My Eyes Appear More Alert with Asian Upper Lid and Fat-repositioning Lower Lid Surgery - Mountain View, CA

1. Motivation & picking a surgeon Not too long ago...

1. Motivation & picking a surgeon
Not too long ago I realized my constant headaches were coming from my habit of lifting my brows to see. Soon, it became apparent that I had the habit for a reason - my pupils were only half visible if I tried to open my eyes without moving my brows. I went to see Dr. Levin after carefully screening reviews and before & after pictures for different surgeons. Mostly I picked him because all his patients had a very natural look, and he specialized in eyelids.

After deciding to go through surgery, I made up my mind to go through lower blepharoplasty as well - a procedure I've been wanting to get for years. Dr. Levin had some pretty amazing before & afters for fat repositioning.

I had shown up at his office for the consultation with suspicions of ptosis, and Dr. Levin helped diagnose it. In the end he concluded I might have ptosis, but if I did, it was minimal. The reason I had trouble seeing without raising my brows was mostly in the excessive heaviness of my eyelids.

2. Surgery experience
On the day of surgery, Dr. Levin sat with me and marked my eyelids. I had previously shown him a before & after picture that I liked of someone with eyes similar to mine. The resulting crease for the picture was an in-out fold, where the crease starts as an infold toward the inner corner of your eyes and then widens with a tapering look at the ends. Dr. Levin told me he took a conservative approach to his surgeries, but he would work to accommodate the look I preferred. Before the surgery he sat me down and drew crescent moon shapes on both my upper lids where the incision would take place. We both looked at what the crease would look like in the mirror and adjusted the markings a couple times before he was satisfied.

The anesthesiologist also sat me down to ask me several questions about my health. I'd never done anything more than local anesthesia and was scared about being hooked to an IV, but the anesthesia went down without a hitch and I slept very well for about 3 hours. If I had just the upper eyelid surgery, I would have had local anesthesia, but the lower eyelid surgery required that I have sleep anesthesia. Judging from the fact that my cheeks were numb and rubbery afterwards, I probably had local anesthetics in addition to that.

When I woke up there was no pain or soreness, and the creases looked perfect, albeit freaky and bumpy with sutures and swollen.

3. First week after surgery
For the first three days I used frozen peas & ziplock bags every 30 minutes for 20 - 30 minutes at a time to lesson the swelling. I had minimal bruising around the sutures, and had around 1200mg of tylenol (2 pills in the morning, 2 before bed), which helped a lot, albeit making me a bit constipated.

On Monday (surgery was the Wednesday before that) I had my first set of sutures taken out, and it stung a little, but felt marvelous. Dr. Levin also took out the suture on my cheek that held the repositioned fat down while it grafted. I felt superb afterwards, but at night my lower lids started aching. I was planning to start work again on Tuesday, but ended up calling in sick. All morning on Tuesday I did warm compresses on my eyes by microwaving a wet (but not dripping) towel in a ziplock bag, wrapping it with a T-shirt and putting it on my eyes for 10 minutes at a time.

By the end of the day I was so much less sore and ended up working from home and being productive.

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Went back to work on day 8

My eyes seem to be more swollen in the mornings. I did about two to three warm compresses (20 minutes each) throughout the day.

My tension headaches are officially gone! Even with the swelling I don't look tired, because the bags under my eyes are gone as well.

I can't wait for everything to heal up and look more natural :)

2 Comments

Thanks for writing a review and for adding updates!

I think you are looking great so far.  Were you able to go to work on Wednesday?
  • Reply
Thanks! Yes I went back to work on Wednesday :D Everyone was very interested in how my surgery turned out, and was surprised that the incisions seemed to have healed so quickly. I can't wait to take off the last set of sutures next Wednesday and see what leaves me :)

Progression comparison, day 1 - 8

My friends don't see much of a difference in how I look overall, which is excellent. They just notice that I look more alert than I did before :)

Of the second set of stitches (very thin), the edge of the sutures in my right eye popped out in the corner and bothered me slightly. But it was only a minor concern, sort of felt like a stray lash in my eye. I think it got out of the way somehow - I can't feel the irritation anymore after an hour or so.

