, the skin is loosened up to below the eyebrows and then pulled upwards and outwards. The skin is closed with clips, so that the blood circulation into the hair roots is not impeded. The clips will be removed after 10 days. You will wear a head bandage for one day.

Which eyelid surgery is suitable for me?

The extent of the correction and the question if upper or lower eyelid lifting is advised depend heavily on your eyelids’ individual condition. An even, symmetric result can be achieved by precisely measuring the eyelids’ skin. The lifting of skin and muscles happens automatically, once the excess skin is removed – it corresponds roughly to what one can seize with two fingers. The so-called eye bags, which consist of fatty tissue, are gently removed at the same time. In case of marked laugh lines in the lower eyelids, a part of the exceedingly strong lid muscles can also be removed.

Which results can be achieved with eyelid correction surgery?

After surgery, the lower lids at rest are wrinkle-free, but not when you are smiling. Also, this surgical intervention cannot make the sometimes dark and extremely thin skin of the lower eyelids lighter or firmer. And, a fine, thin line, which follows natural eye folds will remain. The upper eyelids look much smoother, the face more open and your eyes will look brighter.

Do I need anaesthesia for eyelid lifting and how long do I have to stay in hospital?

Do not hesitate to ask us for a sedative pill. It takes away your anxiety, calms you down and makes sure that you are half-asleep during surgery. For the local or regional anaesthesia, a tiny needle will prick each of your eyelids. This prick is hardly noticeable. However, if you do not want to be aware of the surgery at all, you may also be operated under general anaesthesia. For this option, the necessary checks need to be performed at the latest on the day before your surgery and the anaesthesia needs to be discussed with the anaesthetist.

Usually, the surgical intervention is performed as in-office surgery.

Important things to know – before surgery

For a period of 14 days prior to the eyelid lift surgery, you should not take any pain killers such as aspirin, because they delay coagulation. You should also refrain from drinking alcohol or taking soporific agents (sleeping pills) to the extent possible. Get a small stock of compresses or kleenex as well as green tea bags. No other preparations are required. However, you should not wear any make-up, you should be well rested and bring dark sunglasses.

The eyelid lift procedure

Prior to the actual surgery, the surgeon will decide on the type of incision to achieve an optimum result. For this purpose, he will use a pen and draw an accurate sketch onto the skin. After disinfecting the surgical area and putting sterile draping, the excess skin on the upper and/or lower eyelids is meticulously removed using a scalpel. Wounds are closed with continuous, extremely fine sutures. In order to allow scars to heal nicely, our team uses removable sutures. The wound will be covered by waterproof, skin-coloured adhesive tapes. Please leave them in place until your surgeon removes them.

How long does eyelid correction surgery take?

  • Surgery on both upper eyelids takes about 45 minutes.
  • Surgery on both lower eyelids takes about 60 minutes.
  • Both surgeries combined takes about 90 minutes.
  • A lifting of both eyebrows takes about 45 minutes.

What do I have to consider after the eyelid correction?

Immediately after the eyelid correction, there will be more or less severe swelling of the eyes, which will subside after 1 to 2 days. Also, you will have bruises around your eyes. The bruise settles in the lower eyelids and disappears within a week. Since the seam lies exactly in the folds of the eyelid that develop when the eyes are open, it is usually hardly visible after 8 days.

However, if the incision had to be made over the outer edge of the eye socket, these additional 1 to 2 cm long scars can still be reddened for a few weeks. Your eyelid gap may appear slightly smaller, mainly due to the swelling. After a few weeks, however, these completely recede.

In the first two days after an eyelid correction, please boil green tea, let it cool down and cool with soaked clean compresses. This reduces swelling and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Please never cool your eyelids with »cold packs« at home, these are much too cold! In the first few days after the operation, sleep with your head elevated, if possible on your back. During the first week, avoid any physical exertion and do not exert yourself. The intracutaneous sutures are removed in the clinic on the 7th day after the operation.

In the case of an external lower eyelid lift, bruising and swelling must be expected for up to 3 weeks.

You can wash your hair after 1-2 days. In the first week after the eyelid correction, however, you should not strain your eyes with creams or ointments. Make-up should also not be applied directly to the fresh scar. Remember, the skin is best at helping itself. It is best to wear dark sunglasses to conceal any bruising.

What are the complications that can occur in eyelid correction surgery?

If you suffer from allergies such as allergies to medication or skin care products, or from other conditions, you need to inform us about it without fail. Should you be prone to develop noticeable bruises or to persistent bleeding after minor injuries, you should be examined appropriately to rule out a coagulation disorder before any eyelid correction surgery.

In general, surgical interventions on the eyelids are associated with a particularly low risk. However, complications can never be completely excluded when undergoing surgery and these are not foreseeable in every single case. Thus, the extent and duration of swelling and bruising, which are always to be expected after surgery, vary widely from one patient to the other. In very rare cases, infections of the wound area can occur, however, they do not necessarily worsen the outcome when treated appropriately. Poor wound healing on the eyelids is also rare. If it occurs, it is mainly due to factors, which have been discussed in the pre-surgery consultation, e.g. delayed healing in diabetic patients.

Slightly dry eyes are normal after eyelid lifting. Should your eyes be irritated more than slightly or be red, please see us or your ophthalmologist. In specialist literature, very few cases of lasting impaired vision have been described. It has to be assumed that this is caused by atherosclerosis of the ocular vessels. However, a check by an ophthalmologist prior to surgery precludes this risk; for the sake of completeness, we would like to point it out anyway.

In case of lower eyelid surgery, there is the possibility that the eyelid skin might drop on one or both sides. Should this happen, the palpebral angle will have to be reattached.

What costs should I expect for an eyelid surgery?

The costs for eyelid corrections depend on the individual scope of services. Please refer to our price list for average prices.

Park-Klinik Fachärzte Team Park-Klinik Fachärzte Team

Dr. med. Ursula Tanzella and her team will be happy to advise you personally.

Make an appointment.