Nightmare Browlift, Lower Blepharoplasty, and Cheek Implants - Philippines

This is a letter I wrote to my surgeon in the...

This is a letter I wrote to my surgeon in the Philippines who did my lower bleparoplasties. I have deleted some parts and replaced them with ***:

Doctor ***:

It has now been one year since I visited you for browlift, lower blepharoplasty, and cheek implants.

I want to let you know what has happened to me since.

My browlift was done fine. My cheek implants were OK, with some imperfections where I could see the outlines in strong light, though I was not too worried about that.

My lower blepharoplasties were a disaster.

After returning back to ***, the swelling subsided and to my horror, revealed severe ‘round eye’ with noticeable scleral show. After thoroughly researching my problem during the past year, I have learned a lot. I completely regret ever having lower blepheroplasty done.

I learned that my particular facial anatomy was a huge red light for doing lower blepheroplasty with skin excision. As I understand it, the critical factor was my poorly-developed sunken orbital bones. As a patient, I trusted you to be aware of this factor, which, I have come to know, is basic knowledge among plastic surgeons. I was completely the wrong candidate for this kind of surgery.

The effects have been devastating. Having round eye / scleral show gives a person a ‘dopey’, sad, and unattractive look, and is key evidence of botched lower blepharoplasty. This socially-disabling problem has crippled my self-confidence.

I’ve also learned about how difficult this is to fix. In July, I visited Dr *** in Boston for revision surgery after scouring the internet for solutions. Dr *** is famous for fixing botched facial plastic surgery. He removed the cheek implants and placed medial orbital implants, and he did lateral canthopexies and a mid-face lift. All of these procedures were intended to boost my deficient malar + lower-eyelid region. The cost for the surgery alone was US$15,000.

Dr *** improved my round eye / scleral show very slightly, but I still had major problems. My lateral eyelids still drooped down awkwardly, and I continued to have a very unnatural and uncomfortable feeling of the eyelids ‘pulling-down’. Afterwards, I emailed him about my discomfort, and he said there was nothing else he could do; because my original surgeon (you) took away too much skin and fat, which is basically irreparable.

Since then, I’ve had lateral orbital implants placed by another surgeon, because I figured that would help lift the lateral lower eyelids up. It hasn’t really helped at all. My lower eyelids are still sunken and collapsed-looking.

This has all been a nightmare. I stay positive by clinging to hope that this can be fixed one day. Possibly the last option is a rare surgical procedure, done by an oculoplastic surgeon, involving hard palate grafts (known as the Madame Butterfly procedure) in order to give the eyelids some rigidity and lifting. There is also something called the tarsal strip procedure, which may also be an option. The prospect of more surgery is overwhelming, but one I have to face. I hope and pray that I can resume a normal life before I turn 30. I don’t need to look perfect, but I certainly want to look more natural than I do now.

I hope you can learn from my experiences in order to avoid the same mistakes on other patients in the future. I never dreamed that a common surgery like lower blepheroplasty could have such devastating effects on a person’s life. Please, for the sake of others, do some more study on the suitability of candidates for lower blepharoplasty. Perhaps Philippino people do not often have the kinds of facial characteristics that render them vulnerable to lower blepharoplasty complications, but because you see a lot of foreign patients, you need to be aware of these risks.

I’m not sure how you will respond to this email, or if you will respond at all. I realize that it must be a hard job being a plastic surgeon. I’ve been meaning to write this letter for quite some time.



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Comments (15)

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Can you please email me your doctors name as I am going over there as wello soon for bleph still not sure about it though, sorry about your story it is crushing to have things not go right.
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swami - DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I have had a lower & upper bleph done as well as a forehead lift & a crease revision. My lower eyelid is now retracting and I am very self conscious of my appearance and I would like to correct this. I have explored fat grafting and have recently come across information about hard palate graft & cheek -lift or mid face lift. If anyone that has posted can provide a surgeons name that they would reccomend and have had good results pls. send me an email with their name. I would really hate to go through another botched surgery. Thanks ernurse for the post about health complaints commision if you have any additional information that would be helpful. I was considering hiring a lawyer, this sounds like i may not have to.
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how long did it take before you noticed that your lower eyelid started to retract?
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JB1387--I just want to thank you for all the detailed information you wrote here. It is so good to hear you are finally getting to a positive point. I have been delaying and researching for over a year now and still can't get a consensus from the various doctors. It is terrifying.
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I had extremem hollowing from a lower bleph over a year ago. I also got fat grafting to fix which didn't do much but make it worse. Be careful with the revisions. In many ways they can be worse.
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this was a very encouraging story...I too had a botched procedure...I had a midface lift and bleph. the midface lift was done through the bleph incisions. What a mistake. I have had round eyes and retraction bilaterly. This is nearly 4 years ago now. I have had a canthoplasty which did not work and now I have had one eye repaired with hard palate and will have the other one done in 10 days. I am hoping that it will give me back my old eyes. I still have a bit of discomfort, but it looks ok. I am just hoping that it does not retract and give me the awful scleral show that made me look sad. I had dolphin shaped eyes. Cosmetic surgeons have a lot to answer for. This guy obviously had very little experience when he did my procedure. He denied that anything was wrong at all. He even wrote a letter to another surgeon he knew I was going to see saying that I was imagining it all!! I sued him via the health complaints commission and got my money back. These situations we face are unfortunately very common...we all need to be proactive in warning people about the high risk of cosmetic surgery and the high emotional price we have to pay when it all goes pear shaped!!!
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Julie C. The doctor who did the revision was Dr. Sam Goldberger in Beverly Hills/Fullerton (he has two offices). The doctor who did the fat grafting was Dr. Lam in Dallas (I lived in Dallas at the time, I now live in CA). The fat grafting was very expensive (almost $10k). I'm not sure if it was from the fat grafting but one cheek was slightly bigger (before the cheek lift Dr. Goldberger did in my revision). Everything looks natural and today I can't tell how well the fat took because I am just use to the way my face looks now. When I would go to Dr. Lam for follow-ups he would always take a picture and compare it to my before and then I could really see the difference. I haven't been back since around April of last year (we moved to CA in July) so it's hard to tell now. I am almost 8 weeks out from my revision and I have an issue with the dissolvable suture right below my lash line as it hasn't dissolved yet (internal). It had swelled to the size of a pencil eraser. I asked him to do something about it. At first he said he wanted to leave it alone and let my body do it's thing but then said he would inject a little steroid (which I was nervous about because it can cause fat loss). The swelling went down almost over night but the suture is still there. There is a very small bump, other people probably don't notice it but I do. I have an appointment on Tuesday for him to check on it. My recovery was more painful than I thought it was going to be. Up until last week I could feel where he had cut and it almost throbbed. My upper eyelid (which he didn't do anything to) swelled a lot for a few weeks and was rather painful. It slowly went down and at two weeks I actually felt like I could go out in public. That was until I that suture started to swell. The canthoplasty so far is looking good. At first it was over corrected (which he told me it would be) but by week two it was looking pretty good which scared me because I thought it was suppose to look odd for about 6 weeks. He debated on using a spacer graft on the inside of my lower lid to help give it support but decided against it because he said my retraction wasn't that bad. I do know someone who had a spacer and her eye looks wonderful. The corner of my eye looks natural and level with the other eye. My lower lid is only very slightly lower than my other eye. I only notice it when I am looking up close in the mirror and no one else would notice it except for my Dr. (I'm talking a fraction of a mm). Before the revision I couldn't squint and make that lower lid come up, now I can. He did it through a very small incision that goes from the outer part of my lower lid under the lash line (about an 1/8th of an inch or less) and extends out like a regular bleph. I thought he was going to cut under my whole lower lid and he didn't. He said I had a ton of scar tissue and some of it was probably from the fat grafting. The first couple of weeks I wondered what I had just done to myself. Now I am very happy I had it fixed. My dry eye at first was worse after the procedure but over the last couple of weeks it has been better than before the revision. Almost back to the way I used to be pre-original bleph.
