What Type of Blepharoplasty Do I Need To Fix My Upper Eyelid?

Q: Dr. Eppley. Five years ago, I had surgery on the right upper eyelid  to reduce the size of my eye opening.  My right eye used to be larger than the left one.  Some times for a few seconds my right eyelid seems relatively normal but as I blink, it seems like the skin detaches from the muscle and the eyelid goes back to a droopy appearance. Unfortunately, it seems like the scar didn’t heal well or the stitches weren’t placed correctly.  If the inner crease or fold would stay inside it would have a normal look.  I wouldn’t want my right eye to end up larger or deformed compared to the left side again.

A: In looking at your pictures, one can see that with the eye open there is a fold of skin that hangs down onto the lashes of the upper eyelid. However, when the upper eyelid closes completely that fold of skin disappears. That dynamic piece of information is critical in selecting the right blepharoplasty procedure.

Trying to correct this problem by only removing all the extra skin may cause exactly the problem you are trying to avoid. Rather, a very conservative amount of upper eyelid skin should be removed and the dermis then sutured down to the tarsus or levator muscle. This is very similar to the classic ‘double eyelid’ operation done in Asians where they lack an upper eyelid fold. Your problem is conceptually similar.

Because it is only one one eyelid, the procedure can comfortably done under local anesthesia. This would also be helpful in that you would be awake and the dynamic action of the eyelid can be observed as the blepharoplasty repair is being performed.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana