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What is Blepharoplasty?

A blepharoplasty is a surgery to remove excess skin, and sometimes redistributing the fat from around the eyes. As we age, our eyelids stretch causing loose or sagging skin that can change the natural contour of your eyes. Some patients suffer from impaired vision as a result. This type of surgery can be performed on both the upper and lower eyelids. A upper blepharoplasty will improve excess skin to the upper eyelids causing a “hooded” appearance, while a lower blepharoplasty will improve puffiness and bags under the eyes, and eliminate deep tear troughs.

Patients can have both an upper and lower blepharoplasty, or one or the other. However, what is unique about Dr. Chen’s upper and lower blepharoplasty is that he combines the lower blepharoplasty with a mid-face lift. As we age we start to notice deflation in our facial volume, especially in the mid-face, and sagging of our skin. The reason for these changes is because over time our fat pads in our face, like those that define our cheeks, fall. A mid-face lift will return the cheek fat pads to a more youthful position along the cheek bone to help restore mid-face volume, improve nasolabial folds, and minimize lower face jowls.


This surgical procedure can be performed in a few ways. Patients undergoing an upper blepharoplasty ONLY can have the procedure under a local anesthetic, meaning the patient is awake during surgery and the upper eyelids are anesthetized with a medication called Lidocaine. Patient who undergo only an upper blepharoplasty also have the option to have the procedure performed under a general anesthetic, meaning the patient is fully asleep for the procedure. Those undergoing both an upper and lower blepharoplasty with mid-facelift will have the procedure under a general anesthetic. All general anesthetic procedures are performed in our Joint Commission certified operating suite.
For all variations of the procedure, it is performed on an outpatient basis. Surgery lasts on average of 1-3 hours, and then patients are discharged home that same day. Patients who undergo a blepharoplasty will follow up in our office 1-3 days post operatively.

Things to know:

  • Following an upper blepharoplasty patient will have a suture in the upper and lower eyelid keep the eyelid keeping the eyes partially closed. This suture will come out in 5 days. The remaining sutures, for both upper and lower blepharoplasty will come out in 7 days.
  • Although each patient responds differently to surgery, one can expect some degree of swelling and bruising following surgery that will improve over approximately 3 weeks.
  • You may begin showering in 48 hours after surgery. When showering, wash all areas with soap and water, and pat dry with a towel. It is important that you do not submerge your surgical incision in water (i.e. no bath tubs, swimming pools, etc.).
  • You may begin scar massage and use of scar creams approximately 3 weeks after surgery.

Postoperative restrictions are as follows:

  • No heavy lifting, pushing, or performing any activities.
  • No submerging incision sites (i.e swimming) for a minimum of 3 weeks, no sweat producing activities for a minimum of 3 weeks, light activity for 3 weeks.

Our Response to COVID-19

At Alan Chen Surgical Associates we are trying our very best to keep all our patients and staff members safe and healthy during these uncertain times. While we remain open to care for our post-surgical and emergent patients we are going to place limits and guidelines on those entering our office. Based on CDC guidelines, and recommendations, here are our current changes:

  1. We are only going to be open on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

  2. Only the patient being seen by one of our providers will be allowed in the clinic. We ask all family members to remain home or in their vehicle if they do accompany the patient to our office. If the patient is a minor, only one parent will be allowed to come into the clinic with the child.

  3. When you arrive to our office, please stay in your vehicle. Call our office at 815-729-9527 to alert the office staff you have arrived. We will call you once the provider is ready to see you for your appointment. Again, only the patient will then come into the office. All other persons remain in your vehicle.

  4. Prior to being seen in our office we have put a screening process in place. If you do not pass the screening process, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment. If you have any cold/flu symptoms, have recently traveled, or have a known exposure we ask that you please inform us and reschedule your appointment. If necessary, one of our providers would be happy to discuss any concerns you have over the phone!

Thank you for understanding our new policies. We are trying to limit the number of patients in our office at one time. This is to keep our patients, staff, and community safe and healthy during these times. Please help us try to flatten the curve.

Our Response to COVID-19