What Surgical Options Are Available for Restoration of Droopy Eyelids?

Which procedures are the least invasive and require the shortest amount of recovery time?

Doctor Answers 10

Many Options for Droopy Eyelids

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In general,  there are 3 main structural changes seen in "droopy eyelids:"

  1. Drooping of the edge of the eyelids  (blepharoptosis)
  2. Excess skin of the upper lids  (dermatochalasis)
  3. Crowding of the eyelid space from drooping brows (brow ptosis)

Some patients have issues with all 3, and it is very common for a patient to have 2 of these 3.  Each of these 3 problems has multiple possible solutions.

Each patient needs a set of options based on individualized findings.  From this set of options,  a patient and an experienced surgeon can determine an ideal plan. 

Be sure to choose a surgeon who has a lot of experience and can offer you the full range of options.


Best wishes,


Mark Lucarelli, MD, FACS

Madison, WI

Madison Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Droop[y eyelid correction.

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Cause is important.  Assuming simple aging, the blepharoplasty corrects nicely by removing skin and possibly fat and then repair.   If ptosis exists and the levator lifting muscle is not doing such a hot job of lifting, the muscle tendon needs shortened.  If there is zero levation function you may need a sling which is a little tricky and rarely needed.  Best Dr G Commons.

Droopy Eyelid Repair

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More important than which procedure is least invasive or requires the least recovery time is which procedure is best to address your underlying condition.  It is unclear to me if you are referring to your upper or lower eyelids.  Upper Eyelid Droopiness is commonly due to:

1) Excess upper lid skin and/or fat (addressed by blepharoplasty)

2) A weak eyelid lifting muscle (addressed by ptosis repair)

3) A droopy eyebrow (addressed by a brow lift)

Droopy lower eyelids are commonly due to:

1) Excess lower lid skin and/or fat (addressed by blepharoplasty, chemical peels, or laser resurfacing)

2) Lower lid ectropion (addressed by ectropion repair with or without skin grafting or midface lifting)

Your question will best be answered by a visit with an oculoplastic surgeon who is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmic Plastic and reconstructive surgery.  You can find a member at the ASOPRS website.  Best of luck.

Michael McCracken, MD
Lone Tree Oculoplastic Surgeon

Droopy eyelids

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There are three basic factors contribute to eyelid "drooping".

1.  Ptosis is when the upper eyelid falls as a result of weakening of the muscle/tendon that lifts up the upper eyelid.

2.  Dermatochalasis is the relative excess loose skin on top of the eyelid that results from stretching and elasticity loss of the upper eyelid skin. This has no effect on the position of the eyelid.

3.  The brows fall over time and crowd the upper eyelid area and contribute to relative excess upper eyelid skin.

One person can have one or all of these factors.  Consult an oculoplastic surgeon.

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Photos with face in repose (relaxed) are helpful.

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 Photos would help immensely...........front view with face in neutral (no smile) so we can see your eyelids as you see them.

Harlow Hollis, MD
Victoria Plastic Surgeon

Restoring the droopy upper lid

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There are several variations of upper eyelid rejuvenation when lids get heavy and droopy. Just as with Facelift , an upper lid procedure should match the problems and causes at hand. Invasive or not, if the cause and solution do not match up, you will be disappointed.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Eyelift vs. forehead lift.

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The difference of these two procedures depends on what you want and what will give the prettiest eyes. See an experienced surgeon who does both and let him advise you.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

At a minimum a photo is needed here.

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Ultimately there is no substitute for a personal consultation.  Droopy eyelids mean different things to lay people vs surgeons.  People may be referring to a droopy eyebrow and a heavy upper eyelid fold.  In contrast, when surgeons talk about a droopy the are specifically referring to upper eyelid ptosis due to weakness of the upper eyelid tendon allowing the eyelid margin to rest low on the eye surface.  These two conditions require entirely different types of surgical approaches.  A heavy upper eyelid fold may need an upper blepharoplasty or forehead lift.  Actual upper eyelid ptosis requires ptosis surgery.  There are two principle approaches: posterior conjunctival muellerectomy and anterior levator resection ptosis surgery.  Determine what you actually need requires an assessment by a fellowship trained oculoplastic surgeon.  The American Society for Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) maintains a geographic directory that will help you find a well qualified surgeon near you (asoprs.org).

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Least invasive ptosis surgery

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It all depends on the type of ptosis. Drooping eyelids from excess skin and muscle above the eyes respond well to blepharoplasty. A droopy eyelid from stretching of the muscle that raises the eyelid requires addressing this component for a good result; and there are many ways to address true blepharoptosis. A photo would help to better determine what type of ptosis that you have.

Gary Lelli, Jr., MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon

Eyelid surgery

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Without a photo or an exam, all bets are off, but assuming you are describing excess tissue in the upper eyelid making you look tired, the best solution is an upper lid blepharoplasty.  It is usually almost painless and patients look great within 2 weeks. 

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.