Upper Eyelid Surgery


Upper eyelid surgery, also known as an upper blepharoplasty, is ideal for patients with excessive upper eyelid skin that gives patients a tired look or can hang down and impair vision. For some patients, it can get so severe that the skin rests on their eyelashes, making it hard to open their eyes and obstructing their visual field. Excess eyelid skin is removed during the procedure, and the underlying tissue is re-positioned for an awakened appearance and improved visual field. Whether the upper blepharoplasty is done for aesthetic or functional purposes, Beverly Hills and Koreatown plastic surgeon Dr. Charles Hsu, can perform upper eyelid surgery to create fresher and rejuvenated eyes.

Best Candidate for Upper Eyelid Surgery

  • Excess skin obscuring the natural fold of the upper eyelids

  • Loose upper eyelid skin that impairs vision

  • A puffy appearance to the upper eyelids, making eyes look tired and sad

  • The upper eye surface is too small or not smooth enough to apply makeup


Dr. Hsu will first ask you about the patient’s specific goals for the upper eyelid surgery. He will also ask about the patient’s general health history, including any known allergies and the patient’s current medications. Dr. Hsu will then give his assessment and decide how the surgical plan should be individualized for the patient. Since each patient's anatomy and surgical goals are different, Dr. Hsu works with his patient’s unique features and needs to reach the best results.  

Surgery Details

Upper blepharoplasty procedures are performed with the patient under local anesthesia for approximately 1 hour. Dr. Hsu will make the incision in the natural upper eyelid crease, ensuring that scar will be well hidden. He will then remove excess skin, a little bit of fat, and may also tighten up the underlying muscle depending upon the patient’s individual anatomy. The goal is to create rejuvenated and natural appearing eyelids. 

Click here to view 3D Animation provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Recovery and Post-Op

After the surgery, patients must keep their head elevated at all times during the recovery period. Dr. Hsu will usually remove stitches during the first week follow-up appointment. Swelling and bruising can be significant for the first few days, but most of the swelling will be gone by about 2 weeks. Patients can return to work after 2 weeks, but some will return sooner. Full exercise and normal activities can typically go back to normal within 4-6 weeks. During the recovery period, Dr. Hsu recommends walking within the house several times per day to speed healing and minimize the possibility of developing blood clots. Follow-up appointments are scheduled up to a year after surgery. 

From Dr. Hsu

“Upper eyelid surgery and the mini-facelift are the two most common procedures I perform. My approach to upper eyelid surgery is to rejuvenate the appearance in a conservative fashion and to minimize the amount of fat removal. Until recently, the general approach to eyelid rejuvenation was to remove fatty deposits in the upper and lower eyelids. However, more recent plastic surgery research has shown that removing fatty deposits excessively can lead to a hollowed out look for the upper eyelids. This is particularly true for certain ethnicities as well.  

Again, every surgeon is different, but based on this research, I prefer to approach the eyelids in a conservative fashion with an emphasis on preserving as much fat and tissue as possible. Most patients do require some skin removal in the upper eyelids, and often a small amount of fat as well. As long as the fat removal is conservative, the results can be excellent and long-lasting.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I expect from my final upper eyelid surgery results?

    Upper eyelid surgery results should be very long lasting. For the most part, removal of hooding and upper eyelid skin is a procedure that is performed only once. As aging continues, the brow can drop or descend, causing excess skin to reappear on the upper eyelid, but in this case the solution is a brow lift, not a second upper blepharoplasty. If you are a candidate that underwent this surgery because of a tired look, you can expect a more youthful and rejuvenated overall facial appearance.

  • What are some recovery tips after upper eyelid surgery?

    • The amount of time it takes for recovery varies, but here are some recovery tips for upper eyelid surgery:

    • Follow all of Dr. Hsu’s instructions carefully.

    • Sleep with the head raised higher than the chest.

    • After upper blepharoplasty surgery the eyelids will typically feel tight. Patients can treat soreness with acetaminophen. Significant bruising typically occurs, but will resolve within two weeks.

    • Avoid straining, heavy lifting, swimming, and strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for at least six weeks.

    • Patients may notice that their eyes tire easily for the first several weeks of the recovery period. Take frequent naps. Avoid activities that may dry the eyes, including reading, watching television, wearing contacts, and using a computer.

    • For the first two weeks after surgery, wear dark sunglasses to protect the eyes from irritation caused by sun and wind.

    • Seek medical attention immediately for shortness of breath, chest pains, an unusual heart rate, new pain, bleeding, or visual disturbance.

  • Will my upper eyelid surgery scar be visible?

    During the surgery, Dr. Hsu will mark the natural lines and creases of the lids and keep the scars as hidden as possible along these natural folds. Fine sutures will be used to close the incisions, thereby minimizing scar visibility.