Why Choose Dr. Zenn?

Unparalleled Training
  • Plastic Surgery Residency: Harvard / Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Facial Surgery Fellowship: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • General Surgery Residency: Cornell / NY Presbyterian Hospital
  • Medical School: Cornell Medical College (Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society)
  • Undergraduate: University of Pennsylvania (Phi Beta Kappa)
Extraordinary Experience
  • Former Vice Chief, Full Professor, Duke Plastic Surgery
  • Director of Duke Plastic Surgery Resident training for a decade
  • Has performed thousands of complex facial surgeries over his 25-year career
  • Recognized as a master surgeon by colleagues around the world
  • Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

What is Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?

Eyelid surgery or Blepharoplasty is surgery to correct signs of aging in the eye area. Over time our eyes lose their youthful almond shape, lids begin to sag and develop excess skin, and wrinkles appear at the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet). Additionally, fat that normally supports the eye area may shrink and shift in location, leaving hollows above or creating eyelid bags below. Raleigh board-certified plastic surgeon Michael R. Zenn, M.D. performs eyelid surgery to correct these issues leaving you looking younger and refreshed!

Dr. Zenn’s Approach

Blepharoplasty surgery can correct signs of aging through a variety of techniques, depending on the cause of the problem. It may include the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Therefore, correctly diagnosing the problem is a crucial first step toward fixing it. Dr. Zenn’s extensive and unique experience with complex surgeries in the eye area, allow him to diagnose issues quickly and accurately.

Upon examination, Dr. Zenn may find that you have excess skin or fat tissue in the eye area that needs removal. Or, he may determine you have drooping eyelids or eyebrows that require a suspension or lift. And maybe he will find a loss of tissue (fat) around your eyes causing them to look hollow; this is best fixed with fat grafts. He may determine that you are not a surgical candidate (yet) and suggest Botox® and/or dermal fillers for improvement. Of course, patients often suffer from more than one of these conditions.

At times Dr. Zenn recommends that patients combine blepharoplasty surgery with other procedures for a more comprehensive aesthetic improvement. Often he will perform a browlift and eyelid surgery in the same surgical session. By elevating the eyebrows that droop over the eyelids, he can often open the eye area further which gives the patient a more youthful and rested appearance.

Your Blepharoplasty Consultation

During your initial consultation, we encourage you to openly share your aesthetic concerns. This is an unrushed opportunity to talk about what you like and dislike about the way your eyes look. It also gives you a chance to get to know Dr. Zenn.

Once Dr. Zenn learns about your health background and has a clear understanding of your goals and expectations, he will examine you to determine if eyelid surgery alone or in combination with other procedures is the right approach for your needs. After all, some patients are not ready for surgery and benefit from non-surgical treatments like Botox and the Juvéderm® family of facial fillers.  These patients can have these treatments at the time of consultation if desired – with no downtime.

Following your exam Dr. Zenn will share his extensive gallery of before and after photos with you. In particular, he will show you past patients who had similar concerns to yours — and explain what he did to correct the problem.

Your personal treatment plan will be developed based on aesthetic evaluation, your desires, and the amount of downtime you have available for recovery. When you are ready to move forward, you will schedule your pre-operative appointment and surgery.

Your Eyelid Surgery Experience

Eyelid Surgery, Blepharoplasty, Zenn Plastic Surgery, Raleigh, NCAll Zenn Plastic Surgery patients have surgery in accredited ambulatory surgery centers in the Raleigh – Durham – Wake Forest – Cary area. A board-certified anesthesiologist (MD) will administer anesthesia and provide you with additional medication so that you sleep through the procedure and awaken pain-free and comfortable.

During blepharoplasty surgery, Dr. Zenn will:

  • Remove only the amount of excess skin and fat necessary to achieve a natural, refreshed appearance. Because if too much skin is removed, the eye may not close naturally (and everyone will be able to tell you had plastic surgery)
  • Replenish lost fullness with facial fat transfer to fill the hollows above the eyes, smooth out bags below the eyes and/or fill in cheeks, all to give the face more youthful, shapely contours. Fat grafting is a game changer; it can make a huge difference in your final result and is often a missed opportunity for correction.
  • Pro-actively tighten the eyelid by strengthening supporting structures of the eye. This advanced technique called a canthopexy will prevent the lower lid from being pulled down and the shape of the eye changing following surgery.
  • Employ precision instruments to create small, very well-concealed incisions.

