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Your eyes are the window to your soul, and enhancing them surgically doesn’t necessarily require a full facelift! Blepharoplasty (also known as eyelid surgery) reduces the fat and extra skin that can cause unsightly drooping or puffiness in your upper and lower eyelids. Richmond Plastic Surgeons offers eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) for men and women in Richmond, Midlothian and surrounding areas of Virginia.

What Exactly is Blepharoplasty?

Aging impacts many aspects of our appearance, but few of us actually stop to consider how this changes our eyelids. Loose skin, extra fat, and even swelling around the eyes can make you look angry, tired, or aged — when you might actually be none of those things!

Our Richmond blepharoplasty at RPS is some of the best around - we specialize in eyelid lifts to correct these problems and give you a more refreshed and youthful appearance.

Many of our happy patients have gotten the best results from their eye lift surgery by combining it with a face lift or brow lift, for extra balance to their facial rejuvenation. Surgery for both the upper and lower eyelids is an outpatient procedure, which we usually perform at our discreet and convenient surgery center.

Dr. Aboutanos on Upper & Lower Blepharoplasty

Dr. Aboutanos - Upper & Lower Blepharoplasty

What Are the Benefits of Eyelid Surgery in Richmond?

Blepharoplasty comes with a handful of benefits:

  • It’s an outpatient procedure performed on the upper and/or lower eyelids
  • Only small incisions are required
  • You can instantly take years off your appearance
  • Experience reduced eye fatigue caused by the extra weight of the upper eyelids
  • Combine it with a brow lift or facelift to rejuvenate your entire face!

Could I Be an Ideal Candidate for Blepharoplasty?

As with any surgery, you make sure you’re in good health before considering an eyelid lift, and your surgeon will help you be sure you’re able to undergo the procedure.

Most patients who undergo blepharoplasty are at least 35 years old, which is when eyelids start to show signs of aging. Younger patients can also need the surgery if they have a family history of baggy or sagging eyelids.

Patients with certain medical conditions should not have blepharoplasty:

  • Graves’ disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Insufficient tears or dry eyes
  • High blood pressure
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma or detached retina

Blepharoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

What Should I Do Before Having Eyelid Surgery?

Your first step will be setting up a consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons. We’ll review your medical history, discuss any conditions you have, including current medications, and evaluate your tear production and vision. You’ll also want to talk through any allergies; if you’re taking any vitamins, medications (prescription or over-the-counter), or other drugs; and if you smoke.

You should also provide any relevant information from your ophthalmologist or the record of your most recent eye exam. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, be sure to bring them along.

If you meet the medical requirements for an eyelid lift, your surgeon will walk you through everything you need to know, so you can feel completely safe and comfortable.

You and your surgeon should carefully discuss your goals and expectations for this surgery. You’ll need to discuss whether to do all four eyelids or just the upper or lower ones, whether skin as well as fat will be removed, and whether any additional procedures are appropriate.

Preparing For Your Surgery

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your Richmond blepharoplasty, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly.

While you’re making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a few days if needed.

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What Should I Expect on The Day of My Blepharoplasty?

Eyelid surgery may be performed in a surgeon’s office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. It’s usually done on an outpatient basis; rarely does it require an inpatient stay.

Types of Anesthesia

Eyelid surgery is usually performed under conscious sedation or general anesthesia to keep you comfortable and relaxed. With conscious sedation, you’ll be awake during the surgery, but calm and insensitive to pain. (However, you may feel some tugging or occasional discomfort.) Some surgeons prefer to use general anesthesia; in which case you’ll sleep through the operation.

What Does the Procedure Entail?

Blepharoplasty usually takes one to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. If you’re having all four eyelids done, the surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first, then the lower ones.

In a typical procedure, the surgeon makes incisions following the natural lines of your eyelids, in the creases of your upper lids, and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow’s feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes. 

Working through these incisions, the surgeon separates the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, removes excess fat, and often trims sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.

If you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids but don’t need to have any skin removed, your surgeon may perform what’s known as a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. In this procedure, the incision is made inside your lower eyelid, leaving no visible scar. It is usually performed on younger patients with thicker, more elastic skin.

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What Can I Expect After My Blepharoplasty?

After your surgery, the surgeon will probably lubricate your eyes with ointment and may apply ice. Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but you can control any discomfort with the pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. If you feel any severe pain, call your surgeon immediately.

Your surgeon will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. (Bruising varies from person to person: it reaches its peak during the first week, and generally lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month.)

You’ll be shown how to clean your eyes, which may be gummy for a week or so.

For the first few weeks you might also experience:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurring, double vision and other changes to vision
  • Excessive tearing

Your surgeon will follow your progress very closely for the first week or two. The stitches will be removed two days to a week after surgery. Once they’re out, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside, and you’ll start to look and feel much better. The results will exceed your expectations as RPS provides some of the best blepharoplasty Richmond has to offer.

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Getting Back to Normal

You should be able to read or watch television after two or three days. However, you won’t be able to wear contact lenses for about two weeks, and even then they may feel uncomfortable for a while. Most people feel ready to go out in public (and back to work) in a week to 10 days. By then, depending on your rate of healing and your doctor’s instructions, you’ll probably be able to wear makeup to hide the bruising that remains.

You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind, and other irritants for several weeks, so you should wear sunglasses and a special sunblock made for eyelids when you go out.

Your surgeon will probably tell you to keep your activities to a minimum for three to five days, and to avoid more strenuous activities for about three weeks. It’s especially important to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting, and rigorous sports. You may also be told to avoid alcohol, since it causes fluid retention.

What Are Possible Complications of Blepharoplasty?

At Richmond Plastic Surgeons, our board-certified surgeons are very highly experienced, and utilize the latest technology to offer the utmost in safety, and steer clear of complications like:

  • Infection
  • Poor healing of the incision line
  • Asymmetry
  • Inability to close the eyes completely
  • Downward pulling on the lower eyelid

You can always reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.

Other minor complications that occasionally follow blepharoplasty include:

  • Double or blurred vision for a few days
  • Temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids
  • A slight asymmetry in healing or scarring 
  • Tiny whiteheads that may appear after your stitches are taken out (your surgeon can remove these easily with a very fine needle)

Following surgery, some patients may have difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep; in rare cases this condition may be permanent. Another very rare complication is ectropion, a pulling down of the lower lids. In this case, further surgery may be required.

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Will I Have Scars After My Eyelid Surgery?

Good news: The scars resulting from eyelid lift surgery are not noticeable. Healing is a gradual process, and your scars may remain slightly pink for six months or more after surgery. Eventually, though, they’ll fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line.

When Will I See the Results?

You can start to see results once the swelling goes down which can take a few weeks. The positive results of your eyelid surgery-the more alert and youthful look-will last for years. For many people, these results are permanent.

How Long Will the Results of Eyelid Surgery Last?

Forever! The results of our eyelid lifts are permanent.

How Much Does Blepharoplasty Cost in Richmond?

While cosmetic blepharoplasty is an out-of-pocket expense, some cases of upper blepharoplasty may be covered by insurance. For cash patients, we can provide you with an accurate cost breakdown, so you can plan your budget. We accept several forms of payment, including financing through CareCredit®.

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If you would like more information regarding a specific procedure, or wish to have a member of our staff contact you, please fill out this contact form and let us know how we can best serve you!

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