I have been reading the many success stories for...
I am 38 yrs. old, and, during my consultation on Wednesday, April 25, 2013, my oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Paul Stallman, suggested transconjuctival lower lid blepharoplasty along with a chemical peel to aid with what minimally loose skin remains that may wrinkle. I am extremely relieved that I was a candidate for this rather than transcutanious (through the outside, under the lash line) as I have fears about the disfigurement of my face due to a cosmetic procedure. However, I have had these "bags" all my life and they're slowly getting worse over time. I hate them, but I think to myself that they don't look too bad yet, and with makeup I can cover most of it just not that horrible "shadow effect" that makes them look bigger. I keep thinking that if something "went wrong", not out of lack of respect for my surgeon whom I feel very comfortable having do this surgery, I would probably go mad.
After reading so many of your experiences on here, I strongly believe that if one has the following "5 ingredients": a good solid surgeon, none of the risks that could complicate recovery (i.e. hypo/hyper thyroid, Graves disease, etc.), realistic ideas about the length of recovery, knowledge of what is normal during recovery, and proper pre and post op care one would most likely come through this particular version of blepharoplasty just fine. I want to thank Jill81 for her story, because it was hers that helped comfort me in my decision to go ahead with surgery. I have decided to share my journey and results with you, and, hopefully, be just as successful.
As Jill81 blogged, there aren't very many posts on here about lower eyelid surgery as most of you have had uppers done too. So, hopefully, my story will help those of you who plan to have lower blepharoplasty with a chemical peel in your decision. Please God let this be a positive experience for me, and to all of you wish me good healing!
PS: If anyone has had the same surgery I'm planning to have please message me with your experience, if you felt you too had the "5 ingredients" above to a successful surgery, so I can be further advised as to what to expect potentially. Thanks.
* UPDATE: As noted in the title now, and after...
5/3/13 - I went to my pre-op appointment and got...
As I mention above, I am 38 yrs. old, and I am rather self conscious at a fairly young age due specifically to under eye bags. As much as I don't like this about myself, I am not growing older gracefully or wearing each new wrinkle as a badge of honor, although, I wish I could. I will be 40 yrs. old in 1 1/2 yrs., which means that 50 yrs. old will just be 10 yrs. away. For me, now is the time to make some cosmetic revisions so that I can enjoy self confidence while I am relatively young. I don't want to feel like I wasted my youth feeling self conscious and looking much older than I actually am because that is what eye bags do to one's appearance and they only get worse over time with age. Therefore, I've decided to have surgery now to feel attractive now, and in 12 yrs. I can look into the mirror and think wow not bad for 50 yrs. old.
1. DO NOT take any blood thinning medications for 2 weeks prior to surgery or you can cause excessive bleeding behind the eyes, and may cause blindness. The doctor gave me a complete list of medications to avoid, which includes Aspirin, Ibuprofin/Advil, Pepto Bismol, some cold/flu medications, and many others including some homeopathic medications suck as Fish Oil, St. John's Wort, Vitamin E, Gingko, Ginseng, Garlic, and lots of others. Make sure you get this list as I have only listed some of them.
2. BE PREPARED - Pick up all necessary medications and items you need for post-op care prior to surgery. You will get prescriptions that must be filled and your pharmacist may need to special order some. There are a few other things, including over the counter (OTC) medications you should have all ready for you when you get out of surgery. You should get a list of these items at your pre-op appointment, but I will list what I was instructed to have:
POST-OP - MEDICATIONS & ITEMS
1. Arnica 30 mg tablets OTC - to swallow 4 pills 4x a day for 7 days = 112 pills. They come in a bottle of 250 for $10.99 at any health food store.
2. Bromalain 500 mg tablets OTC - to swallow 2 pills 4x a day = 56 pills (they come in a bottle of 60 for $19.99. NOTE: Do not buy the topical creme. I was instructed to start taking both the Arnica and Bromalain on the morning of surgery. NOTE: I was told that I would not benefit by eating Pineapple as I could not eat enough to attain a beneficial amount of the derivative (Bromalain).
3. Extra strength Tylenol OTC - for pain
4. Vicodin prescription - for pain
5. Bacitracin ointment prescription - for incision area to avoid infection.
6. Eye drops prescription - I cannot remember the name or for what purpose they are.
7. Eye drops OTC (yes, you need 2 types of eye drops) - Systane, or any other artificial tears for moisture to relieve dryness due to lack of natural tear development. Comes in a squeeze bottle for $8.99.
8. Halcyon prescription - a calming sedative during the procedure. I will be awake with only a local anesthetic.
9. Phenegren prescription - for nausea from local anasthetic
10. Frozen peas - I bought 5 large bags on sale $0.99. Frozen peas are great because they fall all around your eyes little creases and curves naturally and easily unlike big lumpy ice cubes. I was advised to "ice" for 45 min. on, 15 mins. only off, of every hour for 2 days. I was told I will be doing myself a huge favor by doing this for swelling/bruising/healing.
11. Plastic lunch baggies (2) - to put the peas in and place over each eye.
12. 4x4" gauze pads - put between peas and skin for comfort and protection.
13. Wedge pillow, lounge pillow, or at least 2-3 pillows of normal size to elevate your head above your waist. Nothing drastic, and I was told I do not have to sleep sitting up, only elevated by an additional pillow or 2. I was advised to do this for 4 days.
POST-OP - THINGS TO BE AWARE OF, OR AVOID
1. No bending over at waist, or straining causing blood to rush to head for 3-4 days.
2. Eye lids may feel stiff, tight, itchy, and you may feel the lids don't close all the way initially due to swelling and should resolve after stitches are removed.
3. Mild seepage of blood-tinged fluid may occur for 1-2 days and to add gentle to firm pressure to stop. If that doesn't stop it, or its more than mild occurrences call the doctor immediately.
4. Blurry or double vision for several hours after surgery is normal.
The doctor advised that the worst case scenario situations generally happen within hours after surgery, not days.
I hope that helps anyone preparing for this surgery. I know it soothes me to be prepared. Only 3 more days til surgery! Wish me good healing, and a wonderful result!
Going in for surgery in the morning at 9:15 a.m. I...
Sugery looks to be a great success! No problems...
POST SURGERY: DAY 1 - As noted above surgery...
DAY 1 - As noted above surgery looks successful, and no complications so far. Minimal bleeding at incisions has stopped. It's now been 6 hours post op (4:20 p.m.), and a lot of the numbing anesthesia medication has worn off. I don't think that Tylenol is enough. I was prescribed Vicodin, but only given 6 to take 1 every 6 hours, which isn't going to be enough so I will ask for more when I go back to see Dr. Stallman in the morning. The pain isn't unbearable by any means, but my eyes are aching. If it were really bad, I'd call the doctor now, but with the Vicodin I'm really doing pretty good. The swelling is visible, still as it looks in the photos, but bruising hasn't really set in yet. Neither has any redness from the chemical peel. I'm sure tomorrow will be different. I've been in bed, propped up listening to these very boring audio ebooks and dozing all day. I'm keeping the iced peas packs over 4 by 4 gauze pads on (wrapped with a long gauze, but not too tight, to hold them in place for comfort) for 45 min. out of each hour, and I'm taking my meds as directed. I think I look pretty good, and I am very pleased with the surgery so far. I do think that the crepiness (wrinkles) under my eyes is weird looking tho, and it feels like the chemical peel wasn't even done, but I'm not worrying because I was warned about the crepe/wrinkle look due to the chemical peel, therefore, it is all going along normally.I will update you all tomorrow. I'm going to lay down again.
I had one scare during the evening of surgery. I...
I decided to continue icing through the night, and I think it was worth it. I slept in my very comfy lazy boy recliner with my regular pillow. I found it easier to ice my eyes with the frozen peas by wrapping a long gauze roll around my head to hold them in place, and with the Vicodin and my regular Rx for xanax (I have panic attacks/anxitey) I slept quite peacefully.
I set my alarm for 2:00 a.m. to take more pain medication as I did not want to wake the next morning feeling like I'd been hit by a truck, as well as swapped out the defrosted peas for frozen peas. I went right back to sleep.
I posted Day 2 photos taken at 7:00 a.m. I feel great, and I am extremely happy with the results thus far. So glad I did this, and I've had no problems. I think it helped icing and taking pain meds last night, because I didn't wake up feeling or looking much worse. My upper eyelids have gotten darker red, but the swelling/bruising hasn't changed much.
I went in for my post op checkup at 10:00 a.m. and Dr. Stallman was pleased with my results. He said he thought I was going to do just fine. I told him about my scare with the blood that teared out and he said that was completely normal. Then he pressed on my lower lids, which was minimally painful, and more bloody fluid came out. He indicated this may last a day or so, but not to worry. Then he checked my vision by reading lines of letters, and I did very well. Still a little blurry vision, but the double vision disappeared within an hour after surgery yesterday. The blurriness is due to the ointments and swelling, but I can see fine. Finally, he reminded me to use Cortisone on the under eye lids where he'd done the chemical peel, which I'd forgotten as I was pretty out of it yesterday. I'm seeing the effects of the chemical peel more now and the skin looks wrinkled and swollen. It looks as if I still have bags under my eyes, but they are much lower now. This is because he re-positioned the fat into my tear trough and it is swollen. I can tell it's going to look just how I wanted, wonderful, once it all heals. Well, I'm going to lay down and ice again. I haven't been reading any of your posts as I don't want to be on the computer too much, not icing these first 2 days. I will read your reply's/posts tomorrow. Thanks everyone!
Having some trouble with nausea this afternoon. I...
As far as the pain goes, it seems to have lessened and I'm not as achy. My surgeon Stallman said I could trade out the Tylenol/Vicodin for Advil/Ibuprofin tomorrow and this may help with the aching. If this is as bad as it gets (other than the nausea) I can definately deal with this. I do highly recommend staying immobile and allowing someone to tend to you (bring you water, fresh ice packs, food, etc.) and stay off your feet as moving around during the first 2 days (all I've been through so far) could cause more swelling/bruising and since I have stayed stationary I believe I've kept it all at a minimum. The bridge of my nose is rather swollen too and causing a bit of webbing at the inner corners of my eyes, but this will settle and I'm sure it will all look just as I'd hoped for.
TIPS FOR DOWNTIME / POST OP ACTIVITIES:
1. Forget Ebooks on Podiocast.com as I mentioned before as they are very boring and it is quite annoying listening to a man narrate in a women's voice. I tried 4 books - all horrible even though they had great reviews. Maybe just not for me. I'd much rather have my daughter read a book I'd enjoy to me.
2. Listen to Stand-Up Comedy - listen to stand-up comedy, because you don't have to see it (usually), and it's quite uplifting and entertaining while you lay in bed, or sit in your lazy boy chair hour after hour for 2-3 days. I have Streaming www.Netflix.com, but you can find it on www.Youtube.com as well or search the web for free stand up comedy audio books or videos. Well back to bed. Still feeling a bit nauseated, and I want to keep the ice on as directed. I hope my journey is helpful as well as my hints/tips. Thanks everyone!
Day 3 My surgeon instructed me to stop icing...
My surgeon instructed me to stop icing today (Day 3) and switch to heating with warm wash clothes about 3 times a day. The pain has lessened and I'm back on Tylenol without Vicodin. I was also advised by the doc that I could begin using Advil/Ibuprofin today, which acts as an anti-inflammatory/pain reliever. I feel I can do more on my own today, but I am making myself stay down as I don't want to over do it and cause more swelling/bruising. I feel pretty lucky so far without much bruising, but I am prepared for more at anytime. I'm super happy to be able to watch TV again. My eyes feel a little strange under the lower lid area as if there is a stitch in there. It isn't too bothersome and not painful. My doc assured me that I was fine. I get my stitches out in less than a week (Wed. 5/15/13) and I'm looking forward to that as I've heard a lot of the swelling goes down soon after stitches come out. I've said this each day, but I really am very happy so far. No problems at all, and I can tell I will love the results. My upper lids look great as far as the amount of skin removed and shape, but my lower lids area still look as if I have super wrinkly fat bags. However, I know that is what fat repositioning with a chemical peel is supposed to do to the under eye skin and that will all smooth out and look great once the dead skin peels off and the swelling goes down. I am so glad I did my research otherwise I'd probably be quite nervous right now. I am trying to be patient, which I am, but I really want to see the end result! Thanks everyone!
It is still day 3, but I thought I should comment...
HELPFUL TIP: HEATING PAD - for a warm compress...
HEATING PAD - for a warm compress after switching from cold compress. The warm wet wash cloths in plastic lunch baggies I've been using cool off way too fast, and are difficult to hold in place. If I would have known, I would have added this to the list above.
Wow, I was so happy to wake up this morning feeling great and finding that I've already begun to look better. Swelling is down all around (eyelids, bridge of nose, chipmunk cheeks), and the bruising is already turning yellow which is the last color in the stage of healing (red to purple to yellow, I think I skipped the purple all together). Hopefully I will continue to heal at this faster pace. The only thing left is for the chemical peel to slough or peel off. I'm told my "new" skin underneath with be a bright pink color for about 1 month, which is perfect timing for summer around here. I live in Pismo Beach, Ca, (central California halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles), and we get our summers a little later than most usually from July through September. I just might be ready to hit the sand in my new bikini come July (I won't forget my sunscreen though).
I have continued to follow post op instructions to the T, taking all meds on time, icing for the first 2 days 45 min. of each hour, then switching to warm compresses 4 times a day for about 15 min., sleeping with my head elevated in a comfy recliner chair, low salt diet, no TV for the first 2 days, and only maybe an hour of TV on day 3 and again today, day 4.
NOTE: I am a smoker. I spoke to my surgeon about this and he indicated that smoking makes it difficult for oxygen to circulate through your blood, which slows the healing process down. I asked him if it would help at all if I cut back on the amount of cigarettes I smoke each day, and he said yes it would, anything would be helpful if I quit completely, which is ideal of course, but not required for this surgery. Normally, I smoke 3/4 pack a day (15 cigarettes), but I decided to cut back as much as I could 2 weeks prior to surgery. I have been smoking a little over 1/4 of a pack (5 -8 cigs) a day. I figured I should mention this as part of my story as it does have to do with the healing process via oxygen/circulation.
Thanks again everyone for walking with me through this journey as you have all been so helpful and given me much needed support. I am hoping that each day will get better and better as I have now hit Day 4, which is supposed to be the beginning of the down slope. Yay!
REWIND - Day 3 was the day I was able to replace...
