Upper Blepharoplasty

Consultations offered at our four convenient locations in La Jolla, San Diego, Newport Beach and Beverly Hills

Upper Blepharoplasty

An upper blepharoplasty, or an upper eyelid lift, is a minimally invasive surgery that removes excess skin and eyelid “hoods”, creating a more open and youthful expression. For this procedure, surgeons resolve sagging and fuller upper eyelids by making a tiny incision across the crease of each upper eyelid, where it is hidden from view. From this opening, they remove small excess fat deposits and remove excess and skin in the area. The procedure can be life-changing for individuals who have a limited range of vision from this skin droopiness, and it can create more beautiful eye contours for younger patients as well.

At La Jolla Plastic Surgery & Dermatology, we can help you attain a more revitalized appearance that preserves your natural look. During your consultation with one of America’s Only Triple Board Certified Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Richard Chaffoo, you will have an opportunity to speak freely about your cosmetic concerns and the exact results you would like to achieve. Dr. Chaffoo will give you all the necessary details you need to know to make an informed decision. Dr. Susan Stuart, an experienced, board-certified dermatologist, continually helps patients’ surgical scars heal incredibly well and as discreetly as possible.

To get started at one of our practices, inquire with our contact form or call the location nearest you:

About Upper Eyelid Aging

With the thinnest skin in the body, the eyelids are vulnerable to biological changes and environmental factors that interfere with the normal collagen production that keeps the skin supple and youthful. Sun exposure, gravity, and facial expressions can all accelerate this process over time. As the supportive dermis layer of the skin degrades, the upper fat pads can begin to bulge, causing an aged, puffy appearance.

Not only can upper blepharoplasty eliminate hooding, but it can also complement the brows, help eliminate crow’s feet wrinkles, and give the patient more space for makeup application. For those who naturally have more open, rounder eyes and have experienced the effects of aging, this eyelid lift can erase tired and worn expressions from overdeveloped “hoods”. The eyes are the first part of the face that others notice, and they make a huge impact on overall facial appearance and impressions. This makes this simple surgery one of the most transformative options for those who can benefit from its results.

Surgical Benefits of the Upper Eyelid Lift

Research into upper eyelid anatomy began in the 1950s with the findings of Dr. Salvador Castañares, paving the way for modern blepharoplasty techniques. (1) Since these first studies began, surgeons have found the most effective means of preserving natural-looking upper eyelid contours that flatter the beauty of your eyes. Depending on the gender and age of the patient, surgeons create the incision within the eyelid crease which varies depending upon a patient’s ethnicity. (2) This way, patients do not have to worry about any visible scarring on their upper eyelids. With such a small incision, many patients choose to undergo the procedure with just local anesthesia and sedation, eliminating the associated risks of general anesthesia. In addition, since the surgical site is so delicate, the upper eyelids can heal more rapidly than other areas. Within a few weeks after the procedure, the scars will fade quite significantly and lose any residual thickness or redness.

Ideal Candidates

Ideal candidates are non-smokers who do not have any serious underlying conditions that could interfere with post-surgery recovery. Those with a blood clotting disorder, an eye disease, glaucoma, or hypertension should undergo a medical evaluation– this procedure may be unsuitable for these individuals. Those who smoke regularly may be able to undergo the upper eyelid lift if they can commit to avoiding all nicotine products for an extended period before and after their surgery. Candidates can be of any age since some individuals have excessive hooding due to aging, and some exhibit it due to genetics. Prospective upper blepharoplasty patients should have realistic expectations and be able to take the necessary downtime to attain the most effective results.

Personal Consultation

At your consultation with Dr. Chaffoo, he will closely evaluate your upper eyelids and discuss the details of your personalized surgical plan. He will assess your medical history, specific goals for surgery, and what the procedure itself will entail. If you are keen on moving forward, he will give you preparation instructions and tips you will need to recover well. He will answer any questions you may have about the process, financing, and other concerns. Dr. Chaffoo’s goal is to create a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere for patients to learn about their procedure of choice and the benefits it can offer them.