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I'm so relieved to find out u can fix this, if u guys can give me some names of Dr and locations I would so appreciate it, 8 weeks ago I had an under eye soof and was talked in to having a mallar implant, I was really completely uneducated about all this and wish I never did anything,never felt so hopeless. Alls I wanted fixed was that dark shadow under my eye and since I was a kid when I would smile I had a puffy part under my eye that I now realize is spose to be thier, now my eyes have a weird shape, pulled down till u see the white part of my eye under my iris and have dark indented circles under my eye, I also wanted to fix this tired dragging look I was starting to get around my nasal fold that some days looked fine but other days bothered me so he said the soof lift combined with cheek implant would fix it, now I did do my home work on surgents and he spose to be the best, he even created and taught around the country one of the procedures. I just turned 30 and was given the money by a friend as a b day gift so I'm freaking out because I don't have tons of money and look 10 yrs older then when I went in, I even told the Dr it was very important to go subtle because my family is against this and my boy friend will leave me,..they said kno one will notice, just think I look better....everyone noticed, my boy friend left me, and everyone that does voice thier opinion says I should have never touched my face and I can't get the Dr to take these things out my face. when I came in his office crying about the way I looked he told me that everyone was just jealous and its a normal reaction? I can tell he's getting annoyed by me..Im going crazy, can't sleep or fully close my left eye..
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This is very helpful to me. But I guess it all depends on the surgeon. Actually I am scheduled to go to the Phil next month for the same thing with the Belo Group. If they did yours I guess I'll have to reconsider doing it. Please reply asap. RB
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It would be so helpful if you could give the names of the good doctors you finally came across. Finding a doctor for a complex eyelid surgery is daunting, especially when there are none in one's region.
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I had paragraphs in my reply above. I don't know why it didn't post with paragraphs.
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I had a lower bleph aug 2008. My first mistake was I went to a general plastic surgeon. He did my friends lipo on her stomach as well as breast lifts/enhancements, tummy tucks, face lifts, etc on other people. I should have gone to an Oculoplastic surgeon but I didn't even know there was such a thing. When I questioned the hollow area under my eye he told me that I just wasn't used to seeing my orbital rim because of the extra fat I had pre-surgery. I knew right there that I didn't want him to try to fix it. He knew he took too much fat out but he didn't know how to fix it. I am so glad I didn't have him try. Looking back I didn't even need anything done at all. I look at pictures taken a month prior and I would give anything to have my eyes look like that again. I was left with hollowness (especially at the outer corner area just under the eye) and a slight retraction in my right eye. I had fat grafting procedure April 2009 by one of the best FG doctors in the country. That did not fix the retraction (rounding) but it did put volume back around my eyes (as well as in other areas). I still have very slight hollowness in the outer corner under the eye (only when I tilt my head backwards) but the Oculoplastic surgeon I went to to have my retraction fixed told me it was not out of the norm even for a non-bleph eye and that it looked good. I am two weeks out from my revision. It looks really good right now and I hope to God it does not droop again. He removed the scar tissue that caused the retraction, a cheek lift and a canthoplasty (which is different than a canthopexy which you had). I had a little redundant skin under the other eye. He did a slight cheek lift on that side as well as a skin pinch. Insurance paid for part of it because of the terrible dry eye from the retraction (even though the retraction didn't really look terrible). I had to pay for the cosmetic part of it which was a different way to give the lower lid more skin (the cheek lift vs a skin graft). I too wish I would never have done the original bleph. My eyes were my best feature. Hopefully they can be again after I heal from my revision. So far so good....knock on wood.
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Can you email me with who did your revision (cantho, cheeklift, etc.) 


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Oh thats terrible im glad you got most of the issues fixed. You would of been better of having all your surgeries done here instead of going overseas. Now you have to spend more than you probably would if you had gotten the surgeries here instead of going overseas and now have to fix all the damage.
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