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 goal is to eliminate any medical issue in the eyelid and to provide aesthetically beautiful, natural-looking results with as minimal treatment as possible. Dr. Murrell wants his patients to walk away looking and feeling more confident, more youthful, and more like themselves.
What is Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery is a procedure that helps correct eyelid malpositions, improve eyelid function and enhance eyelid appearance. The most common eyelid surgery is blepharoplasty which is done to remove excessive eyelids skin and underlying fat. The goal of blepharoplasty is to tighten the skin and lessen or remove puffiness and sagging.
Since the eyelid skin is very thin it is often one of the first areas to show signs of aging. Eyelids that sag or droop can affect peripheral vision, making daily activities such as driving more difficult. Patients may require a blepharoplasty when various factors such as aging, sun damage, smoking, and obesity, cause the skin to stretch and underlying tissues to weaken.
Eyelid surgery is one of the few cosmetic procedures that are popular with both women and men. This is because 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.
Blepharoplasty candidates commonly have sagging skin and fat pockets under their eyes. In addition, the sagging skin and excess fat can interfere with the patient’s field of vision. In both cases, patients can receive a blepharoplasty to correct one or both concerns. Patients that are interested in undergoing surgery must have eye conditions, such as dry eye, under control first as it would interfere with the surgery and the results.
Types of Eyelid Surgery
If patients are unhappy with the appearance of their eyelids or having trouble seeing, they can undergo eyelid surgery. Dr. Murrell performs eyelid surgery for functional, reconstructive, and cosmetic purposes.
If the eyelids begin sagging into the field of vision, patients may want to consider a functional blepharoplasty. The procedure may be covered by medical insurance if it is deemed medically necessary. Dr. Murrell can determine how much vision is affected by checking the peripheral visual field with an instrument called the Humphrey Visual Field (HVF) Analyzer.
Eyelid Reconstruction Surgery
Dr. Murrell usually performs reconstructive surgery after the removal of an eyelid tumor. Dr. Murrell takes tissue from an adjacent eyelid or nearby area and uses it to reconstruct the eyelid that previously had the tumor.
A cosmetic blepharoplasty is ideal for patients with stretched skin or fat protrusions that do not interfere with vision or field of vision. The blepharoplasty procedure is therefore not medically necessary in this case and will not be covered by insurance.
Benefits of Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery
Most people say the eyes are the area of the face they notice first when meeting a new person and sagging eyelids can make a person appear tired and much older. Cosmetic eyelid surgery with Dr. Murrell can take years off the facial age of the patient. Plus, those improvements can last up to 10-20 years. Eyelid surgery will make you look younger and more refreshed.
Eyelid Surgery Consultation with Dr. Murrell
Following an initial examination of your eyelids, you and Dr. Murrell will have a consultation about your oculoplastic issue. Dr. Murrell may also perform extra testing that can pinpoint the problem. This will help 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.
“Had a real good experience. Everything was explained clearly and everybody was pleasant and professional. The ladies who handle booking and insurance are the best. I’m very pleased with the results. Thank y’all.” – Molly D.
Additional Eyelid Problems
During testing Dr. Murrell is looking for signs of eyelid problems such as the following:
- 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
Patients can choose to have eyelid surgery on one or both eyelids. Both procedures start with small incisions. During upper eyelid surgery, Dr. Murrell will make the incision in the natural crease of the eyelid, concealing it effectively. Then, he will remove excess skin, reposition or remove fat, and tighten the underlying muscle tissue.
During lower eyelid surgery, Dr. Murrell can make one of two incisions. It can be placed just below the lower eyelash or inside the lower eyelid. Next, Dr. Murrell removes excess skin it to eliminate puffiness and bags.
During both procedures, Dr. Murrell pays particular attention to fat in both eyelids since he does not want to remove too much. If that were to happen patients could have a hollowed out appearance. Instead, Dr. Murrell removes some of the fat and contours the area to maintain a natural and healthy look.
Where Does Dr. Murrell Perform Eyelid Surgery?
In addition to Blepharoplasties, Dr. Murrell’s surgeries also include ptosis repair, ectropion repair, entropion repair, eyelid tumor removal, eyelid 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 facility is dedicated to performing eye and eyelid surgeries only, has an exceptional reputation, and has been in operation since 1991.
In addition to the above-mentioned procedures, Dr. Murrell removes eyelid lesions, performs eyelid biopsies, and does Botox injections for patients with blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm. He performs these minor procedures in his main office at the Panhandle Eye Group building.
Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery Recovery
After surgery, patients will be instructed to apply a cold compress for at least 48 hours. 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 a week and a half. While patients are likely to experience some residual swelling, they will already start to see some improvement in your eyelids. Typically, eyelids will look better in about 3 months and fully healed by 6 months.
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 years younger after blepharoplasty.
How Do I Schedule Eyelid Surgery?
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, it is not considered medically necessary. As a result, the eyelid surgery is not covered by insurance and is self-pay.
Eyelid surgery, especially on the upper eyelid, requires a pre-certification from the insurance company (except for Medicare). Please give your insurance company about a month to reply. Any insurance requirements will be verified by our surgery coordinator prior to surgery.
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 the surgery has been pre-certified, our office can schedule your surgery.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about functional or cosmetic 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.