Long Recuperation After Eyelid Surgery - Long Island, NY

I had both upper and lower lids done on July 20th....

I had both upper and lower lids done on July 20th. The uppers had been covered by insurance ($5000) and I paid $3900 for the lowers. The instructions I had been given told me to use ice for 15-20 minutes per hour and sleep sitting up for the first 48 hours. I was also instructed not to read, watch tv, use a computer or drive for 48 hours. I told my doctor, afterwards, that his instructions were ridiculous! I was 100% blind, due to swelling, for 48 hours. My vision was so blurry that I could not drive or read for 2 weeks. If I slept in a normal, lying down position, I awoke with my eyes and cheeks swollen for at least 4 weeks. Now that the swelling is gone and vision has returned to normal, (5 weeks) I can see that I will be very happy with the results. My lower lids look wonderful, although often still red, as are my cheeks. My upper lids look good but still feel kind of numb. I would have liked to have had some warning that the recuperation could have taken so long. I would suggest that having the lower lids done greatly increases recuperation time.

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So far, I have only received negative experiences regarding the upper and lower eyelid surgery that I have coming up. Is there anyone out there with a positive experience or am I just in for a living hell?
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I promise you even although the recuperation has taken a bit longer than I expected, it was well worth it! Don't worry about the lengthy recuperation some of us have had, you may heal much quicker. On the positive side, it is a pain free operation....enjoy it !
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Seven months post op for upper and lower bleph. Very sorry i had it done as have had major dry eye (surgeon should have tested for this propensity beforehand) as well as major vision changes (increase in astigmatism). post op a living hell managing severe dry eye. Now cannot read for extended periods or be outdoors in wind. Have 6 new pairs of glasses. Nothing compares to having to manage dry eye. Be forewarned and be wary of having any bleph.
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I, too, am very happy that I had it done because I can see what the results will be like. (Also, when I look at my drivers license photo and the photo on my passport, I am so happy not to have those bags anymore! I think the recuperation is compounded when you have uppers and lowers done. I also agree with an early post, that Drs don't tell you it can take so long to recover for fear that we will not do it! The whole key is doing it when you have tons of time off, like summer vacation or retirement!
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I also had both top and bottom done on 07 July 2011 and 8 weeks now, my eyelids still feel numb, I still have some swelling in the lower area which makes my eyes look droopy. My top eyelid and under my eyes are dark in color. I slept elevated for 6 weeks. With all this, I a very happy I had it done.
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The truth is that surgeons are unable to predict how surgery will affect each individual. If they were honest and told us how bad it may be, or the truth that the results are also unpredictable we would not get it done.
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When I saw my Dr on day #2, to have tape and a stitch removed, he told me I was a bit more swollen than most people get and to continue to sleep elevated for another 4 or 5 days. In reality, I wasn't able to sleep normally, lying down without elevation and on my side, for more than 4 weeks. If I tried to sleep normally, I awoke with a really swollen face...much too swollen to go to work, etc.
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I am scheduled for the same surgeries in 2 weeks. Your experience sounds terrible and now I am worried. How long was it until you could sleep lying down?
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Hi Champlin, I saw your post and wanted to chime in and share with you my experiences and give a little advice I wish someone had given me. I had the upper and lowers done last February and this is what I now know: 1) since I am very detail-oriented (what some might call a perfectionist), I agonize over every detail of my outcome (such as noticeably asymmetrical crinkles under my eyes when I smile, slight hollowing in the upper lids, and slight hollowing under the eyes). Be forewarned that there will be aspects of the surgery that weren't what you anticipated or expected. 2) I wish I hadn't been so nervous to re-iterate, firmly, to my surgeon that I wanted very subtle results. I am only 41 and I only needed slight changes. I feel like my results are too drastic, given that the "flaws" were minor, or only starting to show. 3) The lower blepharoplasty is a difficult procedure and even a reputable and talented surgeon cannot accurately predict whether your outcome will be truly successful. I did my "homework" on my surgeon by reading review sites, talking to former patients, and asking peers, but I still am rather unsatisfied with my results. Again, I wish I had been more forthright and explained clearly what I wanted from these surgeries. Since the work was not subtle enough for me, I usually suffer from a feeling that I don't recognize myself though those who know me don't feel that way. 4) I would advise a prospective patient to only undergo surgery if she was very sure of her surgeon, had been very clear what she wanted, and felt that she had no other choice. In retrospect, I wish I had tried more laser procedures, micro-dermabrasions, etc. before deciding to submit to the upper and lower blepharoplasties. I also wish I had been easier on myself and accepted my "flaws" more gracefully. Best of luck to you!
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Well said Portland,
As you know I agree with all you have said. Once you have done the surgery there is no going back. My advice is look into every other possible way to improve things bar surgery. Make surgery the absolute last thing you do. No doctor can predict the outcome, and if he says he can he is a liar. Be very wary of the over confident surgeon!!! If you too nervous to speak straight to your surgeon walk away and find someone who doesnt make you feel like that. YOU are paying them, not the other way round!!!
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Congrats on getting through it all. It sounds like those 5 weeks were tough! At least you will have nice results to reward you. :) Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

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