Today has been the best so far - not much pain so I'm only taking 1 Tylenol every 6 hours as my orbital bone (upper cheek bone) is still tender. All of the bruising has now turned yellow, so they should be gone soon. Swelling has subsided a lot. I suppose I was lucky that my bruising never got too bad. Everyone heals differently though. So far, I don't feel the grittiness today, nor do I feel the "stitch" under both lower lids anymore. Hopefully, that has all resolved, or dissolved.
I am so happy I went ahead with this surgery. I continue to see improvement every day and I could tell from Day 1 that the results were going to be pleasing. I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm pretty sure this is going to turn out great!
NOTE (POST OP CARE INSTRUCTIONS #6 EYE DROPS NAME/USE):
In my Post Op List above I listed all the medications I was prescribed or to pick up over the counter I couldn't remember the name or use of the eye drops prescribed so I wanted to let you know that they were Corticosteroid Eye Drops by the name of FML 1% (or Fluorometholone), which is a steroid drop. Throughout my research, I've read that this drop is prescribed to patients at the onset of any problem post op; however, my doc includes this medication as part of regular post op medication/care.
Day 6 Very happy the chemical peel has peeled...
Very happy the chemical peel has peeled off on both sides today. Skin doesn't look too pink, but may tomorrow. I don't know. I'm getting my stitches out tomorrow afternoon. Super happy about that as I hear swelling goes down pretty quickly after that. I'm a bit worried some of the wrinkles from the loose skin where the fat was aren't completely gone. I'm hoping everything will smooth out. I am happy so far, but today was a little bit of a let down due to that. I got out and about today and did some shopping with large sunglasses on, which felt good after being cooped up, propped up, and strange looking for 5 days.
Day 7 - 1 week - Stitches removed
I had my 1 week post op appointment today with stitch removal. Everything is going great. My doc says I'm healing wonderfully, and I can see that I am as well,
NOTE: As you know, I had the fat that was in the under eye bag repositioned into the tear trough (crease), however, the newly positioned fat is a bit hard like a lump, which he had me feel. The doc said that was normal and will probably get a bit harder before it softens up and smooths out as intended. I cannot see this bump, only feel it at this point. I hadn't read anything about this part of the healing process so I thought I'd mention it to anyone researching this procedure.
Stitch removal: I had my stitches out, and it was fairly painless.
Medications: I was instructed not ignore the pharmacist's instruction printed on the medications dispensed prior to surgery, and only follow my doctor's instruction. Some medications instructed only 5 days of use (bacitracin), however, each doctor's visit I am given new instructions (lesser intervals, swap cold compress to warm, etc.).
Makeup: I was instructed to wait another week (2 weeks post op) before I wear any makeup on the incisions. Reason being I'm to keep that area clean so as not to get anything in the incision or it could cause blackheads, or millia (whiteheads), which may go away on their own, or need to be removed by the doc. I don't wear eye shadow, but I do where foundation on my eyelids. I will have to be patient, which I am not real good at.
Swelling: I have been healing very fast with little bruising, but I have had swelling, but I've reached the one week mark and I am already getting anxious. I've known all along that it'll take about 2 months to look "normal" again with the final results being about 6 mos. away, but I really wish I could see what those results will be. I read that people tend to get "The Blues" after about 1 month due to this (realizing how long it actually takes to heal completely), and I feel like I may get them a little earlier than that just because I'm healing at such a quick pace. I am still very happy with the results, and I will try to patient, which as noted above will be tough.
NOTE: Just to mention to anyone who has noticed, my left eyebrow (right in photos) has always been higher than the other. This is not due to surgery, as you can see in my before photo. I may have that evened out in the future with another procedure, but I think I'll let this one sink in first, as this was my first cosmetic procedure.
QUESTION?: Yesterday, I mentioned the fat that had be repositioned into my tear trough was a bit hard like a lump that wasn't visible, but only to touch, and the doc said that was normal and it was soften and smooth with time. I think I can see them now and it's a little worrisome. I trust my doc, and believe him when he says they'll smooth out, but has anyone else had this happen? If so, how long did it take to soften up and smooth out?
TINY SCARE: I woke up this morning though and the sclera (clear layer over eyeball) was bubbled out in the corner of my right eye. I thought something was in my eye upon waking, and went to the mirror and saw that the sclera was raised up like a blister, but clear. I used my corticosteroid eye drops and it immediately went back down. Scared me for a minute, but I'd done my research and new this happens sometimes, and that my sclera was just a bit swollen. I was happy it went right away, or I would have called the doctor.
