Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Patients that Dr. Kunkel sees for eyelid surgery are often concerned that they look tired or sad. Their eyes look puffy. Fatty tissue may protrude in the lower eyelids, making it look like they have been crying or have allergies. Extra skin of the upper eyelids makes the eyelids heavy. It may be hard to put on make-up. Cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) can help create dramatic yet refined changes around the eyes.
Techniques for eyelid surgery have evolved. Before the early 2000’s it was common for surgeons to remove all the fat they could find. Today there is more of an emphasis on preserving fat in strategic areas of the eyelids. When doing lower eyelid surgery, Dr. Kunkel manipulates fat through an incision inside the lower eyelid. This technique has become a standard in eyelid surgery.
What is Blepharoplasty?
Every year eyelid surgery, clinically known as blepharoplasty, is one of the top five most performed cosmetic surgeries. Why the popularity? Blepharoplasty rejuvenates tired, sagging eyelids, effectively taking a decade or so off the patient’s facial age. In these procedures, Dr. Kunkel removes excess skin and repositions underlying fat on one or both eyelids. In some instances, eyelid surgery is a necessity because the upper lid is sagging enough to actually impact vision. Usually, however, the procedure is aesthetic in nature. It is one of the most rewarding procedures because it delivers dramatic results that are subtle at the same time. Unless you’ve told them, friends won’t know that you’ve had surgery; they’ll only know you look somehow more alert, refreshed, and younger.
These procedures can be performed on the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or on both.
Candidates for Blepharoplasty
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are in good health, do not smoke, and do not have any serious eye conditions. A person who has loose, sagging skin of the upper or lower eyelids may benefit. Fullness and puffiness in the lower eyelids may make someone a great candidate for the procedure.
What are the Benefits of Eyelid Surgery?
Most people say that when meeting a new person the first thing they look at is the person’s eyes. But when our eyelids are sagging and droopy and when we have under-eye bags and deep creases, our eyes give off the impression that we’re older than we actually are. Much of this is due to the fact that the skin on our eyelids and surrounding our eyes is some of the thinnest on the entire human body. Plus, it is exposed to the sun and the elements basically all the time.
Eyelid surgery removes excess skin, tightens support muscles, and repositions fat to fully rejuvenate the eyes. These changes tend to make the patient’s entire face look younger.
How does Dr. Kunkel perform blepharoplasty?
Dr. Kunkel performs blepharoplasty surgery in an outpatient surgery center or hospital. The patient is put to sleep under the direction of an anesthesiologist (general anesthesia). The operation may be done on just the upper eyelids, just the lower eyelids, or both the upper and lower eyelids. Some patients undergo blepharoplasty combined with a brow lift, facelift, or even breast augmentation. Most patients are able to go home the same day. The goal of blepharoplasty is to tighten the skin and support muscles and to lessen or remove puffiness and sagging. The procedure is delicate and involves small incisions.
In the upper eyelid, the incision is made in the natural crease of the eyelid, concealing it effectively. Excess skin is removed, fat repositioned or removed, and the underlying muscle tissue tightened.
In the lower eyelid, there are two options for the incision. It can be made just below the lower eyelash or inside the lower eyelid. With the lower eyelid, excess skin is often the culprit and is removed to eliminate puffiness and bags.
Dr. Kunkel pays particular attention to fat in both eyelids, and his extensive experience is important. Some doctors remove too much fat, leaving the patient with a hollow look in the area. Dr. Kunkel usually leaves most of the fat, opting to simply reposition it to maintain a natural look.
What is recovery like with eyelid surgery?
Most patients have very little pain. The eyelids are swollen for a few weeks. Some bruising occurs and is noticeable to other people for 3 to 4 weeks. Make-up may be worn beginning about a week after surgery. Contact lenses should not be worn for 7-10 days. Some people return to work in just a few days. Most people, however, take about 10 days off from work. If there is a special occasion coming up, like a wedding or a reunion, it’s probably best to undergo the blepharoplasty about two or three months before the event.
Beyond the rejuvenating qualities of eyelid surgery, another thing Dr. Kunkel’s patients appreciate is that their recovery is not difficult. While you would think surgery in such a delicate area would require extensive recovery, this is not the case.
After your surgery, we supply you with a cold compress and lubricating eye drops. If you are diligent with the compress, your swelling and bruising can be mitigated. Pain is usually manageable with over-the-counter pain medication. In most cases, your stitches are removed in about one week and your eyes, while there may be some slight residual swelling, will usually look great already. There can be some on-again, off-again swelling for a couple of weeks, but it is not drastic. Most patients can return to work in just 3-5 days.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“Dr. Kunkel is a fabulous surgeon as well as a caring man. He is truly concerned about your needs and/or wants. He tells you what you can and cannot expect in reality. I can’t say enough about his staff! They are simply THE BEST!” -Kim B.
All surgical procedures have some risks. Risks common to all procedures include infection, bleeding, and visible scars. Risks that are more unique to blepharoplasty include dry eyes, inability to fully close the eyes, and an irregular downward pulling of the lower eyelids (ectropion). During initial and subsequent consultations, Dr. Kunkel carefully discusses the procedure, the recovery, and the risks with each patient.
Can blepharoplasty be covered by insurance?
Blepharoplasty is typically deemed to be a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by health insurance. However, if your eyelid drooping is to the degree that it is impacting your vision, insurance will cover the procedure.