Upper Eyelid Surgery


Blepharoplasty/Eyelid Surgery

Average Cost



Up to 14 days

Eyelid surgery is frequently combined with a brow/temple lift or facelift.

Dr. Joseph T. Cruise, board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in Newport Beach, CA, specializes in many facial rejuvenation procedures, including lower and upper eyelid surgery (also known as blepharoplasty). He and his staff have created these pages to inform anyone who has concerns about the effects that aging is having on their face, and is interested in how cosmetic surgery can help them address those issues. In addition to a wealth of information, Cruise Plastic Surgery has also provided a number of before and after pictures so you can see what kind of results Joseph T Cruise, MD achieves for his patients.

Joseph T Cruise, MD has designed these pages to address some of the most common questions and concerns he hears from patients in his Orange County office, including:

  • Will upper eyelid surgery get rid of my loose skin?
    Learn about the causes of loose upper eyelid skin. Joseph T Cruise, MD explains the reasons underlying facial aging and how a Custom Face Lift addresses the issues.
  • Why do my eyelids look tired even when I feel alert?
    Upper facial aging causes a tired, worn-out appearance. This section  will help you understand how facial rejuvenation changes the upper eye region.
  • How does a temple lift affect my upper eyelid rejuvenation?
    Aging of the upper eyelid area usually involves sagging of the outer part of the eye, which can be reversed in some cases with a brow or temple lift.
  • What kind of results can I expect from eyelid surgery?
    Take a look through the upper eyelid surgery before and after pictures to find people with similar concerns and see Joseph T Cruise, MD’s results.
  • Complications, risks, recovery and safety of upper eyelid surgery
  • What costs can I expect from upper eyelid cosmetic surgery?
    Find out about financing options that are available.

Overview of Upper Blepharoplasty

As the central point of the face and the “windows to the soul,” eyes are a major facial feature that are one of the first things people notice about you. As people age, the effects of aging often show around the eyes before anywhere else on the face. When people begin to notice wrinkles, fine lines, drooping eyelids, and other signs of aging, they may begin to consider lower and upper eyelid surgery to correct some of these concerns.

Often at the consultation with Joseph T Cruise, MD, patients complain that their eyes look tired, even when they feel alert. As one of the most common concerns for people because it affects their psychology – if you look older and more tired, you feel older and more tired. In order to recapture the youthful, energized look and feel of years past, you may want to consider more than blepharoplasty and ask Joseph T Cruise, MD about other facial rejuvenation procedures to complete your look.

Animated upper eyelid surgery
Animated Upper Eyelid
Scroll over the image to see the effects of a skin removal from the upper eyelid. Notice how the crease is more defined and the eyes look more rested.


Aging Around the Eyes

There are several components that go into facial aging that contribute to an overall older look. Around the eyes, these three components are:

  1. Skin
  2. Muscle
  3. Fat

All these component works together to keep a face looking youthful, or making face look older, and all of them can be addressed by cosmetic surgery.

Diagram of ideal, youthful eyelid

In the attractive, youthful eye lid, the lateral canthus should be higher than the medial canthus. With age, the brow and lateral canthus sag.

Upper Eyelid Skin with Aging

Skin around the eyes loosens with age, as elastic and supportive connective tissue breaks down and the cheek area loses underlying fat. When this happens, some people find they develop “hooded” or “drooped” eyelids, or bags under their eyes. Upper blepharoplasty is often the solution to these concerns, although after discussing their desired results with Joseph T Cruise, MD some patients also choose to have a fat transfer or a brow lift to achieve what they want, especially if their concerns include crow’s feet and deep wrinkles that eyelid surgery alone cannot correct.

As skin receives damage from the sun and other elements, fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear. The skin around the eye area is particularly sensitive and begins to show the effects of aging sooner than other facial skin. No matter what your concerns, Newport Beach plastic surgeon Joseph T Cruise, MD performs procedures that address these different contributing factors of aging. Some patients choose chemical peel or dermabrasion in addition to upper eyelid cosmetic surgery to correct all their skin problems.

Upper Eyelid Muscles and Aging

Joseph T Cruise, MD, in Orange County, CA, has been a plastic surgeon long enough to witness a revolution in the industry – a better understanding of facial structure and how all its parts combine to create an aged look on the face. In years past, even the best cosmetic surgeons did not understand the significant role that muscle tissue plays in upper eyelid rejuvenation, but today Joseph T Cruise, MD’s staff in Newport Beach has access to the most current techniques that improve muscle structure around the eye.