Otherwise, healing is coming along great. The fat repositioned under my left eye has already softened up quite a bit, but it is still a little harder under the right eye. My incision lines across my upper lids look good. They are a bit red and bumpy, as was expected, and I know this will fade and soften over time. I'm not worried about it at all as it really isn't bad now to begin with. I have heard it can get thicker, bumpier up to 1 month though before it begins to improve so I am hopeful it doesn't. Only the remnants of yellowish bruising left now and a red line bruise remains at the outer corner of my left eye due to my lower lid being pulled down and held during surgery. I had them in both corners initially. I am feeling better everyday. I still have some swelling under both eyes directly, but the areas where the fat bags were looks great. I also have some swelling on both upper lids but too little to know where and what. I'm sure they will improve. My eyeballs still feel a bit heavy I guess is how I'd describe it due to swelling all around them, which isn't very bothersome.
I've been very happy from day 1 with my results. I could tell I'd made a good choice, and each day confirms this. I only have a few more days until I can wear make-up. I am looking forward to going out with friends next weekend, hopefully. I want to get ready makeup and all. I haven't gone anywhere fun since before surgery, because I wanted to take really good care of myself so I wouldn't disturb the healing process.
I will probably update my photos weekly now. I doubt there will be much improvement seen through photos day to day. I will continue to update with my progress as it changes.
I'm still feeling great about this surgery. I have some residual swelling as expected, more under eye than upper eye, but it's not very noticeable to others. I can see it though, and feel it as my eyeballs feel heavy, and when I look down it feels a bit strange, because I can feel the swelling. You sort of have to experience it to know what I'm talking about, but it's not scary or debilitating. Also, I've been advised that the wrinkling under eye due to this minimal, residual swelling will go away about 2 weeks after the swelling goes down, which is extremely relieving! I was very scared that I'd gone through all of this to rid myself of the under eye bags only to have wrinkling replace it. All others who've had this procedure have experienced the same thing, and they've advised me to be patient as it will subside. I am so happy!
I am going to post 2 photos at some point, probably at the end of the visibly noticeable healing process. The 1st photo will be of me dressed and ready with makeup and hair done, before the surgery, and then another of the same, but taken after the surgery. I think you will all be surprised at what I really look like, as the photos of one's eyes alone don't show you what a person looks like. I know I'm curious when I look at all the profiles on here so I thought you might enjoy that. Plus, I have looked less than attractive so far from before surgery with bags through bruising and swelling, and I'd like to show you.
Day 11 - WEAR YOUR SUNGLASSES & SUNSCREEN
So the moral of the story is WEAR YOUR SUNGLASSES! They don't just protect your eyes from the sun they protect them from wind, dust, dirt, allergens, and whatever else the wind may carry on it's journey...into your eye!
MUST HAVE THIS PRODUCT: Sunscreen: "Dab-On Spot Stick" by Ocean Potion with SPF 50+, and 80 minute Water Resistant. This product is amazing, because it's clear, drys immediately, non-greasy, and it doesn't sting due to it being Fragrance, Oxybenzone, & Paraben Free with Vitamin D3! It doesn't feel like you have anything on at all so you can apply it under makeup without notice. It's fabulous! It's in a small tube you can keep in your pocket, and it's only $3.95 at Wal-mart. All you do is press the flat cloth covered top with your fingertip and a small amount comes out clear, and just dab it on the "new" skin (if you've had a chemical peel), and along any incision scar.
NOTE: Always use sunscreen on any scar for at least 6 months. The sun causes a scar to stay red and raised, and disallows it to heal properly.
Other than that little incident, which actually happened on Day 10, Day 11 is going very well. I'm staying in today to ensure the pore heals, and I am going to relax. I've added 2 new photos, but you cannot see the pore; however, some greenish bruising developed around that eye today probably from me messing with it. The pore now just looks like a tiny red line, not a pore/tiny hole, and I'm hopeful it will stay that way and never bother me again.
BE PATIENT - EYES ARE SENSITIVE I've learned to be patient again. I am only 1 1/2 weeks out, and just because my eyes looked pretty normal with just minimal swelling they are still healing with a long way to go. The eyes are extremely sensitive, but I've never worn glasses/contacts, or had many issues with them so I forget this, and surgery is very invasive so I have to take care of them for a lot longer than 1 1/2 weeks! Take care everyone.
Day 14 - 2 Weeks
NOTE: BROMALAIN IS GREAT! I bought more Bromalain as suggested by a fellow bleph patient KFRNP. I finished my first bottle and it's not cheap at $20/bottle, and I hadn't been instructed by the doctor to continue on any longer (he isn't a man of many words, but I do not want to slander him in anyway). However, I began to see purple/red bruising at the corner upper lid on Sunday. I don't believe any longer that it was due to the pore incident I wrote about above, as it was the other eye, lol. It may have been some of that "deep" bruising that comes to the surface unexpectedly after a couple weeks, or who knows. Anyway, I bought more Bromalain and spent the $20 and now I swear by this stuff! Everyone was saying that Arnica was the fabulous herb/flower (whatever), but Bromalain surpasses Arnica two-fold in the bruising department. BUT Arnica may be playing a big roll in the swelling so I don't want to discredit it, I just don't know.