I have received so many compliments about how “radiant” I look!! If I could give 6 stars, I would! Sincere thanks to Dr. Zenn and his team.

Your Recovery from Blepharoplasty Surgery

Eyelid Surgery is outpatient and most patients leave the surgery center an hour after surgery.

While eyelid surgery is not painful, patients are advised to take it easy the first week post-surgery. Relaxing and applying ice packs ensures the least amount of swelling and bruising. Bruising, when present may last up to two weeks, so prevention is key. At that point, swelling is minimal and make up can be worn. Many patients choose to work from home during that second week if they do not want others to know they had a procedure.

You will see Dr. Zenn the day after surgery for your first post-op appointment. There will be another office visit at one week for removal of sutures. With most patients back to work at two weeks, follow up is generally for your “after” photos in two months. Of course, Dr. Zenn and his team are available for your questions or concerns at any time.

Blepharoplasty FAQs

  • Will others be able to tell I had eyelid surgery?

    The beauty of eyelid surgery is that the scars can be well hidden and hard for others to see. For the upper eyelids, the scar disappears whenever the eye is open. For the lower eyelid, the scar can be hidden directly under your eyelashes. In many cases, no skin incision is needed and excess fat giving you eyelid “bags” can be removed from inside the eyelid.

  • What causes me to look so tired all the time...even when I’m well rested?

    Due to the delicate nature of our eyes, the thin skin and fat that protects the eye area is often the first to show signs of aging. Upper eyelids may have extra skin, causing “hooding” of the eyes. Sometimes there is too much fat protruding around the upper eyes or, conversely, a loss of fat tissue around the eyes leaving them aged and hollow.

    The lower eye area famously has “bags”, a protrusion of the protective eye fat that appears as large bulges under the eyes. There may be excessive wrinkles in the lower area as well due to too much skin. And finally, as we age our lower eyelids weaken and the shape of our eye opening becomes less almond-like and more rounded and elderly appearing. All of these changes contribute to that tired look, even with a full night’s sleep!

  • What is the difference between an upper and a lower blepharoplasty?

    While both the upper and lower eyelids help to close the eyes, that’s where their similarities end. Upper and lower eyelids have different anatomic features and are affected by aging differently. Upper eyelids suffer less from effects of gravity, and more from things like allergies (rubbing) and damage from sun exposure. An upper blepharoplasty is straightforward, with simple removal of skin and adjustment of the fat behind the lid.

    For lower blepharoplasty, things are not as straightforward. Dr. Zenn has the expertise to understand this and treats the lower eyelid accordingly. Surgery on the lower lid tends to pull the eyelid down due to the weakness of the lid as we age. And that is a tell-tale sign that someone has had a lower blepharoplasty. Dr. Zenn’s technique will tighten and support the lower lid so the end result looks very natural.

    Incisions from upper and lower blepharoplasty are well hidden in the natural creases around the eyes. In fact, sometimes, Dr. Zenn can remove fat bulges from inside the eyelid so there are no scars in the skin at all. Surgery is not painful, and most patients can return to work in one week.

  • What is the cost of eyelid surgery?

    The cost of blepharoplasty surgery will depend on the elements of your personal treatment plan. Some cases are more complex due to pre-existing eye problems like dry-eye, and eyebrow or eyelid droop; these conditions may require longer surgery. At Zenn Plastic Surgery, the quoted package price is all-inclusive. It covers the consultation, pre-op appointment, before and after photos, scar gel, garments, all follow-up appointments, facility and anesthesia fees.

    There is a common misconception that insurance will cover eyelid surgery. This is true in very select cases. Dr. Zenn will inform you if insurance will cover your condition. Zenn Plastic Surgery provides patients with several convenient payment options, including financing through Care Credit and Alphaeon Credit.