Are You Awake During Blepharoplasty Surgery?

I hear that blepharoplasty is done with local anesthesia does this mean you are awake?

Doctor Answers 35

Awake during surgery

Yes, it is possible to have the surgery performed while you’re awake. I usually perform the procedure under general anesthesia or local anesthesia and intravenous sedation for added comfort. 

Are You Awake During Blepharoplasty Surgery?

Blepharoplasty and eyelid surgery does require some form of anaesthesia. There are three types of anaesthesia - local, sedative anaesthesia and general anaesthesia.
Local anaesthesia involves injecting numbing medicine at the area to be operated on and means that you are awake. For almost all upper blepharoplasty, I use local anaesthesia, when used in combination with oral medications, patients have a very rapid recovery and are able to go home less than thirty minutes after upper blepharoplasty.
Sedative anaesthesia also known as twilight anaesthesia means an anaesthesiologist gives you some medications that make you sleep during the surgery.I  generally use sedation anaesthesia for lower eyelid surgery, which ensures a comfortable experience, as patients have a rapid recovery and go home approximately thirty minutes after the lower blepharoplasty with an escort or chaperone.
General anaesthesia means that the patient is completely unconscious, requires a breathing tube and the recovery is slower taking a minimum of 4-6 hours. For blepharoplasty, general anaesthesia is not required unless the eyelid surgery is combined with other techniques including face and necklifting.
The ideal choice of anaesthesia does differ for each patient, as depending on your medical history, previous experiences of anaesthesia and allergies, different types of anaesthesia are best suited. 

Local Anesthesia and Blepharoplasty

While blepharoplasty can be done under local, we perform blepharoplasty with sedation or general anesthetic depending on the approach to ensure the comfort of the patient.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Eyelid Surgery typically doen under anesthesdia

 I have performed Blepharoplasty, or Eyelid Surgery, for well over 20 years and have performed the vast majority...well over 99%, under general anesthesia.  The few cases, where I did eyelid surgery under a local were for very specific reasons...having to do with those particular patients. 

 Eyelid Surgery, especially of the lower eyelids is very delicate surgery and in the case of Lower Blepharoplasty is performed through incisions on the inside of the lower eyelid.  I find this very difficult for the vast majority of patients to keep still and be as comfortable as they woiuld be under an anesthesia.  IMHO, go to sleep.  You'll be much more comfortable.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Blepharoplasty and anesthesia options

Blepharoplasty surgery is best done under a general anesthesia.  The little fat pads on both the upper and lower lids are painful to have removed so it is better to be under general anesthesia.  It is important to have a board certified anesthesiologist and make sure that the surgery center where it is being performed is licensed and certified.  Occasionally it is on the upper lids if patient needs a skin only removal that can be done under a local anesthesia.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Awake During Eyelid Surgery?

Blepharoplasty surgery can either be done under local, IV conscious sedation, or with general anesthesia; but local anesthesia is a very common way of doing it. This means that the patient will be awake throughout the procedure.

Anesthesia for lower lid bleph

Eyelid surgery can be done awake with oral sedation or IV sedation - most oculoplastic surgeons prefer the patient to be awake and interactive.  Having the patient open and close during the procedure can help assure the correct amount of skin and fat is being removed and assess for symmetry throughout the procedure.  Some surgeons also do the surgery under general anesthesia or deeper sedation depending on the comfort level of the patient or surgeon.

Keshini Parbhu, MD
Orlando Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Awake or Asleep for Eyelid Lift

Blepharoplasty or an Eyelid Lift, both upper and lower can be performed awake or asleep depending upon your comfort and the comfort of your surgeon.  Local anesthesia combined with topical and oral medication to decrease pain and increase relaxation, can provide a comfortable experience for patients who want to avoid going completely asleep with anesthesia.    I routinely perform these procedures in this way; "local with  oral sedation".   Alternatively, if a patient is extremely anxious or nervous about the procedure, it can be done with intravenous sedation or twilight anesthesia under the care of an anesthesiologist.   This is akin to the kind of anesthesia you get for colonoscopy.   In some medical circumstances, like asthma, reflux or obesity, general anesthesia may be the preferred method of anesthesia for these surgeries. 

James C. Marotta, MD
Long Island Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Anesthesia during Blepharoplasty or Eyelid Surgery

Hi just,

The decision among the anesthesia options is made between you and your plastic surgeon. Typically, IV sedation or general anesthesia is used for eyelid surgery. Some patients who have minor eyelid surgery might possibly be performed under local anesthesia. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a surgeon help determine appropriate options for you. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Type of anesthesia for blepharoplasty

Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is commonly done using just a local anesthesia injection. You're totally awake in this case. Some patients prefer more sedation which is certainly an option as well if you choose. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is usually done with more anesthesia but this depends on what if being done exactly.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.