Eyelid Surgery

Why Eyelid Surgery / Blepharoplasty?

The eyes are the gateway to the soul, they say, and they certainly are one of the first areas to show the aging process. Therefore, our eyelid surgery is one of the first procedures to be considered by our patients seeking to refresh their appearance.

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What is a Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift)?

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is a surgical procedure that can improve “eyelid bags” under the eyes, remove excess skin causing wrinkles, and provide a more youthful appearance to the eyes. During the aging process, wrinkles, lines, and puffiness contribute to a tired or aged appearance. Blepharoplasty surgery is often performed alone as a stand-alone procedure, or in conjunction with other facial procedures such as a facelift procedure. It can also be combined with wrinkle relaxers, volume fillers, and peels for an overall cosmetic enhancement.

Am I a candidate for eyelid surgery?

If you are struggling with excess loose skin on the upper and lower eyelids, as well as fat deposits, puffiness and bags around the lower lids, you may be a great candidate for blepharoplasty. For some clients, low-hanging eyelids can interfere with their vision, necessitating a surgical intervention.

Candidates should be non-smokers of sound mind and body, and they should have realistic expectations for improvement rather than perfection. Blepharoplasty cannot improve crow's feet, and it cannot compensate for drooping eyebrows. A brow lift will be more appropriate in this case. Those with eye infections and other active eye diseases should abstain from the surgery. Our team will conduct a thorough evaluation during your consultation to determine if blepharoplasty is a good match for your cosmetic goals.

What is the cost for blepharoplasty?

In general, upper blepharoplasty costs are between $2,500 and $4000 for surgeon's fees, while lower blepharoplasty will span from $4,000 to $6,000 for surgeon's fees. When done under local anesthesia, there are no additional fees, however if general anesthesia is required, the facility fees will add approximately $2500 to the total cost.

Why choose Dr. Khalifeh for eyelid surgery?

Dr. Khalifeh, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Washington DC, is well-known for his elegant, natural-looking blepharoplasty results. In his practice, he has established a firm foundation of trust, integrity and professionalism that draws clients from all walks of life. Dr. Khalifeh utilizes the most advanced, cutting-edge technology on the market to minimize scarring and create long-lasting improvements that you will enjoy for years to come.

Dr. Khalifeh trained at the world-renowned John Hopkins University School of Medicine in their elite Plastic Surgery Program. Later he served as the Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Cosmetic Surgery Education Program at John Hopkins University in the Department of Plastic Surgery. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Here’s a small anecdote I like to recount:

In 2011, at my relative’s wedding in California, I was seated with my aunt and uncle. After the third time I told my aunt how lovely she appeared (and I meant it!), unconsciously noticing a much improved appearance, she finally confessed: “I had my eyes done.” Even as a plastic surgeon, I could notice the rested and rejuvenated appearance without noticing the obvious telltale signs of surgery. That’s how powerful a blepharoplasty can be.

The Surgery

General Procedure: Upper Eyelids

The upper eyelid anatomy and positioning makes it the simpler of the two procedures. Here, a crease naturally exists in most non-Asiatic races, and over the crease a redundancy of skin and obicularis muscle develops over time, causing a fold to overtake the appearance of the eye. This excess skin causes hooding. The surgeon can remove the excess skin and muscle by numbing it and making an elliptical cut with a blade. Then with fine scissors, he can remove the skin and excess muscle while leaving the underlying structures intact. Occasionally there is a need to remove excess fat as well, however, that is not as common as in the lower lids.

General Procedure: Lower Eyelids

The surgical procedure includes incisions made in the natural contours around the eyes which leave well hidden scars. A no-scar internal fat removal (transconjunctival) technique is sometimes useful for fat excess only. Lower lid lifts help rejuvenate the face and can be sometimes combined with a midface lift if necessary. The surgery generally takes about one to three hours and is performed in the physician’s office. If additional cosmetic procedures are being performed, the eyelid surgery could last longer.

Recovery Process

Normally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery which can be treated with oral medication.

While complications are rare, patients can minimize the risk for potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions given after the surgery. The healing process for this procedure is slightly longer than most other forms of cosmetic surgery; however, the benefits are long-lasting. Patients will have a more rested and youthful appearance.

Blepharoplasty Recovery Timeline

  • Treatment day – On the day of your surgery, you will need a friend or family member to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours. Some side effects of anesthesia include chills, nausea, and brain fog. It's important for you to rest with your head elevated for the first few days, as this can help to reduce swelling.
  • The first week – During the first week of recovery, your side effects will be the most pronounced. These may include swelling, bruising, redness, blurry vision, dry eyes, and difficulty closing the eyes completely. You should take your pain medications as directed by your surgeon, and you may use ice packs to help alleviate discomfort. You should take care to limit computer use and reading, as these activities can dry the eyes out. Wear sunglasses whenever you go out in the sun, and avoid strenuous exercise for this stage of your recuperation.
  • The second week – After two weeks, you may still be experiencing some minor swelling, but most side effects will have dissipated. Most clients feel well enough to return to work around 7 to 10 days post-op. You should still be careful not to overexert your eyes and to avoid strenuous physical activity.
  • The third and fourth weeks – At this point, most of your surgical side effects will have gone away. Now that the swelling has subsided, you will be able to enjoy the results of your procedure. The eyes should appear brighter and more well-rested and the skin will have a smoother, tighter and more youthful aesthetic.

Eyelid Surgery FAQs

If a visual field diagnostic test has confirmed that your sagging upper eyelids are impairing your vision, the cost of blepharoplasty may be covered by your insurance company. As lower eyelid surgery is typically considered a cosmetic treatment, it is unlikely that your insurance will cover it.

An upper eyelid lift can help correct eyelid ptosis that may be interfering with vision, and it can also help to provide a brighter, more youthful facial appearance. Lower blepharoplasty can help reduce dark circles, bags and hollow-looking contours beneath the eyes, all of which can make a person look older than they feel. Our team can consult with you during your private consultation to determine whether upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty or both procedures will be the best path forward in your individual case.

Whether you need surgery or not will depend on if your hooded eyes are caused by drooping skin or a hereditary trait. If your hooded eyes are interfering with your vision, then it may be wise to consider undergoing blepharoplasty. However, many celebrities have hooded eyes, so not everyone wishes to get rid of them.

Yes, an eyelid lift can help to correct upper eyelid hooding that has occurred as a result of sagging brows. Some clients will be candidates for both a brow lift and eyelid surgery, which can comprehensively improve the entire appearance of the upper face. Clients who appear exhausted and fatigued, even when they are well-rested, may benefit from this dual approach. If you are struggling with forehead wrinkles, sagging eyebrows, upper and lower eyelid ptosis, as well as puffiness and bags around your eyes, a combination blepharoplasty and brow lift will be the best option for rejuvenating your look.

In general, you can expect the results of your upper eyelid surgery to last anywhere from 5-7 years. Lower blepharoplasty results are considered permanent.

Blepharoplasty is designed to address the upper and lower eyelids, but it will not affect the overall shape of your eyes. All it will do is to roll back the clock on aging and make you appear more well-rested and youthful. During your consultation, the doctor will examine your eyes and inform you as to the risks and benefits of blepharoplasty. Your procedure will be personalized, and you will be able to approve your treatment plan before the day of your surgery.