BLEPHAROPLASTY on Both Upper Lids at Age 61 - Los Angeles, CA

I am a 61 year old woman who took 7 years to get...

i am a 61 year old woman who took 7 years to get up the nerve to have cosmetic surgery on my droopy upper eyelids. on the glowing recommendation of my heart specialist, i looked up dr robert goldberg at jules stein, ucla, and went to see him. i also saw two other doctors, both of whom were working in private practice.

what decided me to go with dr goldberg was his honesty about what could be achieved in my particular case, and his knowledge garnered from extensive experience in the field. for instance, he was able to tell me the unbiased pros and cons of laser versus surgery - he is an expert in both techniques and led the field in the use of laser for many years - and he did so clearly and concisely without trying to influence my decision. he also gave me excellent advice about how to minimize my lower eye dark circles and bags without having to resort to surgery straight away.

on the day of the surgery, in a dedicated operation room at his offices at ucla, i was given local anesthetic and so was awake throughout the app. 1 hour procedure. this was my choice as i have a heart condition that makes full anesthetic a not-so-safe option for me. i was comfortable throughout. afterwards i was given written instructions for home care and set up a post op visit for 1 week later.

i had no problems at home, although sleeping sitting up wasn't easy to pull off! i would go to sleep propped up nicely and wake up scooted down on the pillows on my side. even so, all went well, and 3 months later i have to remind myself that i had anything done.

complete healing will continue for several months, and i am looking forward to the fully final results. in the meantime, no one can tell i have had anything done unless they were to stand nose to nose with me and i closed my eyes. and that's without eye make-up, which i only wear in the evenings.

i am returning to dr goldberg for juvederm filler to perk up my tired looking bags under my eyes, because now that the upper lids are more bright and youthful looking, the under eyes don't appear as bad as before the operation (as dr goldberg said might be the case).

as someone who does not like surgery and was very worried about looking 'not like myself' afterwards, i am throughly delighted with the results.


thought i would keep up with photos and how i've been feeling about my upper eye surgery and also whether or not to go ahead with juviderm under eye filler.

it's only been 7 days since my first post, but i've been through so many emotions and thoughts i thought i would share them. first, that cosmetic surgery is a much bigger deal than i originally thought, in both a real, practical sense and also how i feel about it. i try not to look at my eyes every day because there is no question that for me, this makes me obsess about what's happening, what do i think of the results, is it looking ok, is it looking like a thought it would, am i happy with it, will i do something about me under eyes, and if so, when and what? i feel like i'm going round in circles.

i've found that if i stop looking and checking every day, i stop worrying.

my eyes on the outside edge, where quite a lot of skin was cut away, still feels bruised and tender if i press it. so i guess it's not surprising that the incision scars are still healing and changing, and also that i won't know what more changes are in store. i was told this before surgery, but hearing it and then living with it are two different things!

i've also noticed that this intense scrutiny, this super detailed attention to my face, is giving me a skewed idea of what i look like. i'm noticing things i never did before - how the two sides of my face don't match up - my left eye inc eyebrow is higher than my right (i checked with pics of myself as a young child - yep! it always has been, i just never noticed it before),but my the whole right side of my nose seems to tilt higher up than the left, and what the heck, my upper lip seems to have a bulge in it on the left where my lips meet. holy moly, my face is a zig-zag of unevenness! i realized that looking at myself in such detail & so critically i was losing sight of the forest for the trees. things i had never noticed before started to alarm and bother me. it started out as keeping an eye on how my upper lids were healing, and did i still want to do juviderm, but quickly morphed into me thinking my whole face needed tweaking.

at this point, i'm not sure if i will go ahead with filler or not. i'm going stop looking at myself so much, and wait until another 3 months has passed. maybe my face is just fine as it is. if i'm happy enough with the wrinkles in my upper lids when i frown - i made it clear to my surgeon that i didn't want my eyes to look inappropriately young for the rest of my face, i just wanted to look rested and unbaggy - maybe i should let go of worrying about my under eyes.

don't know, don't know. will come back to this in late august - the filler procedure is scheduled for sept.

