How Long Does an Upper Eyelid Surgery Usually Take?

The doctor who is going to do my upper Blepharoplasty said that the procedure will take about 1 1/2 to 3 hours, and he is going to use a local. Is that right? 3 hours? Isn't that way too long? I've heard 1 or 2 hours at the most.

Doctor Answers 23

Blepharoplasty of Upper Eye Lids; How Much Time Should it Take? On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

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Hi Brooke,

Upper blepharolplasty should take about one hour to perform unless there are complicating factors. The procedure is usually done under local anesthesia in an office treatment room to avoid the costs of an anesthesiologist and the operating room.

If you are being charged for 3 hours of operating room time I would definitely question your surgeon. The eyelids require meticulous attention to get consistantly excellent results. You do not want your surgeon racing against the clock, yet on theother hand you do not want someone "mucking around" for an uneccessary amount of time either.

They are your lids for the rest of your life so time should be one of the least important considerations in choosing your surgeon. If you trust your surgeon and like his/her results then a little extra time is not important.

Sorry, I have to run, this answer is taking way too long.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Upper Blepharoplasty surgery duration

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I would agree with my collegues that the usual amount of time for a straight forward upper lid blepharoplasty is usually less than an hour. Using local anesthetia for a blepharoplasty is very common.

Hope this helps.

Andrew Y. Kleinman, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon

Generally an hour or less

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It usually takes an experienced surgeon an hour or 45 minutes to do a precise upper lid blepharoplasty.  There are differences in time but faster is not necessarily better and neither is slower.  3 hours is exceptionally long for upper lids.

One hour is enough usually

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Upper eyelid surgery usually only involves removal of skin, maybe some muscle and some fat. It is a relatively quick surgery. But every surgeon is different and you certainly don't want him to go fast just to get it done quickly. Surgery time can be increased if he plans on doing lacrimal gland suspension or the endotine mini brow lift or corrugator resection (hopefully not).

Ask why such a large time discrepancy.

Many notable plastic surgeons perform Blepharoplasty for an hour or less

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Looking at the reviews below you see long ones and short ones. The anecdotal review suggests that the longer the reviewer writes, the longer they suggest it may take to perform an upper blephgaroplasty.

In reality, there are many notable cosmetic plastic surgeons, and with almost all of them, an upper blepharoplasty takes about an hour or less.

My concern is that excessive time will cost you extra money and may put you at added risks.

Best of luck!

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Under one hour for upper blepharoplasty without other periocular procedures

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Typical upper blepharoplasty times are under one hour. Only a few minutes is added if fat needs to be removed. If additional procedures are being performed through the upper blepharoplasty incision, this may take additional time. Corrugator myotomies can be performed as well as other procedures. Be sure to discuss with your surgeon exactly what procedure he is performing.

Kevin Ende, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon


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Usually blepharoplasty takes between 1-2 hours for most people.  Speed should not be the issue, but quality should be.  Good luck finding the right surgeon.  3 hours sounds a bit excessive.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

The speed of surgery is largely irrelevant.

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Dear Brook

I like you surgeon and I don't even know who it is. Speed is really unimportant. What is important is doing meticulous work and not having a crowded surgery schedule compromise the care that is provided to each and every patient. If you don't think that surgeons compromise what they do to get through a busy or schedule, think again. It happens all the time. I would much rather have a surgeon who is focused on what they are doing for me and not focused on the clock and the last case of the day.

I have a colleague in my community who boasts that he does a four eyelid blepharoplasty or quad bleph (both upper eyelids and both lower eyelids) in 30 minutes. I have seen him operate and it is true. Believe me when I tell you that you do not want to have your blepharoplasty done in 30 minutes! This surgery will hopefully last if not a life time certainly for years and years. What difference does it matter if the surgery takes an extra 30 to 60 minutes. It is much better to get it right.

The overall effect of an of a blepharoplasty is very much determined by a multitude of small details each of which requires thought and attention. Compromise this and the result is a mediocre surgical result at best. Many surgeons performing eyelid surgery lack a sufficient understanding of these issues to even know what they are missing.

You have probably heard the expression measure twice and cut once. When I do an upper blepharoplasty, I measure and design my planned skin incision during the preoperative examination which can take an hour not including the consent process. Just prior to surgery, I will make some preliminary eyelid marks in the preoperative holding area.

Once I have placed local anesthetic in the eyelid in the operating room, I let the tissues settle for 15 minutes. Then, I remeasure the design of the skin excision with a caliper. It is critical that the lowest incision of the blepharoplasty be marked at exactly the same place on each eyelid above the eyelashes. The shape of the upper excision mark is also very important and warrants the same type of meticulous attention. It is not at all unusual for me to spend 20 or 30 minutes getting this right and that is before I have even picked up a scalpel!

Many surgeons think that blepharoplasty is only about cutting out skin and fat. They are not great eyelid surgeons. Little details have great consequences such as when the skin excision is performed does one remove both the skin and the underlying muscle or just the skin alone (indiscriminate removal of the underlying muscle unnecessarily weakens the ability of the eyelid to blink). How much fat is appropriate to take?(Not nearly as much as we used to take)

Many patients presenting for blepharoplasty have a degree of upper eyelid ptosis because there is slippage of the upper eyelid tendon. To tighten the tendon, the deeper eyelid structures need to be exposed. To support the eyelid platform and the upper eyelid lashes so they perk up with surgery, it is necessary to identify this tendon and reconnect the cut edge of the eyelid platform with the tendon, a procedure call anchor blepharoplasty. Lower eyelid surgery considerations are even more complicated.

So when you surgeon says that it might take 1 1/2 to 3 hours to do your upper eyelid surgery they are absolutely correct. A thoughtfully performed upper blepharoplasty can easily require this much time. Let them take all the time they need for you.

Dr. Steinsapir

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

Upper blepharoplasty takes around an hour.

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Dear Brook,

As an isolated procedure, I typically reserve a 1 hour slot at the Ambulatory Care Center. This allows for placement of an IV, mild sedation, and operating time.

I hope this helps, and best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Upper blepharoplasty should take 30 to 60 minutes.

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I don't believe in rushing, but a competently performed upper eyelid plasty should take less than an hour. Check on your surgeon's experience. Ask to see lots of before and after pictures. Is he a board certified plastic surgeon?

In Manhattan, we do upper blepharoplasty under local anesthesia with sedation by an anesthesiologist. With sedation, I think the patient is more comfortable, and the surgeon can do a better job.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

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