Sick of my Bags - Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty (Transconjunctival) w/ Fat Repositioning & Chemical Peel - Beverly Hills, CA

I'm counting down the days until I can finally...

I'm counting down the days until I can finally have surgery to get rid of my lower eyelid bags. I have had them since my early 30's and they have gotten worse over the years. I'm so tired of looking tired and I am getting so excited for my upcoming surgery. I am having a lower lid Blepharoplasty with fat repositioning.

My Baggage

Consultation with Dr. Hoenig

I had a consultation with Dr. Jonathan Hoenig in Beverly Hills CA. During the consultation Dr. Hoenig said that the bags under my eyes were cause by the fat under the muscles having slowly moved in a position in front of the muscle. He demonstrated on me by having me squint. When the muscles under my eyes were squeezed, the bags under my eyes disappeared. He said my eye muscles were in good shape. He also said that when the fat moved, it left very thin skinned "valleys" under my eye bags. You can actually feel the bone directly underneath. He said that by repositioning my existing fat under these "valleys" he could restore a smooth transition from my eyes to my cheekbones. He actually said he was glad that I had such big bags because he had a lot to work with, and to him, that was a very good thing. He also did a few more tests and concluded that I wouldn't have a lot of extra skin that needed to be removed and that I would just need a chemical peel to combat the small wrinkles, or I could opt for a small skin pinch. Either way it was up to me. Dr. Hoenig was very friendly and his examination was extremely thorough. I had planned on meeting with a couple of other Ocularplastic Surgeons before making my final decision, but after my consultation with Dr. Hoenig, I knew he was the doctor for me. My fiancé' was with me during my consultation and he agreed. I have scheduled my surgery for February 13th. I have an appointment next week with my GP to get all of the necessary blood work done and an EKG. I have a Pre Op appointment with Dr. Hoenig on February 3rd. I am excited to finally get rid of theses bags. I'll be able to stop wearing my sunglasses indoors! Woohoo!

Had an Eye Exam and Pre Op Tests

I went to my GP today to get the Pre Op tests that Dr. Hoenig requires before surgery. I have to wait to get the results of my blood tests, but I was told my EKG was normal. I also thought it would probably be a good idea to get an eye exam before surgery, so last week I got an eye exam. I learned that I now have to wear progressive lenses instead of the readers that I have used for the last fifteen years. I guess it comes with the territory of getting older. LOL. Anyway, the Optometrist also told me that I have dry eyes and clogged pores on my eye lids. I do have problem of losing eye lashes from time to time. I never thought it was related to dry eyes. I though maybe I was over exuberant when I used my eye lash curler. (I have small, close set eyes and I have always tried to make them look larger by using and eye lash curler and lots of mascara.) I am a little concerned about the Blepharoplasty since I know it can cause dry eyes, and finding out that I already suffer from it does make me worry a little. After some research I realized that the dry eyes usually come from the incision made under the eye and not from the Transconjunctival approach, which is what I am having done. My research eased my mind, but I will, of course, voice my concerns with Dr. Hoenig at my Pre Op appointment with him this coming Monday February 3rd.

Pre Op with Dr. Hoenig today

I had my Pre Op with Dr. Hoenig this morning. First, we went over my blood tests and EKG results, which were all normal. I also told him that I had had an eye exam and that they discovered that I had slightly dry eyes. He said that it was pretty common these days, especially those of us living in smoggy LA. Then, he examined my eyes. He said that he would be doing a Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty and a light chemical peel under my eyes to reduce some of the fine lines and wrinkles. He decided to be conservative and not do a skin pinch. The skin under my eyes is just a tiny bit loose and he said that because of my dry eyes he thought we should take a conservative approach. If, in the future, I want to do it I can. His feeling about taking a conservative approach immediately made me feel that I had made the right decision about choosing him as my Surgeon and I knew right then that I was in very good hands. (When I did my research before scheduling surgery, I discovered that the under eye incisions are the ones that can not only cause the bottom lids to pull down, but that that type of incision can make you more susceptible to getting dry eyes after surgery.) He then discussed the surgery again with me step by step. I will be awake for the surgery and he assured me that I will be fine and that it is was essential that I be awake so I can assist him with the fat positioning. After meeting with Dr Hoenig I then meet with his nurse Naomi. She gave me a bottle of Arnika Forte, which is a pill consisting of both Arnica and Bromelian, along with Anitoxidants and Biofavonoids. I am to start taking it two times a day immediately following surgery. She also gave me a bottle of Hibiclens. I was told to wash my hair and face with it the night before and the morning of surgery. Next she gave me was a tube of Auriderm post-op gel that I was to apply to any bruising. I asked if it was Arnica and Naomi said that it was not. She said they use to use Arnica oinment and that they had found that the Auriderm ointment was actually more effective in reducing bruising. I was also told to start cutting back on salt from this day forward and to not take any blood thinning medication. I left feeling very positive and excited about my upcoming surgery. Dr. Hoenig is a very friendly person and so was his staff. Even his beautiful wife works in his office! Now, all I have to do is just watch my salt intake and start counting down the days. My surgery is in less than two weeks! Thursday, February 13th at 8AM. Wish me luck!

