Upper Eyelid Lift

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert and Scottsdale, AZ

Upper Eyelid Lift Dr. Robert G. Bonillas Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert and Scottsdale, AZ

An upper eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes skin and tissue from around the upper eyelid to rejuvenate the area. Throughout the aging process, the upper eyelid skin starts to stretch and droop, often leading to excess tissue just above the eye. This can negatively impact a patient’s field of vision and self-esteem. This procedure corrects eyelid ptosis (sagging) and helps brighten the eye area for a more youthful-looking appearance.

At Scottsdale Plastics, Dr. Robert G. Bonillas is a residency-trained plastic surgeon who provides services to patients in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and beyond. He focuses on each individual patient’s cosmetic desires to create a procedure plan that best addresses their needs. He also offers private consultations for every patient to discuss how he can help achieve their overall goals. 

To schedule your consultation today, call us at (480) 245-6380, or fill out our convenient contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible

Before and After Photos

Age and the Upper Eyelid

The human face ages as a unit. Our skin loses elasticity and we develop wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. The upper eyelids start to sag and excess skin collects below the natural crease, which can impair the visual field. This can make you look older, more tired, or angrier than you actually are. To remedy this, an upper eyelid lift removes small sections of skin and fat to restructure and restore the area. (1) Dr. Bonillas performs this surgery to improve both cosmetic and functional contouring of the upper eye. 

How Upper Eyelid Lifts Correct Ptosis

Along the upper eye lie the medial and central lid fat pads. With age, these fat pads can become more prominent and start to make the area look heavy and bulky. During an upper eyelid lift, Dr. Bonillas safely and judiciously removes fat from these pads to achieve a smooth contour. 

He makes an incision along the natural crease of the eyelid and navigates toward the fat pads, then removes small sections to debulk the area. Removing excess fat allows Dr. Bonillas to create a more youthful-looking upper eyelid. He then removes only small amounts of skin and lifts the eyelid slightly to restore its shape. By placing the incision along the natural crease, he can conceal the scar within your existing eyelid contour. (2)

Benefits of an Upper Eyelid Lift

Patients benefit from an upper eyelid lift in many ways, including:

  • Smoother upper lids
  • Improved peripheral vision
  • More youthful-looking eyes
  • Brighter and more lively expressions
  • May reduce headaches
  • Minimal scarring
  • Easier time applying skin products
  • Increased confidence

Dr. Bonillas is an experienced and skillful surgeon who performs many upper blepharoplasty surgeries on all types of patients. No matter your cosmetic concerns, he creates a procedure plan that works best for your needs. He often combines an upper eyelid lift with a lower eyelid lift depending on your circumstances, and performs them together in one procedure. If you are interested in learning more about lower blepharoplasty, we encourage you to read more about the surgery.

Ideal Candidates

The ideal upper eyelid lift candidate has droopy or bulky eyelids that may impact peripheral vision or the overall shape of the eye. This can cause your expressions to look more serious or angry than you mean them to be. 

To qualify for this procedure, you should be in good overall health. If you smoke, Dr. Bonillas requires that you quit at least 4 to 6 weeks before your surgery to ensure a smooth recovery process. Those with chronic dry eye, hypertension, or other underlying conditions that negatively affect healing should not undergo eyelid surgery. 

Personal Consultation with Dr. Bonillas

During your private consultation at Scottsdale Plastics, you will meet with Dr. Bonillas and his team directly to discuss your procedure. He will first examine the upper eyelids and review your medical history to make sure you qualify. Next, he will explain the details of the surgery and what the process entails to properly inform you. If you have questions or concerns, you will have time to inquire further during this appointment. Dr. Bonillas will then provide all preparation and recovery information to ready you for your upper eyelid lift procedure.

This meeting will be the best time to ask about other procedures you are curious about. To explore your options beforehand, please read our blog


To prepare for your upper eyelid lift, please:

  • Refrain from tobacco and nicotine use: Smoking increases your risk of complications.
  • Avoid NSAIDs: Ibuprofen, aspirin, and other NSAIDs increase your risk of bleeding during and after surgery.
  • Avoid herbal supplements: Vitamin E, ginger, and other supplements can cause negative reactions or interfere with anesthesia.
  • Stay hydrated: Make sure to drink plenty of water leading up to and directly after your upper eyelid lift.
  • Request time off of work: You will need at least 5 to 7 days off of work to properly heal.
  • Find reliable transportation: Ask a friend or family member to drive you to and from surgery.
  • Wear sunscreen when outside: Avoid sunburn around your eyes to ensure a safe and successful procedure.