As you can see by my photos, I had hardly any bruising only slight green under eye for about 2 hours day of surgery, then 2 days of a red upper eyelid, and then immediately the bruising turned yellow (last stage of a bruise), which last several days as I believe the Bromalain lessened the severity of the bruising, just not the longevity, as well as the severity of swelling. I cannot tell whether the Arnica had anything to do with that, but I do know that within 2 days of not taking Bromalain, but still taking Arnica, I developed a red/purple bruise at the corner of my upper eye lid on Sunday. I started back on the Bromalain on Tuesday afternoon and the bruising subsided fairly quickly skipping the whole fading process once again: red, the dark purple, then red and purple speckling surrounded by green then onto yellow. I was hardly even yellow, if at all. Who knows, I suppose, as I did have red eye lids on Days 2 & 3 then went straight to yellow before, and if this were a deep bruise surfacing then it did the same thing, although the Arnica didn't seem to be working on it as quickly as the first time. It could be coincidence that I bought the Bromalain on the 3rd day and it was going to begin to subside anyway with the Arnica. At any rate, either Bromalain or Arnica, the moral of the story is it's wonderful! I'm looking into herbalism for sure.
NEED (ADJUST TO POST OP CARE LIST): Bromalain comes in 2 bottles: a small with only 30 pills; a larger with 60 pills. I highly recommend you purchase 2 larger 60 pill bottles and continue to take the Bromalain for I'm guessing per patient KFRNP, 3 weeks. After the first week of taking the Bromalain in doses of 2 pills every 4 hours you will finish the first bottle of 60 pills, then reduce the dose to 2 pills 2x day and that will extend your 2nd bottle out the 3 weeks. Don't worry about the Arnica as it's inexpensive at $9/bottle and comes with 250 pills, which should last you a long time.
Day 17 - 2 weeks 3 Days
At first that skin was wrinkling due to swelling subsiding before skin's elasticity was reshaping, which worried me but a few others assured me that would resolve due to skin elasticity and it has somewhat, but now I feel like the remaining skin didn't "tighten up" enough and maybe should have been removed as it looks like a "bag", just not as severe as the original fat bag. Either it's loose skin, or, remaining fat, or, I'm not being as patient as I should be as it has only been 2 1/2 weeks (I know this is a wait, and then wait some more situation) and I'm hoping that is the case.
In addition to that worrisome issue, just in my right eye (left in photo), I'm afraid the newly positioned fat isn't positioned correctly in the tear trough. It doesn't feel as though it is truly placed along the tear trough in it's entirety - on down to the lowest point of the tear trough. It only feels like the outer-most edge of the fat strip is touching on the outer-most edge of the tear trough, and the bulk of the fat strip is resting just above the bottom area of the tear trough. Therefore, the deep tear trough I had before remains in the lower region. However, the right eye's repositioned fat lump has always been harder than that in the left eye (that issue was noted above and the hardened lump is a normal issue that resolve/smooths down over time). I'm hoping the fat really is covering the whole tear trough and this will become apparent when the hardness subsides and everything will smooth out. I have posted some new photos.
My left eye gives me hope, because it looks good to me although the wrinkling is still apparent when I smile (possibly elasticity, possibly some skin needed to be removed). The repositioned fat never hardened into as big of a lump as it did in the right eye, and it appears to be nice and even, smoother, without signs of a bag or deep tear trough. Therefore, I am hopeful that the right eye will look as good as I heal, as each eye has healed at a different pace.
I am aware that I am only at 2 1/2 weeks post op, but this is causing me too worry a bit that my under eyes aren't going to look as I'd hoped. Has anyone else experience this, or something similar that changed as you healed?
21 Days = 3 weeks
You all should enjoy this one...I woke from an afternoon nap yesterday and a friend strolled up to visit. After a few minutes I mentioned my eyes and she was like "oh! My gosh I'm sorry I totally forgot. I just thought you looked well rested from your nap"! I bet none of us ever got told how well rested we looked before, huh?
I will take photos again when my camera charges up. Thanks everyone for your comments, questions, and support! It's been really helpful to have something to do through all of this, and a positive journey thankfully. This site is an excellent forum for anyone planning surgery to discuss and de-stress.
3 Weeks + 1 Day
I also showed him the pore on the rim of my left eye and he said we have pores all along this area and to put heat on the eye then massage upward to push out any oils that gather there.
Otherwise, things are healing good.
PS: I would have photos for you today, but as noted above I had to charge the battery in my camera, and it would have helped if I'd plugged the charging dock in too...I will post pics asap.
3 Weeks + 3 Days
4 Weeks - So happy I had blephoraplasty! I have 10 yrs. back.
My incision lines were cut very symmetrically (not perfect, but very good), and they are healing very well. I haven't had any problems or changes with them. They continue each day to improve.