Just so you know how bad my bags are

surgery day

My fiancé and I arrived at Dr. Hoenig's office about fifteen minutes early. While I was waiting, the receptionist handed me more releases to sign. In less than five minutes, we were greeted with a warm smile by Dr. Hoenig who then escorted us to a room. Dr Hoenig asked how I was feeling. I told him that I had a headache, he asked if it was from nerves, but I was pretty sure it was from not having my morning coffee. He said that after the procedure he would make sure I got a cup of coffee. How sweet! He then said he would be right back to take some pictures of my eyes and put some numbing cream under my eyes and he would also give me some happy pills (Valium). Then his nurse Naomi came in and gave me even more paperwork to sign. While I was signing paperwork, Dr. Hoeing came in and gave me the "Happy Pills" (they were Valium). He soon returned, took the pictures, put numbing cream under my eyes and gave two more pills. There was a stack of forms to sign and that took a while, but soon Dr, Hoenig returned to go over the procedure again. He asked me if it would be okay if two Doctors from Europe watched my procedure. One Doctor was from Greece and the other Doctor was from Spain. I said, "Sure, the more the merrier." Yeah, I think the pills had kicked in. I really didn't mind at all if they watch. I actually thought it would be interesting to see what questions they might ask the doctor during my procedure. My fiancé joked that it was okay as long as they didn't eat JuJube candies during the procedure. Dr. Hoeing laughed and said not to worry because no eating was allowed in the surgery room. If you're not familiar with the reference it's from an very funny Seinfeld episode. Then Dr. Hoenig also offered me some Demoral, but I decided I was relaxed enough. I then changed into a surgery gown and was escorted to the surgery room where there was bueautiful music playing, I can't say that it was entirely painless procedure, but it was not bad at all. I have had much more pain at the dentist office, If I did feel any pain he would give me another shot. He kept saying that I didn't have to grin and bare it. If I felt pain I needed to tell him. The observing doctors made the experience even more interesting. Dr. Hoenig explained to me step by step what he was doing and the other doctors' questions helped me understand even more. I did start to shake a little and said that I was cold, despite having two blankets over me. I think it was just nerves, but Dr. Hoenig put another blanker over me and tried to lighten the mood with a few jokes. He also started quizzing me on the musical artist playing on the radio. "Who's that? Do you know who that is?" Soon it was all over and Dr. Hoenig helped me up, took my arm, and escorted me back to one of the regular rooms. Naomi brought me some frozen peas and brought my fiancé' into the room. In a few minutes Dr. Honeig came in and said that I was such a wonderful patient he was going to get me that coffee I wanted so much. He asked what I wanted and actually left the office to get it for me himsef! He returned with a delicious latte! Now that's excellent bed side manner, wouldn't you say? He said to relax for a while and he would return to put some ointment in my eyes and he said after that I was ready to go home. He put the ointment in my eyes, making sure my fiancé' watched, so he would know how to do it. After about five minutes Naomi came in and helped me get dressed. He then brought in a wheelchair. I got in it, and Steve (my fiancé') and I said our goodbyes to Dr. Hoenig, and then Naomi wheeled me all the way to our car.

