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Does Eyelid Surgery Leave Scars?

Are you considering eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) to rejuvenate your appearance and possibly improve your vision? You may have concerns about visible scarring after the procedure, and wonder: “Does eyelid surgery leave scars?” In this blog post, we will discuss the factors that can affect scarring, techniques used to minimise it, and what you can expect from the recovery process.

Understanding eyelid surgery and scarring

Eyelid surgery, also known as an eyelid lift or blepharoplasty, is a popular cosmetic procedure designed to enhance the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids by removing excess skin and tissue. The procedure can help restore a more youthful look and, in some cases, even enhance vision by addressing issues like hooded eyes. A common concern among prospective patients is whether blepharoplasty surgery leaves visible scars.

The good news is that eyelid scars after eyelid surgery, including blepharoplasty scars, are typically minimal. This is thanks to carefully placed incisions in the natural creases of the eyelids or hidden locations, which makes the scars virtually invisible once they have fully healed.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the specifics of upper and lower eyelid surgery, as well as the factors that can affect the appearance of scars.

Upper eyelid surgery

Upper eyelid surgery involves making precise incisions along the upper eyelids’ crease to remove excess skin and fat, providing a more youthful appearance. Achieving natural-looking results and minimising visible scarring hinge on the surgeon’s expertise in placing the incision along the crease of the upper eyelid.

The upper blepharoplasty procedure typically lasts about an hour. The amount of time required may vary, depending on individual circumstances. During the healing process, the scars will progress from red to pink before eventually becoming white or skin-coloured, making them virtually imperceptible.

Lower eyelid surgery

Lower eyelid surgery, also known as lower blepharoplasty, targets under-eye bags and wrinkles by making incisions either inside the lower eyelid or along the lash line. This procedure can be done under local or general anaesthesia, and typically takes about an hour and a half to complete.

Similar to upper eyelid surgery, scar visibility is significantly influenced by the placement of incisions. A skilled surgeon will choose the most suitable incision location based on the patient’s individual needs and goals, ensuring that the resulting scars are as inconspicuous as possible.

Factors affecting visibility of scars

The visibility of scars after eyelid surgery depends on several factors, including the surgeon’s skill, the patient’s healing process, and proper postoperative care. A skilled surgeon can minimise scarring by expertly placing incisions in natural folds and hidden areas, as well as employing advanced surgical techniques.

Each person’s healing process is unique, and some individuals may heal at a quicker or slower rate than others. Hence, adhering to the plastic surgeon’s postoperative care recommendations is vital for minimising scarring and ensuring a smooth recovery.

Surgeon's skill

A skilled surgeon can minimise scarring by carefully positioning incisions in areas that can be easily concealed or camouflaged, such as the crease of the upper eyelid or the lash line of the lower eyelid. This ensures that the resulting scars are virtually invisible once they have fully healed.

The surgeon’s skill also plays a significant role in the application of advanced surgical techniques that can further reduce scarring and enhance the recovery process. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon with blepharoplasty experience is key in obtaining optimal results, and consulting with multiple plastic surgeons can help you make the best decision.

Individual healing process

The individual healing process can have a significant impact on the visibility of scars after eyelid surgery. Factors like age, health and lifestyle habits, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, can all influence the healing process and the final appearance of scars.

Following the surgeon’s postoperative care recommendations and making necessary lifestyle adjustments are paramount for optimal healing.

Postoperative care

Reducing the visibility of scars post-eyelid surgery involves abstaining from strenuous exercise and heavy lifting, using ice packs and cold compresses, and maintaining a nutritious diet coupled with adequate hydration.

Proper postoperative care ensures a successful recovery and minimises the risk of complications that could affect the appearance of scars.

Techniques used to minimise scarring

Surgeons use various techniques to minimise scarring in eyelid surgery, such as strategic incision placement and advanced surgical methods like laser-assisted procedures. By carefully placing incisions in natural folds and hidden areas, the resulting scars can be camouflaged and virtually invisible once healed.

Examples of advanced techniques used in eyelid surgery include:

  • Skin crease reformation
  • Lacrimal gland repositioning
  • Medial fat pad remodelling
  • Transconjunctival fat removal
  • Lower eyelid skin resurfacing with chemical peels or ablative laser

Caring for your eyes after surgery

By following these guidelines, patients can promote healing, reduce the risk of complications, and achieve the best possible results in terms of both appearance and function. It’s important to remember that each individual’s healing process is unique, and patience is key while waiting for the scars to fade and the final results to become apparent.

Avoiding strenuous exercise and heavy lifting

Avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for several weeks post-eyelid surgery is essential, as these activities may increase blood flow to the eyes, potentially causing complications. By refraining from such activities, patients can help prevent issues like increased swelling, delayed healing, and more visible scarring.

Instead, gentle activities like walking are recommended during the initial stages of recovery to aid the healing process without causing undue strain on the surgical site.

Ice packs and cold compresses

Applying ice packs and cold compresses to the eyes after surgery can help reduce swelling and inflammation, which in turn can minimise scarring. It is typically recommended to use cold compresses for the first couple of days after surgery, followed by warm compresses to help clear any residual fluid that may cause temporary swelling.

By managing swelling effectively, patients can promote a smoother recovery and achieve a more desirable cosmetic outcome.

Balanced diet and hydration

A successful recovery after eyelid surgery requires a balanced diet and proper hydration. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats can provide the nutrients needed for optimal healing.

Staying hydrated by consuming an adequate amount of water and avoiding sugary beverages can help eliminate toxins, reduce inflammation, and ensure proper body functioning. By focusing on nutrition and hydration, patients can support their body’s healing process and reduce the risk of complications.

Realistic expectations for eyelid surgery scars

Having realistic expectations concerning scar fading and appearance post-eyelid surgery is important.

By understanding the factors that can influence scar appearance and following the recommended postoperative care guidelines, patients can set realistic expectations for their results and enjoy the rejuvenating benefits of eyelid surgery with minimal scarring.

Timeline for scar fading

Scars from eyelid surgery typically fade within 6-12 months, with most swelling and redness subsiding within 6-8 weeks. The incisions will close, and the scars will transition from red to pink before eventually becoming white or skin-coloured, making them virtually imperceptible.

Remember that the timeline for scar fading is subject to personal variations.

Factors affecting scar appearance

Several factors can affect the appearance of scars after eyelid surgery, such as skin type, age, and adherence to post-operative care instructions. For example, individuals with darker skin tones may be more prone to developing visible scars, while older patients may have less elastic skin that takes longer to heal.

By following the surgeon’s recommendations for postoperative care, patients can minimise the visibility of scars and achieve the best possible results.

Contact us

If you have experienced problems following eyelid surgery and think they are the result of negligence, talk to our expert cosmetic surgery negligence team today. Call 0808 149 7888 or request a call back by completing the contact form.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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