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Recovery from Eyelid Lift Surgery: Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon Explains What to Expect

August 29, 2016

Dr. Paul Leong discusses the recovery process after eyelid surgery.

Dr. Paul Leong of Sistine Plastic Surgery discusses the typical recovery process for one of the most popular surgical cosmetic procedures in the U.S.

Pittsburgh, PA – In its annual report, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) to be among the top five cosmetic surgery procedures in 2015, with nearly 204,000 eyelid surgeries performed last year alone. Dr. Paul Leong, a Pittsburgh facial plastic surgeon and the head of Sistine Plastic Surgery, says eyelid surgery, also known as an eyelid lift, offers both women and men the chance to significantly rejuvenate their appearance by focusing on areas of the face that are often the first to exhibit prominent signs of age and exhaustion. Whether an individual is having upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery, or both procedures combined, Dr. Leong notes that there are some general aspects of the recovery process that most patients will experience.

Eyelid surgery is designed to resolve a number of concerns that may be affecting the areas around the eyes. Upper eyelid surgery can address excess, inelastic skin that has produced a “hooding” effect. This excess skin can make one appear more tired and less awake than they actually are, and it can even cause significant vision obstruction for some individuals. Dr. Leong says an upper eyelid lift can remove the excess skin (as well as muscle and fat in some cases) and help patients look more awake and vibrant. By contrast, lower eyelid surgery can help those who are experiencing under-eye bags and puffiness that may be causing a tired or aged appearance. With this procedure, Dr. Leong says he can remove the extra skin or fat in the lower eyelid areas and give them a smoother, more youthful and refreshed look.

Dr. Leong explains that upper and lower eyelid surgery are procedures that can be performed on an outpatient basis. In fact, Dr. Leong is often able to perform upper eyelid surgery directly in his Pittsburgh or Wexford office. For patients who may need both treatments to achieve their goals, Dr. Leong says upper and lower eyelid surgery can be completed at the same time and there is no need for an overnight hospital stay.

Dr. Leong offers a range of blepharoplasty techniques, including procedures such as Asian Eyelid Surgery and African-American Eyelid Surgery, that are designed to conform to the unique characteristics and goals of each individual. While every patient is different and recovery experiences vary, Dr. Leong reveals that most people are able to resume work schedules and other normal daily routines about 10 to 14 days after eyelid surgery. In some cases, he says, patients recover at a much faster rate. Some degree of bruising and swelling can be expected after the procedure; however, any discomfort in the treatment area can typically be alleviated with medication. Dr. Leong notes that ice packs can be applied to reduce the rate of swelling. A follow-up visit will be necessary during recovery to remove sutures and to check that the healing process is going smoothly.

Dr. Leong says the results from eyelid surgery should last a minimum of 10 years for most patients. Since incisions for the procedure are typically very small and hidden in natural creases or obscure areas around the eyelids, Dr. Leong notes that any residual scarring from eyelid surgery is often virtually unnoticeable to others. He says patients who are considering this popular procedure should be sure to research their options and talk with board-certified facial plastic surgeons or plastic surgeons who will listen to their concerns, answer all of their questions, and present them with a customized treatment plan designed for their specific needs and goals.

About Paul L. Leong, MD
Dr. Paul Leong is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. His practice, Sistine Plastic Surgery, offers a comprehensive array of surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation and enhancement procedures, including eyelid surgery, facelift, rhinoplasty, laser skin resurfacing, cosmetic injectables, and KYBELLA® for double chin reduction. Dr. Leong earned his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine and completed an internship in General Surgery, as well as a residency in Otolaryngology (head and neck surgery), at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Leong also obtained a Fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University and a Fellowship in Advanced Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Leong is available for interview upon request.

For more information about Dr. Leong, Sistine Plastic Surgery, and available treatments, please visit and

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