Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
At Dr. Kenkel's practice in Dallas, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) benefits numerous women and men thanks to the versatility and adaptability of the procedure. Eyelid surgery removes a variable amount of skin from the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both to rejuvenate them. It may be combined with other cosmetic facial procedures to help restore a more youthful appearance to the face.
Am I a good candidate for the surgery?
During your visit with Dr. Kenkel, he will review your concerns and determine the best manner to address them so you can achieve your desired result. If you are in good physical and mental health with reasonable expectations, you should be an appropriate candidate. Many candidates are over 35 years of age, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have the surgery at a younger age.
A few medical conditions make this surgery riskier. They include the following:
- Graves' disease
- Dry eye or lack of tears
- High blood pressure or other circulatory disorders
- Cardiovascular disease
A detached retina or glaucoma are also reasons for caution. Dr. Kenkel will review these conditions with you. He may have you see your eye doctor or internist prior to determining if you are a candidate for surgical correction.
Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Kenkel.
What should I expect from my consultation?
During your consultation, you will learn about the surgery, its limitations and risks, and discuss your needs and concerns. This will help Dr. Kenkel understand your expectations and determine whether they can be realistically achieved. He will review any alternatives that exist. He will specifically state what he would recommend as the treatment to address the upper or lower eyelids. In some cases, this may be removal of skin only. In others, some fat may be removed or repositioned to help fill an area where fat was lost.
After your consultation, a photographer will take photographs for your medical record and you will meet with Dr. Kenkel's administrative assistant to discuss the cost of the surgery and scheduling dates. Most insurance policies do not cover eyelid surgery unless you can prove that drooping upper lids interfere with your vision. Discuss this with Dr. Kenkel. He will give you his opinion as to whether or not to seek special testing that may be required for insurance approval. You can also check with your insurer for more information.
Dr. Kenkel will review your medical history and check for conditions that may cause problems during or after the procedure such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood clotting problems or the tendency to form excessive scarring. You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. You should provide information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries and medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information as it can affect your recovery and result.
How is the surgery performed?
Upper eyelid surgery can be performed under local anesthesia with mild sedation. Dr. Kenkel prefers to perform lower eyelid surgery under general anesthesia. The surgery usually takes 1 to 2 hours depending on the extent of your procedure and what is required.
In a typical procedure, the incisions are well-concealed in either the natural eyelid crease of the upper eyelid or just beneath the lash line of the lower eyelid. Dr. Kenkel often makes a small incision on the inside of the lower eyelid to help facilitate removal of fat in your lower eyelids. Working through these incisions, he will separate the skin from the underlying fatty tissue and muscle, remove excess fat and trim the sagging skin and muscle when indicated. In the case of the lower eyelids, he will also perform the appropriate suspension technique to improve its shape. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.
What happens the day of surgery?
Your eyelid surgery will be performed in the outpatient surgery center under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Oral medications are administered for your comfort and to lessen the anxiety if need be. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital and to stay with you at least the first day following surgery. Our patient care document will give you instructions to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking and smoking. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. If you are on these medications for medical reasons, Dr. Kenkel will ask you to see your primary care physician to determine if it is safe for you to stop these medications.
What is the recovery like?
Swelling and some degree of bruising is common in the region around the eyes following surgery. This can last for several days to several weeks depending on what type of procedure you undergo. You will be given special cold compresses to wear for the first 48 hours after your surgery. You will be required to sleep with your head elevated on 2 pillows to help decrease the swelling. Your vision can be blurry for several days as expected from your surgery and from the eye ointment you will apply. Your eyes may not close shut as they did prior to your surgery. This is normal and may take a few weeks to resolve before your upper and lower eyelids close. You will be given prescriptions for pain medication and eye drops to take following your surgery. You should be able to read and watch television after 2 to 3 days but you will not be able to wear contact lenses for about two weeks and even then they may feel uncomfortable for a while. You should be able to return to work in approximately 7 to 10 days depending on your occupation and the extent of your surgery. Your bruising will resolve in 10 to 14 days, as will most of the swelling.
What should I know about my results?
You will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your eyelids soon after surgery. However, improvement will become even more apparent after two weeks when most of the swelling has resolved. In some cases it may take up to a couple of months for all of the swelling to resolve.
Whenever surgery is performed on your body, a scar will result. The scars for this procedure may remain slightly pink, depending on your skin tone, for six months. Eventually, they will fade to a thin, nearly invisible line.
How many visits do I have after surgery?
You will usually return for an initial checkup in 3 to 4 days following surgery then in 7 to 10 days for suture removal. During your postoperative visits, Dr. Kenkel will discuss further postoperative activity and concerns you may have. Following this visit, you will return in approximately 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and one year.
Please remember that your relationship with Dr. Kenkel does not end when you leave the operating room. If you have questions or concerns during your recovery or need additional information at a later time, you can always contact Dr. Kenkel.
How much does blepharoplasty cost?
At your initial consultation, you will be quoted a price that will include Dr. Kenkel's fee as well as hospital and anesthesia fees. Fees are due at least three weeks prior to your surgery. Checks, money orders, cash and credit cards may be used for payment. A $500.00 deposit will reserve a specific time and date for your surgery.