Day after Surgery Friday February 14, 2014

Just a few hours after I got home from my surgery yesterday Dr. Hoenig called to see how I was doing.I told him that I was still having bloody tears which started right after the surgery. He said that it was not unusual and that it should stop soon, but if it continued or got worse that I should call him. He said that I was an excellent patient and that he felt that I was going to have a wonderful result and that I would be very pleased. He also reiterated that If i should have any questions I should not hesitate to call him. Today, Friday, I am feeling pretty good. I'm not in any pain, which really surprised me. I continue to ice every hour for 45 minutes with a 15 minute break. (I am to continue icing until noon on Saturday.) I have also started taking the Arnica/Bromelain supplement Dr. Hoenig gave me twice a day and taking two Tylenols every four hours four the next twenty four hours. I have posted pictures of what my eyes looked like after surgery and also what they look like today, but I'm not sure how helpful they will be to other members. Dr. Hoenig likes to cover the surgery site. He believes it aids in lessening bruising and swelling. The bandages will stay on for a week until I see D. Hoenig again and he takes them off. I am actually glad my eyes are covered with bandages. I know that during the first week the swelling and bruising is at it's worse and since I can't see them I can't obsess about them. I certainly hope they look better in a week. Since I can't look at myself, all I can do is get plenty of rest, take my meds, ice my face, try to avoid salt, eat lots of protein, and fresh fruits and vegetables. I look like a strange football player with these big white patches under my eyes, but I trust my doctor and I will try my best to think positive thoughts and keep myself busy doing other things. But of course, no bending or exercise. Okay, that's it for now. I need to put more ice on my face. Happy Healing everybody!

Out of sequence this photos was taken immediately after surgery

Second Day after Surgery

It's Saturday February 15h and I had my surgery just two days ago. I'm feeling pretty good today. My eyes do feel tired and the skin around my eyes is definitely redder too. Also, my dry eyes have started to bother me as well, so I've been using my moisturizing eye drops again and they help a lot. Even though I can't see under the bandages I can also tell that am much more swollen today, which is to be expected. My eyes also feel kind of strained and scratchy.. I'm in a pretty good mood but my body is just exhausted. I know that when you plan on having any kind of surgery your body gets really excited in anticipation of the big event and then when it is over you just crash. I think that's what's happening to me right now. But all and all I am still feeling excited and I am anticipating a wonderful outcome. I feel very blessed. I am resting comfortably with my wonderful fiancé' and my sweet kitty cats. I've actually enjoyed sleeping on our recliner in the living room, It is very comfortable I highly recommend that anyone else considering this surgery buys one, rents one, or borrows one because it makes recuperating after surgery so much easier. Also, I've gotten a little break from the fiancé' and his awful snoring. LOL.That's about it for now. My eyes are getting tired. Thanks, Lee.

Third day after Surgery

Last night I got another call from Dr. Hoenig. He just wanted to know how I was feeling. I told him that the skin around my eyes was much redder and I was also a bit more swollen. He said that that was normal at this stage. He also wanted to make sure that I had stopped icing because it would no longer be helpful. Good thing he called when he did because I was going to keep icing for a little while longer. He said that I should switch to warm compresses. He asked me if I had a heating pad and that I should use that. I'm just not sure how to use my heating pad because it is so big. Hmmmm. Anyone out there know how to use a normal sized heating pad over your eyes? Anyway, he asked if my bandages were still staying put and I told him they were. He also reiterated again that if should I have questions I could call him on his cell phone. I That was last night, Today, Sunday, I am still doing really well, but I am starting to get a little BORED. And I desperately want to wash my hair, but I don't want to risk getting my bandages wet. I opted for taking a bath, which felt great. Washing my hair will have to wait. Dr. Hoenig will take my bandages off on Thursday. Does that mean I can take a shower and wash my hair Thursday night? I sure hope so.

Fourth day Post Op

I feel that I am healing very well, but I am on my fourth day post op and I am starting to feeling a little restless. Also, eyes are red and watery and I am beginning to tire of the white bandages under my eyes.My eyes also feel like I have lashes sticking in them. Could that be the stitches? But don't get me wrong about the bandages. I am very glad I've had them. I am also concerned about my right eye. It just seems more irritated and watery. I will be seeing Dr. Hoenig in three days and I am sure he will tell me everything is coming along nicely. But,,, just like others on this site I am feeling kind of down today. Dr. Hoenig has been so kind. After my surgery last Thursday he called me that evening to see how I was doing. He also called me Saturday night and said that I should not hesitate to call him on his cell phone if I am at all concerned about anything. If I am still obsessing about my right eye tomorrow I will definitely call him to just put my mind at ease. All and all, I am doing fine. Most of what I am feeling is just annoying. I am not feeling any pain and I am still getting very edited to see what it oohs like under the bandages. Happy Healing, Lee.