To begin the next step into feeling more confident about your facial presentation to the world, request a consultation online or call one of our offices today:


Dr. Chaffoo will ensure that you are adequately prepared for your procedure weeks ahead of time. If you are a smoker, he will ask you to stop at least a few weeks beforehand. By avoiding nicotine and tobacco products, your circulation will improve immensely, helping you heal faster with a reduced risk of complications. If you regularly take blood-thinning medications or over-the-counter supplements, he will ask you to stop taking them to prevent excessive bruising or bleeding. He may assess the results of your blood tests to ensure that you do not have any serious conditions that need immediate treatment. Just before your scheduled surgery date, you should pick up your prescriptions and any approved OTC medications.

Upper Blepharoplasty Procedure Steps

An upper blepharoplasty is a relatively quick procedure that usually takes less than one hour to complete. To start, Dr. Chaffoo will apply local anesthesia around the upper eyelid and administer a sedative medication to keep you relaxed. Alternatively, Dr. Chaffoo’s anesthesiologist can provide general anesthesia. Dr. Chaffoo will then make the horizontal incision along the eyelid crease and remove unnecessary fat deposits from the upper eyelids. To prevent creating a hollowed-out effect, he may preserve or reposition the nasal fat pad, a tiny fat deposit closer to the inner corner of the eye. (3) He oftens removes a small strip of upper eyelid muscle to create a more well defined upper eyelid crease to restore a more youthful appearance to the eyes. Finally, he will remove the lax skin from the eyelid, redrape tightened skin, and apply sutures to close the incision. (2)

Recovery and Results

After the procedure, Dr. Chaffoo will monitor you as the medication wears off. Since blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure, you will be able to return home with no issues. He will send you home with an eyelid ointment that you should apply as directed daily. This ointment will protect the incisions and allow them to heal properly without drying out or developing an infection. For the first few days of your recovery, you may find that the areas are swollen and red, but this is a normal reaction. You can choose to take either Dr. Chaffoo’s prescription medications or OTC medications that will not thin the blood; he will advise you on which ones to avoid throughout your recovery. Overall, recovery from an upper blepharoplasty is highly tolerable, especially if you apply a cold compress and keep your head elevated immediately after the procedure.

As you continue to heal, you should be mindful of protecting your eyelids. When you go outside, you should wear sunglasses to protect them from UV damage. Within 4 days to a week, you will be able to go back to desk work with more ease. After the 1 week-mark, Dr. Chaffoo will remove the tiny sutures to reveal your healed upper eyelids. Although you will see dramatic improvement, you should still avoid working out and/or activities that involve excessive sweating to avoid irritating the area. About 1 month into your recovery, you will be able to safely return to your regular exercise routine. You will also be able to flaunt your new, rejuvenated look without any residual swelling.

Depending on your circumstances, the results of an upper eyelid lift will last about 10 to 15 years and slow down the aging process after that. As an experienced dermatologist, Dr. Stuart will be able to provide you with the anti-aging knowledge you will need to maximize the longevity of your results. This will include personalized recommendations for cleansing, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen on the eyelids and surrounding areas.

Cost of an Upper Eyelid Lift in San Diego

The cost of your upper blepharoplasty will depend on Dr. Chaffoo’s surgical recommendations, anesthesia, operating room fees, medications, and follow-ups. If you do not want to make an out-of-pocket payment, we can discuss the variety of financing options offered at our practices. During your consultation, we will ensure that you understand every aspect involved and give you a detailed quote. If you have obscured vision from your eyelid hoods, it is possible that your insurance may cover the procedure.

To book your appointment today, use our contact form or call one of our 5 locations within the Southern California region:


  1. Espinoza GM, Holds JB. Evolution of Eyelid Surgery. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America. 2005;13(4):505-510. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsc.2005.09.001
  2. Patel BC, Malhotra R. Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty. PubMed. Published 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537078/
  3. Massry GG. Nasal Fat Preservation in Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty. Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 2011;27(5):352-355. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/iop.0b013e31821524c3