Having facial features that are smooth, firm, and evenly contoured can give you a youthful and rested appearance. Over time, however, your eyelids may develop excess or lax skin, even to the point that this tissue obstructs your vision. You may also notice heavy bags beneath your eyes that are unrelated to the amount of sleep you are getting. As a result, you may look more aged or tired than you really are.
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery offers blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) to help patients achieve a younger and more alert appearance. The surgery directly addresses:
- Unwanted skin in the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or both.
- Problems related to excess skin blocking the visual field.
- Bags beneath the eyes that create a heavy or tired look.
Patients from Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia choose CCFPS in part because we are a specialty practice focused primarily on facial aesthetics. Our surgeon, Dr. Jennifer Parker Porter, is a double board-certified physician with extensive training and experience in facial procedures, including blepharoplasty. As your doctor, she will prioritize your safety and comfort, work with you to define your goals, and provide you with a natural-looking and attractive outcome.
The Benefits of Blepharoplasty
Blepharoplasty is a targeted procedure that provides subtle but noticeable aesthetic improvement. If people are asking you whether you are getting enough rest, if you look more tired than you feel, or if signs of aging around your eyes are making you appear older than you are, you may be a good candidate for the surgery.
Blepharoplasty can help Washington, DC-area patients address several different aesthetic concerns:
- You may have loose or extra skin in your upper eyelid. In addition to affecting your appearance, this skin may be hindering your sight. Surgery will excise the skin and give the eyelids a firmer and younger quality.
- Fat in the lower eyelid area can produce bulging or bagginess, which we typically associate with lack of sleep. By removing the fat, Dr. Porter can provide a more alert and rested appearance.
- Forming a smoother transition between the lower eyelid and the upper cheek can give the mid-face a soft, youthful contour.
Blepharoplasty alone can provide significant cosmetic improvement. However, Dr. Porter may recommend combining blepharoplasty with a facelift to address signs of aging in the lower face and neck, with a brow lift to raise the droopy eyebrow, or with other procedures.
CCFPS and Your Care
Start with a consultation at our Washington, DC-area practice. You will have extensive time to get to know Dr. Porter and to discuss the aesthetic goals that you’d like to achieve. During your visit, she will conduct an examination to see if you are a good candidate for blepharoplasty. She will also talk with you about your general health and eye health history, including past surgeries and conditions you may have such as ocular disease and dry eye.
The consultation is a great opportunity for you to learn what is possible with blepharoplasty. You’ll have a chance to review before and after photos, ask questions, and get a sense of what to expect following a procedure.
Once you decide to move forward, you will meet with your primary care physician and your ophthalmologist to get clearance for the surgery. CCFPS will schedule you for your blepharoplasty procedure and see you back at our office for a preoperative visit. During this appointment, we will go over the surgical plan as well as provide you with resources to make your recovery faster and more comfortable.
Treatment With Blepharoplasty
Procedures take place either at the Suburban Outpatient Surgery Center in Bethesda or in Washington, DC at Georgetown University Hospital. The specific techniques that Dr. Porter will use will depend on your individual needs:
- For upper eyelids, Porter will remove excess fat and skin to give the eyes a more alert and open appearance. This can also remove obstructions that are affecting vision. The upper eyelid blepharoplasty incisions are made in the eyelid crease where signs of surgery should be nearly invisible.
- For lower eyelids, Porter will focus on removing fat with some excision of the skin. Incisions are well hidden just inside the eyelid or below the eyelash line.
After your blepharoplasty, we will apply ointment, ice packs, and moistened pads to your eyes, and we will recommend that you continue icing the area on and off for 24-36 hours. You will return to CCFPS the day following surgery so that we can ensure that you are healing properly and comfortably.
You can expect swelling after blepharoplasty, with the peak effect at about 48 hours post-op. Most patients return to work and normal activities 10 days after their procedure, and about 80% of the swelling should be gone within a month. At this point, your eyes should look smoother and more alert, and you should have an overall more youthful appearance. Makeup can be worn after the tenth postoperative day.
Blepharoplasty Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Some Recovery Tips After Getting a Blepharoplasty?
After getting a blepharoplasty to reduce the tired and haggard appearance of their eyes, Washington, DC, patients will have to take several steps to ensure they have a swift and smooth recovery. Following the aftercare instructions provided by Dr. Porter is crucial to ensuring the eyelids heal appropriately for long-lasting, beautiful results.
Immediately after the procedure, patients should have a friend or family member drive them home because of the anesthetics used during the blepharoplasty. If patients do not have a ride, they can also choose to secure a nurse to assist them to their home and care for them the first night.
During recovery, the most important thing to do is rest with the head elevated to avoid swelling. Patients will need to take a few days off of work or school to give themselves time to heal. In about two to three days after the surgery, Washington, DC, patients will be able to watch TV and read. Five to seven days after the blepharoplasty, patients will return to Dr. Porter’s office to have their stitches removed. At about seven to 10 days after the surgery, most bruising should have faded, and patients can return back to work if they are cleared by Dr. Porter. Sunglasses can help to protect their eyes from sunlight and wind Finally, patients should avoid wearing their contact lenses for about two weeks.
How Can a Blepharoplasty Make Me Look Younger?
When people are young, their eyelids are firm and tight. However, as a person begins to age and has had gravity pushing down on their eyelids for years, they can begin to sag and droop. These changes can affect both the upper and lower lids. Sometimes the upper lid can sag down over the eye itself, blocking vision. For lower lids, sagging skin creates deep bags and wrinkles under the eye. In particular, Washington, DC, patients who have droopy eyelids can appear:
- Always tired, even if they feel completely full of energy
- Moody, as they might look aggravated or angry even though they’re perfectly happy
- Older than they really are, especially when drooping lids start to make the eyes look smaller
A blepharoplasty is a great way for Washington, DC, patients to eliminate these issues and get the eyelids back to their normal appearance. With a few quick incisions, Dr. Porter can cut away excess tissue to get the upper lids out of the patient’s line of sight or fix the drooping bags of the lower lids. After extraneous tissue has been removed, she will then tighten and lift the lids so they rest in a natural position.
After blepharoplasty, patients’ eyes will look much more open and brighter. The skin around their eyes will also be tighter and smoother, as any fat deposits can be removed during the surgery. Finally, Dr. Porter can smooth out the transition between the upper cheek and lower eyelid to restore a youthful contour to the patient.
Blepharoplasty can subtly but substantially reduce signs of aging and fatigue with a single targeted surgery. To talk with a board-certified surgeon about the procedure, contact CCFPS for an appointment in the Washington, DC area at (301) 652-8191.