Sixth Day Post Op

This is day six since my surgery. I have been concerned about my right eye because it has been very red and much more watery than my left eye. After sending Dr. Hoenig a photo and also speaking to his nurse Naomi, I understand that it is because my right eye posed a little bit more of a challenge. I have small close set eyes and apparently they are more difficult to work on and I also had less fat underneath my right eye. Dr. hoeing said that I was healing right on schedule and that putting warm compresses on my eyes should help with my discomfort. Today I had enough energy to take a shower. I even washed my hair! Thanks to JLACA and her clever idea to make a face shield out of aluminum foil so I wouldn't get my face wet. It worked great! Now, I'm really looking forward to my appointment with Dr.Hoenig tomorrow. I can't wait for him to remove the bandages from under my eyes so I can actually see how my eyes are healing. WIsh me luck!

Day six post op

One week Checkup - Stiches and bandages removed

I saw Dr. Hoenig this morning for my one week checkup. He removed my bandages and the stitches that held my new fat pad positioning. (The stitches on the inside my eyelids are dissolvable.) He told me that my right eye had developed Chemosis, which is what caused what looked like a gooey discharge and a red color in the corner of my eye. It is actually a swelling of the membrane that covers the eye. He massaged my eye, which immediately relieved the pressure and my slight discomfort. He also gave me shot and a prescription for steroid eye drops. He said I am healing well. I have very little bruising, but a lot of swelling. The swelling was due to the fact that I could not have the usual bandages under my eyes because of my allergy to adhesive tape. He had to put paper tape down first and then the tape he normally uses, which is why I had more swelling than his usual patients. He told me to use warm compresses 4 to 6 times a day and to use the steroid drops 4 times a day. If I don't see an improvement in my Chemosis is the next few days I will see him on Monday and he will put a patch over my right eye. The pressure of an eye patch would aid in the draining of the fluid. I am honestly quite pleased with what I saw under the bandages. I expected a lot more bruising. I have a little bit of redness from the chemical peel and my cheeks are very swollen, but I can already tell that my bags will eventually be gone forever!

Ten days post op

I was really worried about the Chemisis in my right eye, but thanks to the Steroid shot and the Steroid eye drops Dr. Hoenig gave me it is almost gone. I also started nit picking about the lumps and bumps, redness and swelling, but each day I am looking better and better. I really have to thank my fiancé' for reminding me that I am no where near healed and the final result us still months away and that for ten days post op I am looking pretty darn good. I will check in with Dr. Hoenig tomorrow and I will either see him tomorrow or Thursday.

After side view

Check up 18 Days Post Op

I saw Dr. Hoenig today. He said I am healing very well. I do have some slight hollows in the outer corners of my eyes because he ran out of fat. He will either put more fat in, remove some, or give me a cortisone shot. I am still healing and a little swollen, so he said he wants to recheck me in a month and we will go from there. I can't start exercising for another week and a half and I must continue to sleep on my back. Even though I may need a little adjustment, I am still trilled with how much better my eyes look. I have no regrets.

18 Days Post

Day 21. With a little makeup.

26 Days Post Op

I still have some swelling and a tiny bit of redness and bruising, but I am healing really well. I am still bothered by the small dents in the outer corners of each of my eyes, but even the dents seem like they've gotten less noticeable. I just uploaded another before and after photo. I took the "after" photo today and was wearing just a little concealer to cover a small amount of bruising and redness.

One month since surgery

It's been exactly one month since my lower Blepharoplasty. Today I put on some makeup for just the third time since my surgery.

One month. Smiling with makeup.

Another post op with Dr. Hoenig.

I saw Dr. Hoenig yesterday and he was very happy with my progress. He again told me how challenging my case was. I had big bags, but I also had deep valleys under my eyes... Just skin and bone and my skin is very very thin... Thanks to my Norwegian heritage. Lol. My results are not perfect by any means. I still have slight hollows at the outer corners of my eyes which are difficult to see in photos, but I was not expecting perfection. I just wanted my bags gone. At my last visit Dr. Hoenig stated that I might need some more fat inserted into my hollows, but he now feels that it is looking much better and more surgery is not needed. Thank goodness! He said that he could put a little filler in if I wanted, but that I really didn't need it. I am getting married in a few months and I want to look my best, so I said, why not? He put just a little filler in and said it would probably last about a year and that I would still look great even after it dissolved. I've posted a picture pre filler and as soon as I can I will also post an updated picture after having the filler. Again, I am very happy with my surgery. It may be a very subtle change to the people who know me, but to me, it is the best thing I could have ever done. My bags really bothered me for a long time and I am thrilled to finally be bagless. Happy healing! Lee.

Better photos if slight dents in outer corners of my eyes.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon

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