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.

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Dr. Kunkel offers cosmetic eyelid surgery services to patients from Fort Worth, Southlake, Mansfield, Weatherford, Arlington, and across North Texas. Peer physicians have recognized Dr. Kunkel’s outstanding care of patients and have voted him a TopDoc 19 times!

What Is Blepharoplasty?

Cosmetic eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is one of the most-commonly performed cosmetic procedures.  During a blepharoplasty operation, Dr. Kunkel removes excess skin and removes and repositions underlying fat.   Cosmetic eyelid procedures often deliver dramatic results that are subtle at the same time. Unless you’ve told them, friends may not even know that you’ve had surgery; they may only notice that you look more alert and refreshed.

 

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
  • do not have any serious eye conditions
  • have loose, sagging skin of the upper or lower eyelids
  • have fullness and puffiness in the lower eyelids
Portrait of a smiling senior woman sitting on a chair in her living room at home. She has saggy eyebrows, a prime candidate for blepharoplasty.

When upper eyelids are so droopy that they impair a person’s ability to see, blepharoplasty may even be a necessity.  In a situation like that, insurance might even pay for the surgery.

What are the benefits of eyelid surgery?

What’s the benefit of looking over a decade younger? That’s the consensus of the rejuvenation provided by blepharoplasty. There’s a reason this cosmetic surgery is one of the top five aesthetic surgeries performed every year around the world. Plus, it does all of this without a difficult recovery and without being showy. Unlike many cosmetic procedures where it’s obvious you’ve had “something done,” eyelid surgery provides very dramatic results, but they’re very subtle at the same time. Unless you’ve told them, friends and coworkers will see you appear somehow more refreshed, alert, and younger-looking, yet they’ll have no idea how you pulled off such a feat.

Bottom line? These are great procedures for our patients from Ft. Worth and the surrounding areas, and they love their results.

How Does Dr. Kunkel Perform Blepharoplasty?

Dr. Kunkel performs blepharoplasty surgery in a surgery center or hospital in Fort Worth.  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 liftfacelift, or even breast augmentation.  It takes Dr. Kunkel about an hour to do both upper eyelids, and about two hours to do both lower eyelids.  Most patients are able to go home the same day.

 

Upper eyelid blepharoplasty surgery is done through an incision near the natural crease of the eyelid. Excess skin is removed, fat is repositioned or removed, and the underlying muscle tissue is slightly modified.  The final scar is nicely concealed along the crease, extending out toward the side of the eyelid.

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(Dr. Kunkel placing markings on a patient about to undergo blepharoplasty surgery)

When doing lower eyelid blepharoplasty surgery, two incisions are usually required.  One of these is made inside the lower eyelid.  The fatty tissue bulges are managed through this incision.  Some fat is removed, and some of the fat may be repositioned.  This allows the lower eyelid and cheek to blend together, minimizing distinct creases and folds.  The second incision is made immediately below the eyelashes.  Excess skin is removed through this incision.  The resulting scar is typically almost imperceptible.

See examples of some of Dr. Kunkel’s blepharoplasty patients here.

What kind of scarring will I have after eyelid surgery?

Visible scarring is basically non-existent with these surgeries. That’s because Dr. Kunkel hides the incision for the upper eyelid adjacent to the natural crease of the eyelid. In the lower lid, depending upon your circumstances, he can make the incision just below the eyelash or even inside the eyelid. Scarring really isn’t an issue with this surgery at all. 

What Is Eyelid Surgery Recovery Like?

Most people have very little pain after blepharoplasty surgery.   Vision may be a little blurry for a day or two.  Dr. Kunkel often uses dissolving sutures.  A few sutures may need to be removed after about a week.  Make-up may be worn beginning about a week after surgery.  Some bruising occurs and is noticeable for 3 to 4 weeks, but make-up usually conceals it.  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.

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.

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(Selfie of Dr. Kunkel with members of the OR team)

How long after my surgery will I see my results from eyelid surgery?

Most of the swelling after eyelid surgery runs its course in about one week. That’s especially true if you make diligent use of the cold compress we provide. Dr. Kunkel will remove your sutures after one week. At that point, you’ll be able to see your new younger eyes. Sure, there will be some residual swelling, particularly at night after a long day on your feet, but you’re mostly healed after just that first week. 

How long will my results last?

The changes made with your eyelid surgery are, of course, permanent. But that doesn’t mean your eyes will magically stop aging. It’s generally thought that upper eyelid surgery shows its best results for the next seven years or so. Lower eyelid surgery lasts even longer than that. If more sagging occurs in the upper eyelids, a brow lift can often address it. 

How long after my eyelid surgery can I drive?

If you’re taking your prescription pain medication, obviously you cannot drive. Most of our patients don’t use their pain medication, however, opting instead for simple over-the-counter pain medication. Otherwise, as long as you’re able to make the movements necessary for proper driving and safety, you’ll be able to drive. Many patients wait until their pain basically resolves, which is just a couple of days, for the most part, to start driving again. If you’re concerned about swelling and going out in public, give it a week.

Blonde woman in her 50's smiling at the camera

Blepharoplasty Risks

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, injury to an eye, and a downward pulling of the lower eyelid (ectropion). Dr. Kunkel carefully discusses the procedure, the recovery, and the risks with each patient.

Is Blepharoplasty Surgery Covered By Insurance?

Blepharoplasty is typically a cosmetic procedure, not covered by health insurance.  Some people have trouble seeing things above them or beside them.  This may happen when the skin of the upper eyelid droops so much that it impairs light getting to the eye.  Visual field tests performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist help diagnose this problem.  A person who has a visual field test indicating impairment of vision due to droopiness of the upper eyelids may be a candidate for insurance to pay for upper eyelid blepharoplasties.  If someone is hoping to have insurance pay for the procedure, that person would need to have a visual field test confirming the problem.  In those cases, Dr. Kunkel writes a letter to the person’s insurance company to see if they might pay for the procedure.

How Much Does Cosmetic Eyelid (Blepharoplasty) Surgery Cost In Fort Worth?

The prices listed below include Dr. Kunkel’s fee, the surgical facility fee, and the anesthesia fee.  Prescription medications cost extra.  Insurance may pay the majority of the costs of these but that varies by insurance company.

  • Upper eyelid blepharoplasty surgery:  about $4,200.
  • Lower eyelid blepharoplasty surgery:  $4,500 to $5,000.
  • Combined upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty surgery:  about $6,500.
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What will happen at my consultation for eyelid surgery?

Dr. Kunkel wants patients to be very involved in their consultations. He has no interest in lecturing the patient. What he wants is a complete give-and-take of information between the two of you. Throughout your meeting, he encourages any and all questions you may have about your eyelid surgery. He asks you what it is you dislike about your eyelids and the areas surrounding them. What specific issues do you have? What would you like to change? What do you think is attainable? 

Having your situation in hand, Dr. Kunkel will then perform a thorough examination of your eyelids. He’ll examine your levator muscles to see how much they’ve slackened. He’ll look at the degree of your sagging skin, especially on your upper eyelids. As he gathers this information, Dr. Kunkel will get an idea of the best methods to fit your situation.

He’ll then walk you through the surgery. He’ll talk about your incision options and what each entails. He’ll likely show you some before and after photos of others with aging similar to yours. He’ll discuss what you can expect with your recovery. Finally, he’ll discuss what sorts of results you can expect with blepharoplasty.

Whether you choose to go ahead and have this surgery or not, at the end of your consultation you should be quite knowledgeable of what’s involved.

Schedule A Consultation

To schedule a consultation or to learn more about our blepharoplasty procedures, contact us today at 817.335.5200

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