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Let us know how your next week of healing goes and the suture removal!

Eyelids are healed, sutures are visible

I washed my eyelids for the first time since surgery with facial cleanser. It was such a relief! From what I can feel, I feel like the incisions in my eyelids are completely healed.

However, my lower lids still feel sore and parts are just a little numb. I guess more warm compresses! But the yellow bruising has all but disappeared from my lower lids, which is awesome.

Still not ready for makeup, though. I'm going to wait until at least three weeks post surgery to put on makeup, I think. Just to be safe.

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More and more natural every passing day :)

I can't wait to take out the sutures tomorrow. They are practically popping out of my eyelids. One of my coworkers told me they thought I had crusty lids :/

I'm getting my eyelashes extended after I get the sutures out - now my lashes will actually be visible when extended instead of being swallowed by my heavy lids :)

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Got sutures taken out

Took out the white sutures today. It stung a little, but my creases looked so much more natural afterwards! The nurse, Jen, told me to apply the eye ointment for a couple days.

3 Comments

Looks great! Thank you for the thorough pic posts :)
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Wow, he did a great job! Thank you for posting the pics. And your eyes look great!
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Thanks! I'm very happy with the results so far! :D

Crease is more even, eyes now pop with lash extensions :)

1 Comments

Thanks for showing all your pictures .. Your doctor did a really good job!
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My IAmA about the surgery made front page of Reddit yesterday!

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Update - closed and open

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Thanks! Yes he did :D

Four weeks after surgery

Incisions are healing incredibly well. There is still a little bit of tingling now and then in my lower lids, but the nurse told me that was expected.

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I have been researching doctors for over five years and finally decided to get the eyelid surgery next Summer 2015. I was suppose to have gotten it done this summer but I had major renovations in my house so my surgery money went to this. This is by far the BEST review I've seen posted on real self as you shared the progression photos and your comments were thoughtful. Especially in Day 6 when you simply mentioned that getting the sutures out stung...I would have never known that. THANK YOU!!
  • Reply
I'm glad it helped! I really hope your surgery goes well next year. I honestly think the wait was the worst part about it - after booking the date for the surgery, I became a woman obsessed! Keep us posted on your transformation, too :)
Thank you for all the daily pics and the reddit AMA, really helpful!
  • Reply

7 week update

4 Comments

Your face looks sooo beautiful after your eyelid surgery. Your doctor did a great job. I might go to him one day.
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You look great, beautiful.
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I love your eyes, very fresh and beautiful! Your detailed review helped me to make up my mind to get my eyes fixed. Never done anything to fix my face or body, so kind of very nervous, not only because of the pain, but also the worries of the uncertain results i might get. I am an asian in late 30s and live in bay area too. I used to have big eyes with natural double eyelids. but with the time passing by ( i should say aging :) ), my eyelids became so heavy, just look like yours, 1/3 of my eyes are covered by droopy eyelids. I have chronic migraine just around the corner of my eyebrows. when i read your review, it occurred to me that I might have similar problems of yours, tension headache by constantly lifting eyebrows. Thanks for your review and updates! Love your new eyes!
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2.5 months update

These are recent photos of me (source: snapchat :D) of my eyes from different angles. The inner half of the creases have become almost completely hidden (or hooded) when I open my eyes all the way, and the last half of the creases tail off, just the way I want! This look is often referred to as the in-out crease, I've come to learn.

The pinkness is almost gone from the inner halves of the eyes, but the outer incision scars are still pink. Patiently waiting for them to fade, but honestly, I wouldn't mind if they stayed like this. It's barely noticeable.

4 Comments

Wow I think you look gorgeous
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Your eyes are looking GREAT! :0)
  • Reply
Thank you! I am :D
San Francisco Oculoplastic Surgeon

Dr. Levin was caring and knowledgeable. He specializes in eyelids, so I knew I was in good hands. I went in for the consultation suspecting I had ptosis, but he correctly diagnosed that the heaviness of my upper lids was mostly at fault. I showed him a before-after picture that I liked, and he really took note and made sure the result was what I wanted.

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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