Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to remove some of the excess skin from your eyelids.

It can be done on the NHS if the excess skin is affecting your vision.

It cannot be done on the NHS if it is for cosmetic reasons.

Causes of your condition

Excess skin is often due to ageing, sun damage, trauma, or an underlying medical condition, like thyroid problems.

The eyelid appearance might also be common in your family. Sometimes episodes of swelling of the eyelid are due to infection or allergy.

Benefits of blepharoplasty

Your doctor has recommended that you have this treatment because it will improve your peripheral (outside edge) vision.

Risks of blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty is a fairly safe and successful surgical procedure but, as with any surgery, there are some risks associated with it. 

Bruising and swelling

This is common and may remain for a few weeks after surgery.


You will have a scar from the surgery. This can be visible at first, but will usually fade over time.


This can happen in the wound, and might need treating with antibiotics.

Dry eye, and poor eyelid closure

Your eye might feel dry for a few weeks after surgery, and you might have to use artificial tear supplements (lubricants that you buy from a pharmacy, or shop).

Asymmetry of the eyelids (they might not ‘match’)

Sometimes there is a difference between the appearance of both upper eyelids after surgery.

Vision disturbance

Bleeding into deep tissue can lead to vision disturbance, and can lead to loss of vision in severe cases. This is extremely rare and you should report any loss of vision to the hospital immediately. 

Other treatment options

You can choose not to have surgery. You can discuss this in more detail with your doctor.

We want to involve you in decisions about your care and treatment. If you decide to go ahead, you will be asked to sign a consent form. This states that you understand what the treatment involves and that you agree to have it. 

You can read more about our consent process. 

Remember that you might need to bring your reading glasses with you to help you read the form. If your sight is poor, you can ask the doctor or a relative to read it to you and check it before you sign.

Resource number: 4441/VER3
Last reviewed: December 2023
Next review: December 2026

Contact us

If you have any questions about your blepharoplasty surgery at St Thomas' Hospital, please contact the ophthalmology (eye) secretary.

Phone: 020 7188 0161, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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