Lewis Plastic Surgery
2331-A Robious Station Circle
Midlothian, VA 23113
Your eyes can communicate much about your mood, age, and alertness. For some men and women, droopy upper eyelids, bulging lower eyelids, and dark circles can make you appear tired and older than you actually are. Eyelid surgery at our Richmond, VA, practice is a straightforward procedure that can create a refreshed, more youthful appearance.
Gordon Lewis, M.D.
Dr. Lewis, a native of Richmond, prioritizes building honest, trusting relationships and providing personalized care for his patients.Meet Dr. Lewis
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An eyelid lift or “blepharoplasty” with Dr. Lewis is one of the best surgical options for bringing your eyes out of hiding and tightening lax skin around the eyes. This procedure can eliminate tired and sad-looking eyes.
An eyelid lift can be performed on the upper eyelids and/or lower eyelids, and it requires a great deal of skill and experience to accomplish a natural look.
Areas improved by upper eyelid surgery:
- Tighter upper eyelids with no more drooping
- Decreased frown lines
- Reduced lines around the eyes
Areas improved by lower eyelid surgery:
- Decreased “tear troughs” under the eyes
- Diminished bags under the eyes
- Reduced lines under the eyes
Dr. Lewis customizes every eyelid surgery based on your anatomy, condition, and goals. He uses the latest methods to not just remove excess skin and tighten the eyelids, but to make sure that the muscles of the eyes are intact and that you appear naturally younger in a way that is not obvious. He also works to preserve the shape of your eyes so that you will still look like yourself after your surgery.
A lower eyelid lift, in particular, requires a subtle and delicate approach, as there is little skin in this area, and it’s quite thin.
In both upper and lower eyelid surgery, excess skin and fat must be addressed. Historically, this meant removing substantial amounts of fat from the upper and lower lids; unfortunately, over time, this often led to a hollowed out appearance. More often now, Dr. Lewis will reposition your existing fat, remove any small area of unwanted fat, and in many cases, add fat to restore the volume that is lost over time. After this is done, the skin is carefully sutured in a tighter placement to preserve the musculature and the shape of your eyes.
Younger patients may show good skin tone, but prominence of the fat pads from within the eye socket. In these cases, more fat may need to be removed. This often can be performed through an incision from within your eyelid, leaving no visible scar.
For an upper eyelid lift, the incisions can usually be made in the creases of the eye so that the scar is hidden when the eyes are open. This incision will nearly always heal extremely well. It is usually hard to find this incision after it has healed for 3-6 months.
For lower blepharoplasty, the incision is made inside the lid or just below the lashes where the scar will also be hidden. The determination of the lower lid incision placement is individualized and based on your personal anatomy and goals. If there is excess skin or wrinkles on the lower eyelid, an external incision will be needed to remove the excess skin. Even with the need for an external incision, this incision heals very well and will usually be imperceptible after it has fully healed. If there is no skin excess or wrinkles, incisions within the eyelids can allow repositioning of the fat in the lower eyelids and avoid an external incision.
Will anesthesia and pain relief be used during / after surgery?
We will make sure you are comfortable throughout the whole procedure. You will be given a local anesthetic and IV sedation for what is often called “twilight sleep.” This is lighter anesthesia than a full general anesthetic, but you will be very relaxed and will not feel any pain. Some patients prefer a deeper anesthetic, and a general anesthetic is reasonable as well.
For patients wanting only an upper eyelid lift, this procedure is relatively more superficial and straightforward; it can be performed in the office under local anesthetic alone. This is less common, but does save money, as there is no anesthesia charge and a reduced facility fee.
What happens immediately after surgery?
Your eyes may or may not need to be bandaged after your surgery. If you must have bandages, Dr. Lewis will let you know when they can be removed. You may be given ointment to apply to the lids, and we will give you direction on eye drops.
You can go home the same day, but someone will need to drive you home.
The eye area will feel tight, and after the anesthetic has worn off, you will feel sore. You can use cold compresses, and we’ll give you a pain medication prescription. Shortly after surgery, you will notice some itching, swelling, and bruising. Keeping your head elevated will help to reduce inflammation.
