Upper blepharoplasty by resident?

I am considering having upper eyelid surgery at a well respected resident clinic. I know there is some risk in having a procedure done by someone who is at the beginning of their career, but I would imagine that the risk would increase with more difficult or technical procedures. Is this considered a complicated or relatively straightforward procedure? Would it be one that would be in the purview of a 6th year resident at a top-10 med school clinic? (No photos due to privacy considerations.)

Doctor Answers 4

Upper blepharoplasty by resident?

Should you have your upper blepharoplasties done by a senior-level resident (trainee)? On the one hand you obtain the procedure at a greatly reduced cost. Moreover, you contribute to the training experience of a plastic surgery resident. I wish that we had had resident aesthetic clinics in the era when I trained. We did not, and were expected simply to learn aesthetic skills on our own. On the other hand there is virtually no such thing as a 'simple' operation; I have found that I continue to refine even the most straightforward operations some thirty years into my career. If you are seeking the best possible outcome, as one of my colleagues has already stated on this page, there is absolutely no substitute for experience. All the best!

Resident surgery

Residents are supervised closely by attending surgeons. The attending surgeons are well respected surgeons with extensive experience.   Discuss your concerns with your surgeon.  The residents are limited in scheduling and when they can see you because of their schedules.

George Orloff, MD, FACS
Burbank Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Upper blepharoplasty candidate

Without a full set of pictures, it's very difficult to comment on what may be required and how difficult the procedure  would be. Experience is very important in elective cosmetic eyelid surgery. It probably best to have a frank discussion with the supervising surgeon about their level of expertise that the resident surgeon can deliver an excellent result

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

I wish I could tell you that this is a great idea.

I seriously doubt the money you are going to save is worth subjecting yourself to this.  These surgeries are highly technique dependent.  If you are simply having functional surgery and do not particularly care about the outcome, then perhaps you will be satisfied with the result.  However, cosmetic eyelid surgery is truly fussy and requires very finesse and care.  There is no substitute for experience. 

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.