DISSOLVING STITCHES VS. REGULAR STITCHES (BEST IN MY OPINION): Most sutures leave little holes in the skin along the sides of the incision that eventually smooth out as you heal. A family member of mine had the dissolvable sutures, but they did not dissolve and the skin healed around them. We removed them upon noticing the area was irritated and red. This left those holes open for dirt and oil collection. They became "pores" even 11 yrs. later, and the impurities, if not properly cleansed become blackheads and then pimples. Some surgeons use these "dissolvable" sutures during blephoraplasty. My doctor explained that different areas of the body heal faster and he uses dissolving sutures on the inside of the eye (conjunctiva) to hold the transposed fat in place. He said it shouldn't be a problem because that area was not seen on the outside skin; however, I asked him to use the removable sutures instead (the two blue stitches below my eyes in my 1st week post op photos). This may be something to discuss with your surgeon if you are planning on having surgery. I'm mentioning this now, because my suture "holes" are still healing and they are a bit indented still, and the other night, after washing my face, some black eyeliner remained in the holes at the outer edges of each incision on my upper eyelids, and I thought they'd become blackheads. Luckily, it was just that I needed to wash the makeup out of them again with a wash cloth. The removable suture holes fill in as they heal and there is a small dot scar, but it's closed and cannot fill up with impurities that cause blackheads and that is my preference.
I HAVE CONFIDENCE NOW! I can look people directly in the eye without makeup on. I realized I hadn't been able to do that before after this surgery. I wouldn't have considered myself unconfident before, but over the last week I have felt real confidence when interacting with the public and it feels good.
I AM SO GLAD I HAD BLEPHORAPLASTY. As vain as it may sound, it's difficult for me to accept the aging process, and having had these under eye bags for years, knowing they were getting worse with time, this procedure has given me, at least, 10 yrs back.
Day 38 = 5 1/2 weeks post op
As far as the wrinkling goes there are about 3 wrinkle lines that I didn't notice I had before, but they aren't very visible any longer. Although they are now present due to the under eye "bag" being gone the wrinkles aren't as deep as they were when my skin was still "stretched" out after swelling and the under eye bag was gone. I am very pleased at my doctor being conservative as the results thus far seem to be as good as it gets. I believe that I did not have enough under eyelid skin to have any removed so that was a very good judgement call on my doctor's part. If anything needs to be done after I'm done healing I believe I may need another chemical peel to soften out the minimal wrinkling that may remain. I do not want, nor do I need, to go the botox route in regards to the wrinkles, which was mentioned. I am fine the it is now, however, I would be interested in another chemical peel if the doctor feels that would decrease the depth of the wrinkles that remain. The only reason I will proceed with another chem peel, if it will, in fact, help, is because I paid $4,900 to have great looking eyes and I am so very close to being extremely happy with the results. I took some photos that I will attach in a moment.
I feel very thankful right now that I look so much better, and there were no complications. This experience has given me back my confidence. I feel great!
2 Months + 9 Days = 9 1/2 Weeks
5 Months Post Op - My eyes look GREAT!
Extremely unhappy with final results - Severe wrinkles I didn't have before and nothing was fixed
As noted above, after I first noticed the wrinkling under both eyes that I did not have before the procedures as well as the lump where he had repositioned the fat that had created another "bag" under my right eye (left in photos), I scheduled an appointment to address it Dr. Stallman. The doctor offered only to charge me a few hundred dollars for Botox injections to freeze the muscles in my face so they wouldn't move and that would take care of the wrinkle problem under my eyes. He advised that the Botox would only be temporary and that I could continue to pay for these Botox injections every few months to keep the muscles frozen and wrinkles relaxed. That was completely unacceptable to me, and I told him I could not afford that. I asked him whether I had any type of revision options with him. Dr. Stallman then said no that I would have to pay for any procedure he did for me. I was rather upset, but polite, but I did say that I felt like I looked horrible and older than I was. Dr. Stallman then suggested that it would take a year or more for the final results and that my eyes should continue to look better as time went by and not to worry. I left hopeful that I hadn't just spent $5,000 to look worse than I did before the blepharoplasty. There was a short period of time when the swelling had not subsided and the under eye skin looked nice and smooth and I could not see the wrongly repositioned fat and I was happy, but that was short lived!
It's been over a year and my under eyes have only gotten worse, much worse. Both eyes look terrible. So I have now had second opinions and have been told that my eyes were definitely not considered satisfactory results for the procedures I had, and that I would definitely need revision surgery to fill in the tear trough, remove the wrongly repositioned fat in the right eye (left in photos), and several options regarding the terrible wrinkling. I was also told that the wrinkling may be so severe due to having the co2 laser resurfacing at the same time as the blepharoplasty procedure as my skin had already had been traumatized from laser surgery from the blepharoplasty (upper and lower transconjunctival).
It has been suggested that I do not pay for any revisions and that I do have recourse. I will contact Dr. Stallman immediately and express my concerns, remind him I tried to discuss revisions and my dissatisfaction, and advise him that I plan to initiate recourse. I will see how he responds to my proactive approach to this situation and hope for an agreeable outcome.
