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Upper Eyelid Surgery - Raleigh, NC

I am a 37 yo female with drooping eyelids (esp my...

I am a 37 yo female with drooping eyelids (esp my right lid). I am having a TT on June 21st and figured that I needed more excitement and pain. Just kidding - I am excited to knock both of these out at one time.
A lot of people in my family have the same type of lids I do. I found out recently that my grandmother had her lids done - i had always wondered why her lids were different.
Well, I am excited and nervous - actually more nervous about my eyes than my belly but this is such a good opportunity, I won't be able to take 2 weeks off of work for quite awhile and it looks like most folks are returning to semi-normal around that time.
Wish me luck and feel free to share any wisdom! I will post pictures soon.

Before pictures posted

Here are the before pictures of my eyes. My kids helped me take the pictures with my iPhone. I am less than 2 weeks away and I am so excited. I wish there were more postings about eyelid surgery out there like there is for tummy tucks. I gathered the following supplies based on the reviews I have read so far:
- saline eye drops (just got Target's generic rewetting drops)
- eye ointment (again Target generic)
- Vaseline
- small and medium gauze
- clean package of q tips
- 2 large bags of frozen peas (I am going to divide them into a bunch of small snack size bags that my mom/husband can grab for my eyes)
- filled pain meds and anti nausea
- my dr have me some arnica tablets and cream (the cream may be for my other procedure).
- new concealer, foundation and powder (with fresh wounds I didn't want to risk using older makeup for that area)
- new eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow
- recliner
- extra pillows
- books on tape (I downloaded an audiobook app from my library and created a list of books I want to listen to).
- podcasts - downloaded some shows to listen to like 'This American Life' from NPR.

I hope this helpful to anyone preparing for this procedure! Let me know if you have heard of anything else that would be useful.

Before pictures

Forgot to attach with my narrative.

It's done! Post op day 1

I have attached pictures that I took this morning. I think it is going to look good. The swelling in my right eye looks a little funny but I am sure it will go down. The eyes look painful but they really aren't just dry and blurry at times. The dr gave me some ointment - refresh that i have been using. I also bought eye drops that I just used. My tummy tuck is the source of all pain but feels a little better than yesterday.

Day 2

Ice is very important. My eyes feel so much better when I continue to ice on them. I am still using the Refresh ointment at night and Target brand lubricating drops in the day (every time I go to the bathroom). Still no pain in the eyes (I am taking pain killers for my tummy though) just an occasional tightness or dry feeling. Oh, and the bandage in my eye brow is where the PS removed a puffy mole. The eye surgery was a lot easier than I thought.

Day 3

I have started watching tv and reducing the amount of times I ice my eyes. The first two nights I used wet tea bags to keep everything moist. My right eye feels a little stiff but I can tell the swelling is going down.

Day 4

My eyes are very tired. Too much tv and computer time yesterday. I had to use the ointment before I went to bed last night and this morning they are kind of tight and dry. I continue to take Arnica Montana 3x a day and I think it is helping, my bruising looks less than others of course it may be all the ice I used too. Today I am going to switch to warm compresses.

Day 5

Tomorrow I get my stitches out! I am feeling better. I put a smudge of ointment on the lid of my right side and it really helped the tight and raw feeling that I thought was coming from the inside of my eye. I continue to take breaks and close my eyes and rest them for at least 15 to 30 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. I'm such a dork - I have been reading make up tutorials online. I can't wait to experiment with my new lids. It's like I am 14 again and my mom has given the ok to buy make up. If you are reading this now go buy some stock in Sephoria because I am about to paint the town!

Stitches out!

I had my post op and had my stitches removed. Yeah! My right eye is still a little irritated and swollen but the bruising is going away quickly. I am also adding a photo with more of my face because my eye shots look like one of the bald three stooges.
My doc said I can use makeup and contacts now. Hooray!

One week

I put on make up today and was surprised how tender my eyelids are. My right eye is noticeably more swollen than the other and it feels more tender. Just got to give it time.

Day 8

The bruising is pretty much gone and now I am just waiting for the swelling to go down. I think that the AC vent is what is irritating my right eye based on the position of my recliner (aka throne). Today I wore my contacts and my eyes felt great. It actually helped the irritation in my right. I also got out and walked more today and tried to do more around the house. I am going to wait a few more days before doing make up again because I really want everything to heal completely before introducing it to products/chemicals. Hard to wait though!

Day 9

Nothing too exciting to report. Put light make up on today avoiding the incisions on the lid. The entry and exit sites are still visible up close but going quickly from red to white.

Day 10

Called dr office this am to see if I needed to get this feeling of irritation checked out. Found out that it is quite normal with an upper bleph because the part of the eye that makes tears is swollen and it takes a few weeks for it to get back on track. The nurse Jenna told me to use my rewetting drops during the day and the ointment at night. So far so good. I am so glad I called, Jenna and everyone is so awesome and comforting. It's us so reassuring because many of the staff have had this exact procedure so it's not like they are reading from a pamphlet, they have lived it and can speak from experience. I changed my review to worth it. I love my new eyes. I hope they don't change too much when the swelling goes down.

Day 11

I have pictures of eyes opened and closed. Wish I had thought about adding a closed eye picture each day at the beginning. When my eyes are opened you can hardly tell anything has been done. Oh, I have ointment in my eyes - just in case you noticed they looked oily.

Day 12

New pics. Getting there slowly but surely.

Day 13

Nothing significant today. Hope these daily posts in the first two weeks are helpful for folks out there. I know I was hi hey for pics and info before the procedure. Good luck to all of you considering this procedure.

