Image of woman making heart symbol with hands and eyes showing within


1-2 Weeks

Surgery Length

0.5-1 Hour

Anesthesia Type



Coverage Varies

What Is Upper Blepharoplasty (Upper Eyelid Lift)?

The upper eyelids can develop aging changes including excessive and redundant skin, changes in upper eyelid fat pads, and skin hooding over the lashes making it difficult to put on make-up.  These changes can make us look tired, angry and older than we actually are.

Upper blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed with the goal of improving age-related changes and restore a more refreshed youthful appearance. This procedure typically has little down time and very high satisfaction rates. The incisions are hidden in the natural crease of the eyelid and heals very well.

For more details, please visit American Academy of Ophthalmology EyeWiki's Blepharoplasty page (for which Dr. Shannon S. Joseph serves as the editor).

Why Do Patients Choose to Have Upper Blepharoplasty with JOSEPH Advanced Oculofacial Plastic Surgery?

Dr. Shannon S. Joseph is a fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic surgeon who specializes exclusively on plastic surgery around the eyes, while Dr. Andrew W. Joseph is a fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon. This level of sub-specialization means that our surgeons have extensive experience in eyelid surgery. Upper blepharoplasty is one of the most common procedures performed by our surgeons, and we have taken care of patients of a wide range of age, ethnicity, gender, and facial structures. We firm believers in taking a customized approach to enhance each person's unique natural beauty.

Every patient will receive a comprehensive evaluation and customized surgical plan during consultation. Our surgeons will take their time to listen to your concerns and discuss everything with you in detail. We will then work together with you to design an individualized surgical plan optimized for you. Upper blepharoplasty can be performed on its own or can sometimes be combined with other procedures such as ptosis repair, brow/forehead lift, or lower blepharoplasty if needed for the ideal rejuvenation outcome.

Our surgeons specialize in minimally-invasive facial rejuvenation techniques that deliver stunning results that are also beautifully natural. Learn more about why patients choose us.

What Are Some of The Common Reasons to undergo Upper Blepharoplasty?

Some of the common reasons patients choose to undergo upper blepharoplasty include the following:

  • Fullness and puffiness in upper eyelids
  • Excess upper eyelid skin causing rash and irritation, or difficulty putting on make up
  • Narrowing of the eye with age
  • Upper lid skin rubbing on eyelashes
  • Blocked vision due to excess upper eyelid skin
How Is a Blepharoplasty Surgery Performed?

Our surgeons will first carefully measure you to see how much extra upper eyelid skin you have, and then determine the correct amount of skin that should be removed. We will then make artistic customized surgical markings to ensure the optimal amount of skin removal and fat contouring. The incision will hide within the natural crease of the eyelid, and typically becomes minimally visible.

After numbing medication is administered, the surgical incision on the upper eyelid skin is made. Excess upper eyelid skin is carefully removed, preserving the natural function of the upper eyelid muscles. Excess fat that may be contributing to upper eyelid fullness may then be repositioned or contoured.  After obtaining the desired correction, the surgical incision is then closed meticulously with sutures.  The entire surgery is typically less than one hour.

What Type of Anesthesia Is Used for Blepharoplasty Surgery?

Upper eyelid blepharoplasty surgery may be performed with patients awake, under twilight anesthesia, or fully asleep.  We individualize the plan for anesthesia based on patient preference, whether additional procedures are planned, and the patient's overall health.

Are There Any Patients Who Should Not Have Upper Blepharoplasty?

Many patients who present to our office are eligible for blepharoplasty surgery.  However, there are patients with some conditions who may be at greater risk for undergoing blepharoplasty surgery or who may not receive a significant benefit from the procedure.  For example, patients with moderate to severe dry eyes or lack of sufficient upper eyelid skin due to previous surgeries or other conditions may be poor candidates.

What can I expect for recovery after blepharoplasty surgery?

Surgical recovery varies from person to person, but most patients are able to return to work within a week after surgery.  Most patients experience only mild discomfort and do not need strong pain medications.  Following surgery, most patients will be seen in the office approximately 5-10 days later to evaluate healing.  Bruising and swelling will be present after surgery, especially for the first 1-2 weeks, but minor swelling may persist for a number of weeks.

Please refer to our additional resources for general pre-operative and post-operative instructions.

Will Insurance Pay for My Upper Blepharoplasty?

Sometimes the excessive skin of the upper eyelids is so severe that it can block peripheral vision and interfere with daily activities. In these situations, upper blepharoplasty may be eligible for coverage under many medical insurance plans. The following parameters are generally considered by medical insurance carriers when evaluating whether a patient meets criteria:

  • Degree of visual field obstruction (many insurance plans require at least 30% blockage of superior visual field)
  • Excess eyelid skin resting on eyelashes
  • Photographic evidence of excess upper eyelid skin

At your consultation, we will perform the testing and measurements necessary for your insurance to review and determine whether you may be eligible for coverage.

What other procedures can be combined with upper blepharoplasty?

Many patients undergoing upper eyelid lift also choose to undergo lower blepharoplasty at the same time for a harmonious and balanced upper face rejuvenation. Other procedures that sometimes can be combined with upper blepharoplasty include upper eyelid ptosis repairbrow/forehead lift, facelift, skin resurfacing, and fat grafting. At your one-on-one consultation, we will work with you to build a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Schedule A Consultation

If you are interested in this procedure, please contact us to schedule a personal consultation. Our surgeons will listen to your concerns, perform a comprehensive assessment, and discuss with you a management plan tailored to your needs. We take care of patients from Troy, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Rochester Hills, Rochester, and the rest of Metro Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.