I want what I paid for, and I certainly did not want to look worse as $5,000 is a hefty fee for me. I went in with just under eye bags that weren't extreme and deep tear troughs, and I came out with both as well as severe wrinkling and I look much older whereas I only looked unrested before.
So, I wanted to come back on Real Self to rectify the positive review I gave initially, although I do note all these issues in my review along the way/over the months. I felt it was only right to let anyone reading my review know the final outcome and to post photos to show the final results.
Completely unsatisfied with results after completely healed - update & photos
As far as I could tell Dr. Stallman was a great candidate to perform my 3 procedures: upper and lower blepharoplasty and CO2 laser resurfacing under both eyes, because he was an occuloplastic surgeon (eye specialist) with many, many years of experience; however, there was almost nothing about him online. The only reviews I found about him were on his website, but I assumed (you know what they say about assuming..) that because I could not find any bad reviews or complaints that there were none. You know the old saying: you have a good experience and you tell your friends, you have a bad experience and you tell everyone. As a matter of fact, I clearly recall Dr. Stallman being the one to tell me that old saying...hmmm.
So I was feeling as good as one can about the surgeon I'd chosen. However, last year that same Real Self online friend (KRFNP) I mentioned earlier pushed me to go with my gut feeling last year after I mentioned that I felt rushed through the consultation appointment suggesting I had every right to get more consultation time in with the doctor, but I did not ask for it. This time, I am going to push the envelope, and do things differently. I will listen to my gut, as more consultation time would have allowed me to do more research, and possibly something may have triggered me, maybe even during the potential second meeting with the doctor, to discuss the subject I was recently made aware of by this last “second opinion” surgeon who said he would not have performed the CO2 laser resurfacing (I refer to it as the chemical peel above) at the same time as the blepharoplasty due to too much laser (burning) to my delicate eye area at once. Maybe that would have changed the outcome I experienced who knows. Therefore, I am going down a different path in my quest for rectification.
I am very hesitant to go back to Dr. Stallman for revision surgery, if he does end up offering it or if it is offered by other means. We are all human, and, although I do not hold a grudge against a customer who comes to me with a complaint (I own and operate a business myself), and I am always more than happy to rectify the situation as fairly as possible, I get the gut feeling Dr. Stallman would be irritated by me. The doctor made it clear, when I asked him to amend the problems with the procedures as they began to appear, that he would not do anything for me as a courtesy (free of further charge), but instead would charge me for a completely different procedure. That is why I know that, at the very least, he does not want to try to correct the problems to ensure client satisfaction, and I was not asking for petty revisions. A courtesy revision would have been the right thing to do, and if he would have offered that the first time I would feel much more comfortable allowing him to perform revisions.
I have worked in law (defense in fact so I see from the doctor's side too), and, as you can all see, I am very thorough so having the truth on my side, and the proof in my face (no unprecedented or petty requests here) with many before and after photos, I am confident in my pursuit for a favorable resolution. I've spoken with other specialists in the plastic surgery and dermatology medical fields in addition to some of my own colleagues about the matter and I know I am in the right to seek justice. Doing so has calmed me a bit making a very unsettling situation much easier.
I am going to push the envelope here, because I am extremely unhappy with my eyes now and it has caused me so much anxiety and depression. I went in only looking tired due to the hereditary "bags" under my eyes, but no wrinkles, and I came out with a new "bag" and severe wrinkles. I was always told, and I could tell myself, that I looked around 28 years old and I was actually 37 years old. Now that has all changed and if I could go back to the way I was before I would in a heartbeat!! I would much rather look "tired" than "old". This was my worst fear about getting plastic surgery done on my face, just short of being maimed of course.
At this point, I am going to give Dr. Stallman the benefit of the doubt in hopes that he will respond favorably this second time I attempt to request redress. If he proves to be fair about this situation, and is an honest individual, I will amend my review and make the appropriate changes to my rating and commentary. I am very hopeful for this as I do not want this to turn ugly. Also, I am not here to make accusations or assumptions, only to walk all of you through my experience as this is what this site is for, but I am going to listen to my gut feelings and I will post about that.
I will keep everyone posted as to the outcome and my attempts at an honorable, or at least fair, resolution in case others find themselves in this predicament. So, I am going to continue to document my experience. Thanks for all your support and it means a lot to me, and I hope I can help others as well.
Help, does anyone have suggestions?
Dr. Stallman seemed to be great. He was very confident which came off slightly cocky, but he was friendly. He answered my questions and I felt somewhat at ease before the procedure. However, after the procedure I was not satisfied and looked worse than before and he did not offer to rectify the poor results of my upper/lower blepharoplasty that left me with some of the same issues plus severe wrinkling that was due to the procedure. I would not recommend him to my friends not only because the results were bad, but because he would not do any revision work at no cost and wanted to charge me for Botox as his solution. Definitely not what I paid for. His staff was very pleasant and friendly and my experience with them was great.