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...
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.
Went back to work on day 8
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 :)
Progression comparison, day 1 - 8
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.
Eyelids are healed, sutures are visible
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.
More and more natural every passing day :)
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 :)
Got sutures taken out
My IAmA about the surgery made front page of Reddit yesterday!
Four weeks after surgery
2.5 months update
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.
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.