How long will complete recovery from an eyelid lift take?
Symptoms usually last 1-2 weeks. Any non-dissolvable sutures will be removed in your first or second post-operative visit with Dr. Lewis about a week after your surgery. We will monitor your progress carefully to make sure you are healing properly.
Some residual swelling and bruising may remain for a third week following your surgery, after which you will be able to see the final results of your eyelid lift.
Please refrain from strenuous exercise for at least three weeks after your procedure, as it can worsen your swelling and bruising.
Am I a good candidate for an eyelid lift?
The ideal candidate for an eyelid lift is usually over age 40 and has moderate to significant laxity of skin on the upper or lower eyelids. In severe cases, the lower eyelid begins to droop, causing the inside white of the eyelid to be seen.
For people who have drooping upper lids that impair vision, health insurance might cover the procedure.
You should refrain from smoking for at least 4 weeks before your surgery and 2 weeks after. Most medical issues can be managed in order to make surgery safe, but diabetes and high blood pressure, in particular, must be under control before the procedure.
What are the risks of an eyelid lift?
With any surgical procedure, there are risks that you must be aware of. To minimize the risks, ensure that your surgery is conducted in a safe and secure environment using the latest surgical techniques by checking the certifications and accreditation of your surgeon. Accreditation boards and bodies are there to protect you.
Dr. Gordon Lewis has 9 years of surgical experience and is affiliated with several internationally recognized professional organizations. He is:
- Board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
- Affiliated with the Richmond Academy of Medicine and the Medical Society of Virginia
- An Associate member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons
- A candidate member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand
- In general, eyelid surgery is very safe and well-tolerated. It is rare that serious complications occur. We will speak with you at length about these risks and answer all of your questions.
Risks include, but are not limited to:
- Nerve damage
- Unfavorable scars
- Skin loss
- Skin contour irregularities
- Need for revisional surgery
- Risks of anesthesia
During your comprehensive one-on-one consultation, we will cover several areas of discussion:
- Your medical history and current medications
- Your goals from surgery
- Your concerns about surgery
- Options for surgically correcting the issues you want to change
- Risks associated with each option
- A surgical price quote that includes any additional costs such as the OR fee and anesthesia. This will also include financing options, if you wish.
Expect to spend close to an hour in our office for your consultation.
Surgical procedures are performed at an accredited outpatient surgical center or a local hospital. Dr. Gordon Lewis is affiliated with several local medical centers where his patients undergo surgery. He primarily operates at these locations:
Stony Point Surgery Center
Parham Surgery Center
He also has privileges at St. Mary’s Hospital and Henrico Doctors Hospital, but he operates there less frequently.
Initial consultations, follow-up appointments, and all non-surgical treatments and minor surgical procedures are performed at Lewis Plastic Surgery practice, which is located on the grounds of Johnson-Willis Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.
During your initial consultation, we will be able to give you a breakdown of all costs related to your Brow Lift procedure. This will include:
- Dr. Lewis’s fee
- Operating room fee
- Anesthesia fee
- Cost of any additional overnight stays
We make absolutely sure that there are no hidden costs and no surprises.
Every patient is required to attend an initial consultation before a procedure can be booked. Once you decide to proceed with surgery, we will assist you in finalizing a date and getting everything ready for surgery. We try to be as flexible as possible and will make arrangements to see you at Lewis Plastic Surgery on the grounds of Johnston-Willis Hospital within a few days after you contact us.
An eyelid lift greatly improves the look of the eyes. In some cases, the eyebrows have dropped on the face and/or forehead lines have developed. For this condition, Dr. Lewis might recommend a brow lift instead of or in addition to an eyelid lift.
These procedures can be performed at the same time as an eyelid lift to complement the end result:
- Brow lift (to decrease lines in the brow and to lift the brow to a more youthful position)
- Facelift (to tighten the lower portion of the face)
- Facial fat grafting (using your own fat to restore lost volume around the eyes and to the cheeks)
- Botox (an injectable that temporarily smooths frown lines between the brows and fine lines around the eyes) – These injections may be recommended shortly after your eyelid lift recovery period to enhance your result.