Upper Eyelid Lift Procedure Steps

Dr. Bonillas carefully marks each eyelid along the crease, measuring the amount of excess skin as he goes. He then administers either general anesthesia or local anesthetic with oral sedation depending on your preference. Working on one eye at a time, he makes his incision precisely along the existing crease. 

Next, he very gently maneuvers toward the local fat pads and dissects them if necessary. After he removes the extra fat, he measures the excess skin once more before removing it. Lastly, he sutures the lifted eyelid with a running stitch. Dr. Bonillas then cleans and bandages the eyes. An upper eyelid lift takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete. Since it is outpatient, we then take you to a recovery room until you are able to go home.


After surgery, your eyelids may be swollen and bruised for the first couple of weeks of recovery. Dr. Bonillas may recommend cold compresses or certain ointments to keep you comfortable as you heal. Please follow his instructions carefully for optimal results. After a week, your eyelids will start to settle into their new shape. Some residual swelling may persist for the next 3 to 4 weeks. 

If you wear contact lenses regularly, please wear your glasses instead throughout your recovery. If you are prescribed any pain medication, follow Dr. Bonillas’ instructions carefully, and do not drive until you are completely finished taking this medication. Remember to apply sunscreen whenever you are outside and wear sunglasses when possible to protect your incision sites.


Upper Eyelid Lift Dr. Robert G. Bonillas Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert and Scottsdale, AZ

The results of an upper eyelid lift are long-lasting. Barring natural aging and the effects of gravity on the skin, your new eyelid contour is visible for many years. It typically takes 6 weeks to see the final results. As you heal, your expressions will look more lively and your eyes will be brighter, improving your overall appearance. Your peripheral vision will be clearer and it will be easier to apply makeup and skin care products on the upper eyelid.

Corresponding & Complementary Procedures 

Brow Lift

Dr. Bonillas can perform a brow lift to greatly improve your results and correct stubborn forehead lines. A brow lift is a surgical procedure that lifts the eyebrow to fix drooping. In tandem with an upper eyelid lift, this surgery creates a more youthful and bright appearance by restoring the entire upper third of the face

Aging affects the eyebrows as your facial skin loses elasticity and the underlying structures start to droop, often impairing vision and making you look older than you actually are. Dr. Bonillas makes small incisions along the hairline, lifts the forehead skin, and trims the excess before stitching the incisions with thin sutures. He can also perform it using an endoscope through multiple small incisions instead of one longer one. 


To reduce the effects of aging on the lower third of the face, Dr. Bonnilas can perform a facelift. This procedure utilizes discreet incisions around the ear and hairline to lift and reposition internal structures that experience ptosis as you age. He makes incisions and separates skin and tissues from the underlying fibrous layer (the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, or SMAS). He then lifts and sutures the SMAS layer back to its original position before removing excess skin and carefully suturing his incisions. 

Read our Beauty Talk blog for more information about procedures at Scottsdale Plastics.

Cost of an Upper Eyelid Lift in Scottsdale

Each patient receives a customized procedure plan from Dr. Bonillas before their procedure. The total cost depends on surgery specifics and the preferred anesthetic. Schedule an appointment with Scottsdale Plastics today to receive a cost estimate. Call our office at (480) 245-6380 to speak to us. We hope to hear from you soon.


How long do upper eyelid lift results typically last?

Most patients experience the effects of an upper eyelid lift for 10 to 15 years after surgery. With proper sun protection, they can extend these results for even longer.

What age is appropriate for an upper eyelid lift?

A typical patient is in their 40s or 50s before receiving this procedure, but you can qualify as long as you have the proper symptoms and are in good health.

Can an upper eyelid lift correct my crow’s feet?

No. Eyelid lifts primarily remove skin and fat to restructure the eyelid, but do not tighten the outer portions that much. To correct crow’s feet, you may be better suited for laser treatment or Botox.


  1. Rodrigues C, Carvalho F, Marques M. Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty: Surgical Techniques and Results—Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 2023;47(5):1870-1883. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-023-03436-6
  2. Patel BC, Malhotra R. Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty. PubMed. Published 2020. Accessed April 10, 2024. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537078/