DR WILLIAM PORTUESE | 1101 MADISON ST #1280 SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98104 | (206) 624-6200
The Seattle Facial Plastic Surgery Center - Dr William Portuese
Dr William Portuese - Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon in Seattle WA

Eyelid Surgery Seattle WA – Blepharoplasty

The Eyelid Surgery

There are three components that make up the eyelids; skin, muscle, and fat. Fat bulging creates a puffiness look on the lower lids as well as the upper lids. Excess skin can fold over on the upper lids, touching the eyelashes, creating visual obstruction when severe enough. On rare occasions, excess muscle on the upper lids can also be an issue and sometimes needs to be conservatively trimmed for cosmetic purposes. All three of these components must look good in a symmetrical fashion and allow for proper blink reflex and closure of the eyelids.

An upper eyelid lift and a lower eyelid lift can be performed independently or together during eyelid surgery.

Improving The Appearance

Cosmetic blepharoplasty or eyelid rejuvenation is done to improve the appearance of the upper or lower eyelids. The primary goal of upper lid lift is to remove mostly excess skin and a little fat, whereas the goal of the lower lid surgery is to remove mostly excess fat and a little skin. The fat in the lower eyelids is a genetic trait and is referred to by many as “Puffiness”. Excess skin on the upper lids creates the “Tired” look. Typically, patients will say that they look tired and older than they feel when they look in the mirror.

Blepharoplasty:  Eyelid Reductions in Washington State

With the aging process, the eyelid skin tends to relax, and become “hooded”, and the fat around the lower eye tends to protrude and accumulate around the eyes, resulting in a “puffy” appearance.

The Incision

The incision for an Upper Lid procedure is made following the natural eyelid crease. After the precise measurement of fat  is removed, the incision is closed with dissolvable sutures. The Lower Lid procedure involves two parts; for excess fat / puffiness, the incision is made on the inside of the lower lids and the fat is removed. If there is excess skin on the outside portion of their lower lids, Dr. Portuese removes a small pinch of skin just below the eyelash line. This incision is typically closed with a tissue glue adhesive and the incision is nearly unnoticeable about four weeks following the procedure.

With respect to the lower lids surgery, the incision for the fat pad removal is done on the inside from the subconjunctival approach. There are three fat pads on the lowers and a small portion of this fat is removed to get rid of the tired look. Most patients over 50 years of age will need a small pinch of excess lower eyelid skin. If this is the case, this is a conservative 2-3 mm pinch that is taken directly at the subciliary line directly below the eyelashes and is covered by the lower curl of the eyelashes themselves. This incision, when necessary, is closed with Histocryl tissue adhesive that will fall off in 7 – 10 days after surgery. When patients awaken in the recovery room, the eyelids are relatively numb.

Recovery Phase

However, most patients experience some form of mild burning and headache, which is mild in the first few hours in the postoperative recovery phase. Some patients experience a headache after the first few hours of the eyelid surgery, but that usually subsides with some mild pain relievers. The recovery at the Seattle Blepharoplasty Center typically takes about an hour to an hour-and-a-half. At that time, the patient can be discharged to home with their caregiver.


Dr. Portuese will examine both eyelids during the consultation. He will also take photographs of the eyelids and computer imaging can be performed at the eyelid consultation. The computer imaging is a communication tool ( not a guarantee of how patients will look ), but it gives an idea of what to expect. This is also an opportunity for patients to discuss expectations from the procedure ( eyelid surgery. )


During the consultation for eyelid surgery in Seattle WA, Dr. Portuese will review before and after photos of real patients from Washington State, Portland and surrounding areas. Board certified facial surgeon Dr. William Portuese will also review the visual field obstruction test if it is performed prior to the examination by an ophthalmologist. If there is a significant visual field obstruction, usually over 30′ in primary gaze, a patient’s insurance may cover a portion of the surgery. This will be determined by the visual field obstruction test.

Facial plastic surgeon Dr. William Portuese will review the visual field obstruction test, will take pictures, and will submit a physical examination, all for preauthorization with the patient’s medical insurance prior to any insurance-related blepharoplasty work being done.

Blepharoplasty can be performed alone, or in conjunction with additional cosmetic surgery such as a Facelift or Rhinoplasty – Nose Job. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of upper lid surgery, please don’t hesitate to contact our plastic surgery office today for more details.

Complications of a blepharoplasty

Irregularities of the skin are the most common occurrence after this procedure. Patients can get little white heads, which need to be opened up, along the incision line on the upper lids. Sometimes these can actually turn into small pimples and have to be drained.

Postoperative Appointments

Examination of the upper and/or lower eyelids is performed and the incisions are cleaned by plastic surgery expert Dr. Portuese. He will make sure that all tissues on both lids are healing quite well. He will make sure that your vision is intact. The eyelids tend to be quite swollen, puffy, and bruised. At this point, about 7 – 10 days, patients can start applying makeup to their eyelids if they desire so that they can get back out into their work environment.

Other Procedures

Blepharoplasty can be done by itself or in conjunction with other facial procedures, such as a facelift or rhinoplasty.

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) FAQ

#1 How are droopy upper eyelids fixed?The primary goal of an upper eyelid blepharoplasty is to remove extra skin creating the tired or hooded look. The blepharoplasty eyelid surgery procedure for the upper eyelids includes removal of skin and fat from the upper lids to create a rejuvenated look. The incision is located in the upper eyelid crease. An upper eyelid surgery blepharoplasty procedure is usually performed under a brief general anesthetic as an outpatient surgical procedure. Anticipate 2 weeks of bruising and swelling after the procedure.

#2 How much does eyelid surgery cost?
The cost of upper and lower eyelid surgery is more than just the cost of only the upper eyelids or only the lower eyelid surgery. The fees for an upper and lower blepharoplasty eyelid surgery are determined by the amount of time in the operating room, the time under anesthesia by an anesthesiologist, and the surgeon’s fees for performing the procedure. The fees for both upper and lower eyelid surgery are located on our website.

#3 Recovery time for eyelid surgery?
Due to gravity, the lower lids tend to bruise and swell more than the uppers. When patients perform both upper and lower eyelid surgery, it usually requires 2 weeks of some degree of bruising and swelling to subside, but it can be quite variable depending upon the patient. We ask that patients refrain from strenuous activity and exercise for at least 2 weeks after the procedure. Full healing after an eyelid procedure takes 3 months.

#4 Are there any stitches placed in the eyelids?
In our eyelid surgery practice, there are no stitches placed in the lower lids. The fat is removed through a trans-conjunctival approach from the inside of the eyelid. If there is extra skin, a small incision pinch technique is placed on the outside of the eyelids. This incision is closed with tissue glue. The upper eyelid surgery Blepharoplasty incision is closed with sutures that are dissolvable and fall out/ dissolve in approximately one week.

Cost of Surgery

Upper and Lower Eyelid Surgery Blepharoplasty:
$6,050 (Surgeon & Operating Room) + $729 (Anesthesia)

Upper or Eyelid Surgery >Blepharoplasty:
$3,850 (Surgeon & Operating Room) + $567 (Anesthesia)

Useful Links

Guide to Eyelid Rejuvenation

Washington Ambulatory Surgery Center Association Washington State Medical Association American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Real Self