Get To Know Eye Expert Dr. Viraj Mehta

Haute Beauty chatted with Dr. Viraj J. Mehta, to get to know the Oculofacial Plastics and Orbit expert, who serves a local and an international community at his practice near Washington, D.C. Dr. Mehta’s expertise and passion is in the eyelids, face, and orbits.

My greatest achievement…

The most exciting thing I’m able to do is to take all my years of learning from the best mentors at the top institutions in the country to help a patient in front of me. It’s rewarding to use all these skills I’ve acquired to help my patients look and feel refreshed. However, my greatest achievement has been to balance my career with my family.

The future of my field is…

Oculofacial Plastics & Orbit surgery is a constantly evolving field with very exciting developments. On the cosmetics side, the future is in minimally invasive procedures and techniques. For example, we are seeing botulinum toxins (like Botox, or the new Jeuveau) and fillers (like Restylane, Juvederm) gaining in popularity. In addition, there are a plethora of lasers that try to stimulate the body’s own regenerative ability. Surgery is still as popular as ever, but newer surgeons are really focused on minimizing incisions and scars. We’re also seeing patients come in at a younger age and more frequently for these more conservative treatments to maintain their overall refreshed appearance.

The biggest misconception about my field is…

The biggest misconception about my field is that the treatments and surgeries we provide will make patients look different and “plastic”. In fact, techniques and aesthetic philosophy has changed over the years. My goals are to help you look youthful, refreshed, and augment your natural beauty without making it look like you’ve had plastic surgery or a procedure done.

My most requested procedures are…

Eyes are the center of facial expression, and people will always be drawn to them first. My most requested procedures are focused around the eyes. These include droopy eyelid (ptosis) repair, upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty, brow lift, mini-facelift, and injections like Botox and fillers.

What surgical advancements are you most excited about…

There are always new surgical techniques that minimize incisions and scarring. The most exciting advancements combine these minimally invasive techniques with technologies such as lasers, radiofrequency, and injections to achieve the optimal outcome.

What are you best known for…

I am a perfectionist. Whether in surgery or in clinic, I want my patients to have the best possible outcomes in the safest manner.

What is your most memorable patient reaction?

My most memorable patient was a woman who had developed a small skin cancer on her eyelid. I remember our first appointment when I discussed the possibilities and doing the biopsy. We had another appointment to discuss the diagnosis once the pathology results came back, which confirmed the cancer. Although it was small and localized, she was devasted by the diagnosis. She had young children in primary and elementary school, and for her, simply hearing the word “cancer” was life-changing. Having been trained at places like Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and at the Mayo Clinic, I’ve treated many patients with cancer, but I never forget how hard it is on patients to get that diagnosis for the first time. We talked it over and discussed all the options. I successfully excised the cancer and reconstructed her eyelid. When I saw her again about a month after the reconstruction, she was overwhelmed with joy knowing that the cancer was completely gone and her eyelid was reconstructed in such a way that made it look almost like it was before the surgery!

What sets my practice apart:

My patients are really treated like family. All procedures have their own risks and benefits, but I guide you through the decision-making process just like I would guide anyone in my own family. I provide treatments or surgeries only if it helps you achieve the best, most natural outcome.

What I love most about my profession is:

I love meeting people of all ages, genders, and races and to help them achieve the results they want. Every day is different, every patient is different, so there is never a dull moment.

Career defining procedure?

The Blepharoplasty. Many plastic surgeons offer upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty, but very few have the experience or expertise to work on the eyelids with the skill and precision that I have. Your eyes set the standard for any other facial rejuvenation procedure, so choosing a surgeon that is an expert in this delicate area is an important decision.

What new services are you excited to offer?

We are always looking at new technologies, procedures, surgical techniques, and injectables to help our patients achieve the best outcomes.