take care all,
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon

i found dr goldberg and his assistant, indeed his whole office, friendly, professional, and efficient, and i would highly recommend him to anyone.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Hi akab. Thank you for the last post. I am only 15 days out, still swollen and worrying about the results and wondering what was I thinking! Very emotional time. So glad I declined the lower blep and brow lift that was also recommended. Like you, looking in the mirror and scrutinizing my face is boarding on madness. I am done. You look great! Take care.
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hahaha, too funny, i could have wrote your last update on my review. i did everything you said, scrutinized lids in 10x mirror and noticed all the other stuff, especially 1 eye bigger than the other and also checked old photos to see if it was always that way. i'm also worried about my under eyes, not for circles but for wrinkles. you look amazing for your age. put some cover up on it if it bothers you, it's much better than having puffy bags underneath. i had to have fat removed from mine.
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hi eyedidit, thanks for that! it's good to know that other people go through the same loop de loop emotional routines….now that i've stopped looking at myself in super close-up, i see my face as i always used to - the whole picture - not each bit in isolation. i think part of the difficulty is that when i started looking really close up at my face, what was upsetting was that i didn't look like i did when i was, say, 30. things change over time - noses definitely don't stay the same, lips, even face shape, everything naturally alters with time. i knew that and accepted it UNTIL i started looking at myself with a microscope, which made me start to panic and think, nooooooooo! must look 30 again. now i'm thinking i'll just wait a year after the bleph op to see how it all settles and how i feel after so much time has gone by, to see if i still think i need something under the eyes. as you so wisely say, there's always foundation and concealer!!! much safer option. maybe somewhere around 65 will be the next time to go to the surgeon ;-).
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There must be a typo in your title, it says 61, I am sure you meant that you are 31. Just wanted to bring it to your attention. Girl, you look absolutely incredible!!!!!! xoxoxox
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thank you for the lovely compliment, but haha, at 61 there are days and there are days….it's a moving target ;-). your surgeon has done a beautiful job on your eyes, and at this early stage your healing is amazing. you may continue to fret over what's going on with the healing - i certainly have - but around the 3 month mark, where i am now, it really starts to settle, and that continues for another 6 months. a good year to get the real result! but as far as i can see, all of us who have had the upper eyelid surgery get totally fixated on day to day, and honestly, hour to hour, self examination and roller coaster emotions about whether it's all been a success or not. keep us posted with photos and commentary! i'll be looking forward to them.
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Yes, it's true, we do get fixated on the tiny things! As soon as I stopped doing that I started not only feeling better on the inside but saw the changes start to happen. Its been a little over 2 weeks now and I am delighted with how I look already and know it will just keep getting better! xoxoxox
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You look great!  Thanks for sharing- how was having the surgery under local?  Definitely make sure your doctor has a lot of experience injecting filler into the tear trough area before going that route.  When it is done correctly it looks amazing, but when it is done wrong it can be devastating (and of course there are all the risks like biofilm as mentioned in another comment).  Either way, I hope you keep us posted on your continued healing and if you decide to do the filler.  
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hi jill, thank you for the lovely compliment. local or twilight anesthetic is something you definitely have to get used to - you don't feel any pain, but you do feel the pressure of the scalpel cutting and also pulling/stretching/sewing sensations, etc. for me, it helped that my dr and his assistant chatted calmly and cheerfully away to me and each other the whole time, it helped to distract me. they also had asked if i wanted music, which i did - you can always take your own if it helps to focus you on something other than the procedure. i am definitely going to think a lot about having filler…..but my surgeon, dr goldberg (who is chief of orbital and ophthalmic plastic surgery and co-director of the aesthetic reconstructive surgery service at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute in LA) is very conservative in his approach to cosmetic procedures, and doesn't take any risks. he is a mature man with enormous experience and pioneered filler injections for under eye work. he told me of the various possibilities of disaster, including, good grief! blindness, but also said that the risk was so low that he was comfortable recommending it to me. this is a man who told me not to do anything about my lower eyes until i had seen what difference the upper lid surgery made to my general appearance, as he felt that i may decide i didn't need anything further done after all. i will definitely go for another consultation before sept, when the procedure is booked. thanks for commenting - these forums are great, i am delighted to have found them.
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Glad you found us, too!  The risks of under eye filler are a lot to take in, I've been considering them for a while too- I had a lower bleph but my tear troughs are so prominent it looks like I still have bags and it drives me nuts (much smaller bags than before, but bags none the less).  It's a tough decision.  Good luck deciding :)
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Thanks akab for that response. If you haven't visited Sadiebee site here on RS it might be excellent timing ahead of any proposed filler to tear trough. It is her review on biofilm infection that she battled for nearly 2 yrs after an injection of restylane. Nothing wrong with the product just the potential for this hard to eradicate infection comes from multiple sources some of which are nearly impossible to predict. Just good to be well infomed~ I had never heard of this b4 I read her review. ANd at some point I will need to address my under eye/tear trough hollows. Thanks again for you great answer...grace
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thanks grace60, i just checked out sadiebee's site and it was very interesting reading. fortunately, i have 3 months to do further research and make up my mind whether or not to go ahead with filler under my eyes. my dr has told me about the various possible negative side effects, and said infection was one of them, but that the instances of this happening were very low. well, when i really want something to happen i can get selective hearing, and i cheerfully dismissed infection as something that would happen to me. but i will definitely rethink this. as sadiebee said about her own experience, sometimes you have to ask yourself whether or not you are getting too fixated on what you perceive as big problems with your face and should leave well enough alone.
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hi grace i haven't had any filler done on my lower eyes yet. the last photo was taken in the morning, when i generally look more refreshed! by the end of the day the lower 'hollows' are way more prominent. dr goldberg recommended i wait another 3 months so that the filler procedure will coincide with my next follow up visit. he is recommending juviderm, but i will update my review, with photos, once that's actually been done. just as an aside, a 3 month wait gives me a good amount of time to use specialized products such as AHA creams on my lower eyes (which i have never used before - i have never used any eye creams at all) to see what improvements can be achieved in skin texture and how that may improve the general appearance of my lower eyes before undertaking injections. i have had dark circles since a young child - they are totally genetic, rather than aging and/or lifestyle, but at my time of life they are exaggerated by the dreaded 'hollowing' which comes with the natural aging process. the whole tear trough issue is kind of a mine field - there are as many different opinions & recommendations as there are surgeons. but across the board their bottom line does seem to be the same - whichever procedure you choose, surgery or injection, have it done by a doctor thoroughly experienced in that particular procedure. and as i have dry eye issues because of the medicine i take for wicked year-long hay fever (it's the gift that keeps giving when you live in southern california), dr goldberg is being very careful, and from day 1 was not overly enthusiastic about any sort of surgery on my lower lids as there can be dry eye complications with that procedure. as i trust dr g's expertise and experience, i am putting faith in his ability to know just how much filler to use and where to use it. i'm not expecting my eyes to look like they did when i was 25, but even at this early stage, the results are wonderful and make me feel so much more comfortable about facing the world. and of course, with filler, if i'm not enchanted with the results, i can just elect not to do it again.
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Results are exceptional...did you have filler to under eye b.c there is a really noticeable absence of any hollows in your last pic. There's so much being written about the proper use of fillers to tear trough~ just wondered what was used. Thanks, grace
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