Reconstructive and aesthetic eyelid and facial plastic surgery is a specialized area of ophthalmology that focuses on the management of eyelid abnormalities, tearing problems, and orbital disease, including eye socket trauma and thyroid eye disease.
Our oculoplastic surgeons, Dr. Paul Gavaris and Dr. Lauren Gavaris, have completed ophthalmology training as well as additional surgical training. This makes them uniquely qualified to address abnormal eyelid position and contour, reconstruction of the lids following skin cancer removal, burns, or trauma.
In addition, Oculoplastic surgery also includes cosmetic procedures such as eyelid lifts, brow lifts, cheek lifts, injectable fillers, and Botox.
Eyelid issues can be considered BOTH functional (medically necessary) and cosmetic. Some eyelid and periocular problems can affect vision, reading, eye comfort , and eye health. Photographs and specific tests are taken and submitted to your insurance company to determine if your procedure is covered by insurance.
Some insurance companies tell us in advance and others do not. We will work with your particular insurance company on a case by case basis.
In addition, your doctor will discuss these issues with you at the time of your consultation. Often, older, personal photos are also reviewed with your doctor.
Once the decision has been made to proceed with surgery there are a few things you can expect. Almost all of our surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you go home the same day. If your surgery requires general anesthesia, it is performed at an area hospital.
Both Dr. Paul Gavaris and Dr. Lauren Gavaris have privileges at Sibley Hospital, Georgetown, Washington Hospital Center, or Children’s Hospital. Most of our surgery is done under sedation, or twilight anesthesia, at the Friendship Ambulatory Surgery Center, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Our Oculoplastic surgical scheduler is Ms. Cookie Pearson.
Each patient is given a surgical instruction folder. Patients are often asked to stop any medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements that may thin the blood 10 days prior to surgery. A list of these items is included in your folder.
Patients are asked to wear loose comfortable clothing to the surgery center. Your doctor will speak with you again in the preoperative area prior to surgery. Once in the operating room, anesthesia is administered. While you are sleepy, additional local anesthetic is also given.
Protective “contact lenses” are placed on your eyes for your comfort. With these, you don’t have to look into bright lights during surgery, or worry about keeping your eyes open or closed. Most patients find their surgical experience more pleasant than they anticipated.
We also perform minor procedures in our office. We have a designated minor surgery room where we can remove styes, or chalazia, small cysts on or around the eyelids, moles, or skin tags. These procedures usually only require local anesthetic. For added comfort, numbing cream can also be applied. For our patient’s convenience, these procedures are often done on the same day.
After surgery, patients recover with frozen peas and cold compresses on their eyelids. Patients are sent home with written instructions, which are also reviewed with friends or family accompanying the patient.
We ask our patients to relax on a couch, recliner, or bed with frozen peas and cool compresses on their eyelids. There is minimal activity during this time. We find that this decreases swelling, bruising, discomfort, and postoperative complications. After the first 48 hours, you can be a bit more up and around.
There is still no exercising or heavy lifting for at least one week after surgery, sometimes up to 2 weeks after surgery. If you have stitches placed, they are removed in the office 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.
Does it hurt?? !!
Usually patients need Tylenol for any discomfort. We prescribe a stronger pain medicine just in case, as some patients are more uncomfortable the first day or so.
Eyelid surgery is real surgery. Your body needs time to heal. It is not as quick as getting a facial or a new hair cut. Everybody heals at their own rate. In our experience, most of our patients are quite comfortable during their procedure and in their recovery.
Common Eyelid and Periocular Problems
Eyelid Blepharoplasty (eye lift)
Eye Brow Lift