Anatomically, you can see here what happens to the muscles around the eye with aging:

Youthful eyes - muscle view

Youthful eyes. Muscles around the eyes are circular in shape.

Aging eyes - muscle view

Aged Eyes. A drooping eye brow and lateral canthus make the eye look older.

Upper Eyelid Area Fat and Aging

As fat in the face descends, skin and muscle begin to sag. Youthful cheeks, such as those of a baby or a model, are round and full of fat. However, with age, less fat leaves the cheeks with a hollow, gaunt appearance. When facial skin is no longer full of fat, it also loses its volume and begins to wrinkle.

Diagram of youthful upper eyelid

Youthful Upper Eye. Notice well defined eyelid crease.

Diagram of aging upper eyelid

Aged Upper Eye. Notice descent of eyebrow and lateral canthus.

It is no longer acceptable to think of eyelid rejuvenation as merely a procedure that tightens facial skin. Joseph T Cruise, MD feels that it is important to correct the underlying problem and not just the superficial effects of aging that people notice. Because every face is different, Joseph T Cruise, MD meets with every upper blepharoplasty patient in his Orange County, CA, office personally.

Parts of the Upper Eyelid

When he evaluates each patient’s eye area, Joseph T Cruise, MD pays attention to four components of the upper eye region:

  1. The eyebrow
  2. The upper eyelid
  3. The lateral canthus
  4. The eyelid ptosis

These four areas display the effects of aging at different rates, but they can sag noticeably in some patients. Each region can be benefited by different procedures, and you should discuss your upper blepharoplasty, temple lift, and fat transfer options with Joseph T Cruise, MD at your consultation.

To address the area of the eyebrow, Joseph T Cruise, MD will often perform a Temporal Brow Lift instead of a conventional brow lift in addition to an upper eyelid surgery. This type of brow lift is less invasive, but highly effective, and addresses the area that needs the most elevation in most people.

To address the upper eyelid area itself, Newport Beach cosmetic surgeon Joseph T Cruise, MD finds that many patients need a removal, or transfer, of facial fat in order to create an elegant upper eyelid crease.

Example of 43-year-old female who only needed skin and fat removal.

Lateral view of same woman. Notice defined upper lid crease

When the lateral canthus begins to descend and become loose, the eyes can start to look aged and tired; Especially when the lateral canthus droops lower than the medial canthus. Although many people don’t realize it, this is one of the main reasons that they begin to seek cosmetic surgery, especially upper eyelid rejuvenation.

To address sagging of the lateral canthus, Joseph T Cruise, MD often uses an upper eyelid surgery technique that elevates the lateral canthus to re-create the almond-shaped appearance of youth.

He finds that some patients require an elevation of the lateral canthus in addition to removal of fat and skin.

Example of 48-year-old female who needed
left lateral canthus elevated in addition
to skin and fat removal.

Lateral view of same patient. Notice how
elevating the lateral canthus gives almond shape appearance to eye

Other patients require upper blepharoplasty that corrects all three upper eyelid elements: The eyebrow, the eyelid, and the lateral canthus.

Example of 38-year-old female who complained of persistent tired appearance. She required a browlift and lateral canthoplasty in addition to removal of excess skin and fat to achieve desiredresult.

Lateral view of same woman. Notice
how the eye has become youthful and elegant.

Descent of the upper eyelid is called eyelid ptosis, and it is a less commonly discussed problem of facial aging. This is when one or both of the upper eyelids begin to droop and cover the eye, causing vision problems or concerns about the look of the eye. Joseph T Cruise, MD uses upper eye lift techniques that pull the eyelid back up into its proper positioning.


Example of 26-year-old female six weeks before her wedding. She complained that her left eye (right side of picture) was lower than her left. Notice in the BEFORE, how the left upper eyelid touches the pupil, whereas, the left eye is wide open and bright. Also notice difference in eyelid height. After shows both lids at the same level and similar eyelid height.

Eyelid ptosis is as common effect of aging, as the upper eyelid connective tissues begin to deteriorate and the lid lowers. People often complain that it makes their eyes always look tired, and the upper eyelid cosmetic surgery that corrects the issue gives the eye a bright, awake appearance.

Facial aging is caused by a different combination of all these factors in every face, which is why Joseph T Cruise, MD feels it is vital to meet with each patient in his Orange County office for a consultation. Your appointment with Joseph T Cruise, MD will allow you to express your top concerns about your eyes, learn about the underlying causes and treatments for your concerns, and completely discuss all your facial rejuvenation options so that you can achieve the final results you are looking for – youthful, refreshed, and free of the signs of aging that make you look older than you feel.