After Dr. Murrell completed his ophthalmology residency, he trained at a prestigious oculoplastic fellowship with Robert Wilkins, M.D. at the University of Texas. Dr. Wilkins wrote the landmark chapter on Blepharoplasty in the textbook “Oculoplastics.” One can consider this textbook a cornerstone of Oculoplastic knowledge. Since learning from the best, Dr. Murrell has performed thousands of Eyelid surgeries. His goals are to eliminate any medical issue in the eyelid and to provide aesthetically beautiful, natural-looking results with as minimal treatment as possible. He wants his patients to walk away looking and feeling more confident, more youthful, and more like themselves.
What is Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?
Eyelid surgery is a plastic surgery procedure that helps to correct sagging or drooping eyelids. The eyelid, because its skin is much thinner than that in other parts of the face, is often one of the first facial areas to exhibit signs of aging. Eyelids that sag or droop can affect peripheral vision, making daily activities such as driving more difficult. Blepharoplasty may become necessary when various factors, which include aging, sun damage, smoking, and obesity, cause the muscles and tissue that support the eyelids to weaken.
Am I a Candidate for a Blepharoplasty?
Cosmetic eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty, is one of the few cosmetic procedures that is equally popular with both women and men. Why? Aging eyes don’t play favorites by gender. In fact, over the last decade, more and more men are having the procedure to compete with younger counterparts at the office.
A potential eyelid surgery patient with Dr. Murrell will have sagging skin and fat pockets on their eyelids, making the person appear older. Basically, anyone over the age of 40 is a great candidate for blepharoplasty. The only exceptions are those with eye conditions such as glaucoma, dry eye, or a detached retina. These conditions would interfere with blepharoplasty.
In some cases, sagging eyelids are interfering with the patient’s vision. In these situations, we perform functional blepharoplasty to actually improve vision, particularly peripheral vision. Functional blepharoplasty is often covered by insurance.
Eyelid Surgery Candidates
Following an initial examination of your eyelid(s), you and Dr. Murrell will then have a consultation about your oculoplastic issue. It may also be medically necessary, your cosmetic choice, or both. Extra testing can also help pinpoint the problem and determine the best strategy or procedure to repair the eyelid. This testing can often be done in the office and includes external photos, visual field testing, tear duct testing, tear film analysis, and biopsy of eyelid lesions. We can also order testing outside the office such as CT scan, MRI and blood tests.
Common Eyelid Problems:
For instance, some common eyelid problems that affect people are:
- Ptosis of the upper eyelid (droopy lids)
- Ectropion of the lower lid (lid pulling down and/or out)
- Entropion of the lower lid (lid turning inward)
- Eyelid Lesion of the upper and/or lower eyelids
- Eyelid Tumors on the upper and/or lower eyelids
- Reconstructive Surgery on upper and/or lower lids
- Orbital Surgery (including tumor biopsy and tumor removal)
- Blepharospasm and Hemifacial Spasm
Reasons For Blepharoplasty
Blepharoplasty tightens the eyelid’s muscles and tissue and removes excess fat and skin. Blepharoplasty eliminates the drooping of skin into the visual field, greatly improving peripheral vision. Dr. Murrell performs this procedure strictly for cosmetic reasons.
- Functional Blepharoplasty – If the eyelids begin sagging into the field of vision, we may require a functional blepharoplasty. The procedure may be covered by medical insurance if it is deemed medically necessary. A determination of how much vision is affected is done by checking the peripheral visual field with an instrument called the Humphrey Visual Field (HVF) Analyzer.
The goal of blepharoplasty is to tighten the skin and lessen or remove puffiness and sagging. The procedure is delicate and involves small incisions. Patients can opt to have eyelid surgery on one or both eyelids.
In the upper eyelid, we make the incision 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. We make the incision just below the lower eyelash or inside the lower eyelid. With the lower eyelid, excess skin is often the culprit and we remove it to eliminate puffiness and bags.
Dr. Murrell pays particular attention to fat in both eyelids, and his extensive oculoplastic surgery experience is important. Some doctors remove too much fat, leaving the patient with a hollow look in the area. Dr. Murrell usually leaves most of the fat, opting to simply reposition it to maintain a natural look.
Eyelid Reconstruction Surgery
Dr. Murrell usually performs reconstructive surgery after the removal of an eyelid tumor. The tissue that Dr. Murrell takes from an adjacent eyelid or nearby area, he uses to reconstruct the eyelid that had the tumor.
Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery Benefits
Most people say the eyes are the area of the face they notice first when meeting a new person. But due to the thin skin of the eyelids, they can be early victims of the sun damage and general sagging that come with aging. Saggy eyelids can make a person appear tired and much older. Cosmetic eyelid surgery with Dr. Murrell takes about 10 years off the facial age of the patient. Plus, those improvements are permanent. Another benefit of eyelid surgery is that no one will know you’ve had it; they’ll just know you somehow look younger and more refreshed.
Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery Recovery
After your surgery, you will return home with a cold compress and lubricating eye drops. If you are diligent with the compress, you can keep swelling and bruising to a minimum. For most patients, Dr. Murrell will remove the stitches in about one week. You will have some residual swelling, but you will already see a large improvement in your eyes. Your full results will then show over the next couple of weeks as the last swelling runs its course.
Generally speaking, cosmetic eyelid surgery delivers permanent results. Yes, your eyelids will continue to age and sag to some degree, but the fat and extra skin that Dr. Murrell removes is gone for good. Not to mention, most patients feel like their faces look about 10 years younger after blepharoplasty. You will continue to age but from a decade younger starting point.
Where is the Eyelid procedure performed?
In addition to Blepharoplasties, Dr. Murrell’s surgeries also include ptosis repair, ectropion repair, entropion repair, eyelid tumor removal and reconstruction, and tear duct surgery. Dr. Murrell performs these operations in his surgery building, the Amarillo Cataract, and Eye Surgery Center. This is an outpatient surgery center located just three buildings away from his main office. This faility dedicates to performing eye and eyelid surgeries only, has an exceptional reputation, and has been in operation since 1991.
In addition, Dr. Murrell removes eyelid lesions, performs eyelid biopsies, and does Botox injections for patients with blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm. These minor procedures are performed in his main office at the Panhandle Eye Group building.
Scheduling, Insurance, and Payment
When you visit our Amarillo, TX office for a Blepharoplasty evaluation, please be aware that your insurance may not cover the surgery. Upper Lid Blepharoplasty can sometimes be considered medically necessary because it can interfere with the superior or lateral field of vision. In other cases, Upper Lid Blepharoplasty is considered not medically necessary and is not covered by your insurance. That means insurance considers it a cosmetic procedure and it will be self-pay.
Due to scheduling conflicts or insurance regulations, testing and procedures often need to be on separate days. Once you and Dr. Murrell have chosen the best course of action, and once the surgery has been pre-certified, then the surgery can be scheduled.
Eyelid surgery, especially Upper-Lid Blepharoplasty, requires a pre-certification from the insurance company (except for Medicare). Please expect a reply from your insurance company in about a month. Any insurance requirements will be verified by our surgery coordinator prior to surgery.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about Eyelid Surgery and would like to see if you are a good candidate, please call (806) 351-1177 or (800) 782-6393 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Murrell at our office in Amarillo, TX.