Day 14 (a day late)

Fell asleep before updating last night. My goal was to post daily for the first two weeks. Eyes are still dry if I don't use drops or ointment but are settling in nice. The tenderness has decreased near the brow and is just near the lashes now. The stitches site near my nose has almost gone and only my outside stitch site on the left is there though it looks like a wrinkle. I have one bruise remaining on my right eye near the crease that is easily disguised. I am hoping that as the swelling decreases my eyes will look more symmetrical.

3 weeks later

My eyes are still a bit tender near the eyelashes when I apply make up. The swelling has greatly reduced along with all but one of my stitch marks (hard to see it in the pictures). No one has said anything at work or seemed to notice and I prefer that - just wanted a subtle change. I can tell a difference in applying my eye make up. Still putting in the ointment most nights esp in my right eye.

4 weeks PO

Can still see slight scar on my left eye (see pic). My swelling has gone down a lot and now I wonder if a little more should have been taken. I still notice the difference when doing my eye make up. I was lazy with my make up this morning - don't judge it in my pics! Happy recovery all!

5 weeks PO

My eyes have settled in pretty well. Still have tenderness on right inside part of eye but significantly less each week. I also no longer have that feeling like something is stuck in my right eye.
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Davis and his staff are well organized and knowledgeable. I know Dr. Davis is going to perform only what is necessary and safe.

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Comments (23)

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Looks great!!
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I have followed your post faithfully and I am so amazed yours turn out. I had my upper eyelids done yesterday afternoon. Thank you for the great tips on your post. It's very much appreciated. And you look fabulous!!
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Yeah! I am so glad you found this helpful! I am going to try to update weekly and then monthly for a while.
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Hi dear, I would like to tell you that you look great! Just perfect! I had my upper eyelid done 16 days ago, I use to have very puffy eyes, I really liked the results but I am concerned about the scar. My PS recommend massaging the incision with an eye cream twice daily, I`ve been doing this and don't see results. I have a few bumps and discoloration across the line. Do you mind to give me some advice or suggest a cream or any product to help? I really appreciate your attention. Many thanks, Anastacia
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Thank you so much! I haven't put anything on my scars except a tad of ointment at night so they don't dry out under my air vent. I bought new (and cheap) eye make up that is hypo allergenic and I make sure to clean my face every night. Without my make up and my eyes closed my scar is visible. I think it is just going to take time.
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Hi.. I'm starting my 5th day po. Your story has kept my spirits up and I often look at your pictures and compare my eyes to yours. Yours are lovely, good job! Mine don't look much different to before except they are bruised, red and have 2 scars! I'm really hoping my surgeon wasnt too subtle as I wouldn't really want another surgery if he didn't take enough skin away. My eyelids still very saggy/droopy but I'm hoping its swelling. I do compare my right eye to your right eye and its good to see yours did sort it self out.. Lucky you.. Keep posting as your story/pictures gives us an idea of what will come for us.. Thanks :)
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You made my day! I am so glad you posted. I am going to go read your review now!
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Let me know when you do a review!
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You look great, I'm 8 days out and have been following your progress with interest. Very informative, thanks.
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Yeah! I'm so glad that it has been helpful. I didn't have many comments at first and was getting kind of discouraged!
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Before I read your notes I had no idea about putting ointment in the eyes. I haven't bought the ointment as yet (This is my 6th day after surgery). My eyes do feel very weak and tired but is it useful to put ointment at this stage? Will eye drops work the same? Is it really because of the tear glands? Some people do the incision in the inside, do you know what's the difference? I'll have the sutures removed tmw.
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The ointment is very helpful for me at night. My husband put it in the first night or two and then I stopped using it. After that I woke up with tight eyes and then started feeling like I had something stuck in my eyes. I started putting in a small amount every night and they feel much better. I am using Refresh (the dr gave me that) but I also have the Target brand ointment and have used that too (I lose things easily) and I can't tell a difference. I use the drops during the day, but they didn't help me at night and in the morning. I don't know if it is really the tear glands but all the ladies in the PS office have had this surgery and it makes sense. I read a little bit about the incision on the inside and it seemed more common in the lower eyelid bleph if someone had a lot of extra skin. I haven't come across much regarding the upper either. Good luck with your recovery and am so glad that you came across my review!
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Thank you! You must look great by now!
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You look great!!
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Thank you for sharing your experience!
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Thank you so much for your post. Very informative and you look amazing! Hardly any bruising. I'm having mine done in 3 weeks and hope I'm as fortunate as you. Thanks for the great tips!!
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Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions.
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I know it's hard to be patient! But thank you for sharing. Just think how great you'll look in a few more weeks.

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Thank you!
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Hi - looking good! Amazed at how little bruising you had - I look like I've been hit by a bus. Or two buses! I had more done of course but still... oh well. Nice to hear you're happy and healing well.
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I looked at your review. You had a lot more done but your bruising looks like it really has gone down in a day. I iced the heck out of my face the first 2 days. I hope your recovery goes smooth and keep posting!
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I had a lot of dryness at night and used Genteal night time ointment for the first few months.  It reallyl helped but maybe wait and see if you even need it, I know everyone heals different as no 2 surgeries are exactly alike and it is about $11-12 for a small tube (lasts a long time though).  There are other brands of night time eye gels too in approx. the same price range I think.  Make sure you take lots of pictures as you heal.  If healing ends up taking longer than you expect it can be a good reference to your progress when you may feel like it is taking forever!  My doctor kept reassuring me and saying "just be patient" and it's hard to see the progress sometimes when it happens slow.  Try not to look at yourself too much the first few days at least.  I looked in the mirror too much in the beginning and it didn't make me heal faster, trust me lol.   Also, as you start wanting to venture out of the house again, you aren't going to want to slather makeup on your incisions if you can help it so I would be a big pair of sunglasses:)     Best of luck to you!  Keep us posted so we can hear about your great results!
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Thank you so much! Your tips are great and very helpful!
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