Eyelid Surgery Details

About Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelid surgery, also known as Blepharoplasty or Oculoplastic Surgery, repositions fat deposits while tightening or removing unsightly skin folds. Dr. Trang Vo-Nguyen, known to her patients as “Dr. V”, performs many popular eyelid procedures at The Virginia Institute for Surgical Arts in Chantilly, Virginia. Dr. V is a world-renowned surgeon who has unique training and board certification in general plastic surgery. Since your eyelids are among the most delicate structures in your face, composed of fine layers of soft tissue and the thinnest skin in the human body, it is critical that your surgery be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon with vast training and experience. Dr. V specializes in facial rejuvenation and reconstruction procedures and she is an expert at performing eyelid surgery to correct eye problems and restore a natural look that represents a more youthful you.

At The Virginia Institute for Surgical Arts, we carefully look to see what part of the eyelid area is a problem for you before formulating a specific plan to address a suitable solution. Dr. V performs minimally invasive eyelift and brow lift procedures tailored to fit the needs of each individual patient. One of several surgical techniques may be suggested to improve the appearance of your eyelids and the particular technique that Dr. V recommends will depend on many factors such as the amount of excess fat and skin in your eyelid areas, the position of your eyebrows, and the condition of muscles around your eyelids. Because of individual factors, not everyone will achieve the same results and Dr. V will select the surgical technique she feels will obtain the best outcome for you.

About Eyelid Surgery [VIDEO]

Anatomy of The Eye

From an anatomical viewpoint, your eyelids protect the anterior surface of the globe from injury, aid in the regulation of light reaching your eyes, maintain tear film by distributing the protective and optically important tear film over the cornea during blinking, and they control tear flow by their pumping action on the conjunctival sac and lacrimal sac. Structures important in the description of eyelid anatomy are the skin and subcutaneous tissue; the orbicularis oculi muscle; the sub muscular areolar tissue; the fibrous layer, consisting of the tarsi and the orbital septum; the lid retractors of the upper and lower eyelids; the retroseptal fat pads; and the conjunctiva. The upper and lower lids may be considered analogous structures with differences mainly in the lid retractor arrangement.

Droopy eyelids are a major reason why most people consider eyelid surgery. Ptosis is the medical term for drooping of the upper eyelid and is a condition that may affect one or both eyes. Ptosis that is present since birth is called congenital ptosis but droopy eyelids in general occur when the edge of the upper eyelid (eyelid margin) falls from its normal position as a result of age and gravity.

In general, those who exhibit any of the following conditions can often benefit from eyelid surgery at The Virginia Institute for Surgical Arts including:

  • Bags or bulges below your eyes
  • Skin folds above your eyes
  • Dark shadows around your eyes
  • Droopy, baggy eyelids
  • Hindered vision from excess tissue


Blepharoplasty can remove excess skin, muscle, and sometimes fat from your upper or lower eyelids and in some cases, you might need only skin removed with no muscle. In other situations, you might need eyelid surgery performed on both your upper and lower eyelids.

Upper Blepharoplasty: An upper eyelid blepharoplasty (sometimes called an “eye lift”) can elevate an upper eyelid slightly if the excessive skin is causing the upper eyelid to droop from heaviness. For upper eyelid surgery, typically an incision is hidden within the natural fold of your upper eyelid and will extend slightly beyond the outside corner into other existing creases. Through this incision, excess skin and fatty tissue will be removed and because the incision follows the natural contour of your upper eyelid, it is generally unnoticeable. Upper eyelid surgery can remove excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the upper eyelids.

Lower Blepharoplasty: Lower eyelid surgery can be performed through the inside of the lower eyelid known as the transconjunctival technique. Through this incision, excess skin and fat will be removed or the fat may be redistributed. Other adjustments may be performed to correct additional problems such as muscle laxity and as in upper eyelid surgery, placement of the incision in natural crease lines will allow for the scar to heal inconspicuously. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty can remove excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid and a laser may sometimes be used in conjunction with surgery to tighten your lower eyelid skin.

Funtional Blepharoplasty: A functional blepharoplasty (in contrast to a cosmetic blepharoplasty) is eyelid surgery that is performed for medical reasons. In most cases, a functional eyelift is performed to remove loose skin from the upper eyelid if it droops low enough to impair your vision or it becomes a problem making it difficult for you to wear glasses or contact lenses. Sometimes blepharoplasty also can improve your vision by providing a less obstructed field of view once the droopy eyelids are improved.

The Eyelid Surgery Procedure

Eyelid surgery will not stop your eyes from aging but the procedure is normally very long lasting. Upper eyelid surgery can last anywhere from five to seven years to an entire lifetime while lower eyelid surgery rarely needs to be performed more than once. Eyelid surgery takes approximately two hours if both upper and lower eyelids are performed together and you will most likely receive local anesthesia (a painkiller injected around the eye) with oral sedation. Significant complications from aesthetic eyelid surgery are infrequent and every year thousands of people undergo eyelid surgery successfully without experiencing any major problem. The subject of risks and potential complications will be discussed on a personal basis between you and Dr. V during your initial consultation.

Eyelid surgery is usually performed on adult men and women who have healthy facial tissue and muscles and have realistic goals for improvement of their upper and/or lower eyelids and surrounding area.

Contact The Virginia Institute of Surgical Arts by clicking here or calling 703-327-8200.

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Contact Us Virginia Institute for Surgical Arts

South Riding Professional Square
25055 Riding Plaza, Suite #140
Chantilly, VA 20152
TEL: 703.327.8200
5530 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite #1640
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
TEL: 301.882.5075