Bags Under my Eyes - Eyelid Surgery Ruined my Life - Rockport, IL

Moved to Florida 7 years ago. I was 55 then, and...

moved to Florida 7 years ago. I was 55 then, and looking somewhat tired, with bags under eyes. I went to my Dr. to improve my appearance and look somewhat younger again.

I have always had pretty eyes, almond in shape and told I looked like Sophia Loren. My upper weren't that bad, but thought the removal of some fat, (never over 3 mil) wouldn't hurt. I remember stating to her the evening of my surgery, “please don't mess up my eyes, they are the window to your soul and my best feature.” She smiled with confidence.

My oldest daughter picked me up from the surgery, and immediately knew something was wrong. My eyes were surely swollen, and bursed, more than any photos she had seen regarding upper and lower eyelid surgery. One week later my eyes were still swollen shut and bruised. The Dr. put me on Steroids and that reduced the effects.

Weeks after the surgery, my eyes would not stay closed entire night during sleep. My daughter again was the one to notice, along with the altered appearance this surgery produced. My eyes were no longer almond, they were round and very wide. I looked like I was scared by something all the time. I have hollow eye sockets now and they still stay open when I sleep.

My entire appearance was changed to a negative effect, and with every visit I made to my Dr.'s office, I heard the same thing, "GIVE IT TIME". It became apparent after the 4-5th visit, she did not know what to do for corrections, nor was she going to admit any error. After conferring with another surgeon, I found out that she cut access tissue from my eyes, leaving a hollow socket. Too much fat was taken out as well, and leaving little skin, or muscle strength, to close eyes for the entire night. I can blink, thank god.

Since my eyes are wide and hollow, it has also changed my facial features. They are also hollowed in appearance, making face longer in appearance and my once high cheek bones adding to my skeleton look. My family back home did not recognize me when they first saw me. Only my voice indicated who I was. I have gone shopping in stores while visiting my hometown, running into old friends as they pass me by. I do not even resemble who I once looked like and too embarrassed and ashamed of what I look like now. I too, have looked in the mirror everyday and have a stranger looking back for the past 7 years.

Although I seek for some reversion type of treatment, they are more expensive than the original, and I could ever afford. I did have my own collagen injected into my upper lid, but only 20% stays while the rest is absorbed, so lasting effect was temporary. I've looked at Strip fat grafting, again the cost is too great and no guarantee this would work. I've heard all the statements, “why was I so vain,” and “I should of left my appearance alone“.

I remember over hearing my son say one day, “it must be hard for mom, she was once so beautiful and let that doctor butcher her face.” I've cried, thought what did I do to deserve this? Woman everyday have surgery done and it leaves a positive effect. I would not recommend this doctor for my dog. She maybe good at some work, but for eye lid surgery she ruined my life, and appearance.

Little can be done legally with elective surgery, and unless your left horribly disfigured, juries don't feel for you, and attorneys even less. I may still go blind one day from my eyes not completely closing at night. I have scratched my cornea during sleep at night, and have had to receive medical treatment for it.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK !!!! Do not assume because a doctor is Board Certified they know what they are doing. These postings are a great source of information. If I had pictures I'd up-load ,so everyone could see my “before and after“. I stopped taking pictures of myself 7 years ago. I rarely go out in public when visiting home. Not that I'll be recognized, but the mental and emotional effects are too difficult to deal with as time goes by, and little hope is left for any correction. Beware, of what this doctor performs on you. There are something’s in life, we may never recover from. For me this is one of them.

The pro's were to improve my appearance. Con's, I...

The pro's were to improve my appearance. Con's, I did not do my homework. Just because a doctor is board certitfed, does not mean they are up and familar with all procedures. Mine was a very negative experience.

Help and suggestions for revision surgery?

I have searched for revision on first eye lid...

I have searched for revision on first eye lid surgery for 8 years. On June 24th I went to my home town Plastic/Reconstruction Surgeon ,whom I should have gone too originally for this task. Dr. W has been in practice for many years and is a skilled, experienced Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeron. He performed a mid face lift with focus on the upper area of my temples to elonggate my eyes and try tto give back my almond appearance. He used Pearl Grafting in upper eye lids, for volume and also tried to recreate my lid crease that had been totally removed my first unskilled surgeron. It has been over one month and I see some fat absorbing in upper lids, I am still very pleased with outcome, and family can also see a positive change, and softer appearance. I may need additional fat grafting to upper lids which is normal,and expected. I have taken photos to show and hope this of help to others seeking help in this area. I found his costs absolutely resonable and I am pleased with results this far. Very first pic: how my eyes looked before original surgery. Almond and long. Photo 2 is how my eyes looked after eye lid surgery ..Hollwed,empty,doll eyes,with hardness and no lid crease,round and wide. 3 photo is a side veiw of original surgery showing the hollwed eye socket and how I could almost place my finger in socket.Photo 4, day of revisio suregry.Photo 5,after surgery.Next photo showing third day out. Next photo of side, face appears fuller.

Eight years ago I have aggressive upper/lower eye...

Eight years ago I have aggressive upper/lower eye lid surgery. She changed my face and life to a negative for emotional greiving and loss of my genetic indentity. A good plastic surgeon will never change the shape or appearance of your eyes. Only enhaonce them. This is not a skilled or good Plastic Surgeon, and I highly recommend "NO ONE" have this butcher cut on them.She never took responabiltiy for her aggressive and negative outcome, and hurried me through her office so ohter potential patiences could not see her work. She is cold hearted, and shouldn't be allowed to preform surgery until she learns how to do it correctly.

On June 24, 2010. I traveled to my home town of Rockofrd ,Illinois where a skilled and experienced Plastic/Reconstruction Suregon , performed revision upper /lower eye lid surgery. I have extreme hollwed sockets, and sunken eyes from the original surgery performed. Dr. W gave me pearl fat grafting to upper lids, and a mid face life with focus on the temporal vertigal pull to help re-create my onve almond eyes, raped from me by the original doctor.This drastic change made my entire face look gaunt, hollwed and changed my genetic identiy. I no longer looked like my family. Dr. W helped give me my old appearance back and recreate the natural crease that was cut entirely away.leaving skeleton sockets for eyes.She turned me into a freak that for many years mourned the loss of my face and the emotional roller coaster this type of unskilled work can leave the consumer.

They say photos speak 1000 words, and my photos say much today on how I look and feel. Thereis hope out here and never give up. Just be careful whom you choice to do any P.S. and look at there record. If they are a bad P.S. the web will have them on here with compliants. If it had been around for me 9 years ago, I'd of saved myself allot of heartache, money and pain. First photo is how I once appeared before original surgery. Second photo,how I appeared after the first surgery for enhancment of upper/lower eye lid sugery. Many years of sorrow and depression followed.


Photo Update

Still going Strong !

It has now been 4 years since eye surgery revision by Dr. J. Weiskopf , Rockford, Il.. I am still very pleased with the outcome He is a very skilled Plastic/Reconstruction Surgeon. My original surgery by Victoria Vitale- Lewis , of Melbourne, Florida, devastated me and created severe, Emotional, Mental Health issues. Deep depression and raped my genetic identiy. But I found the light and strength, pursued revision and founda GREAT doctor, that helped change what Vitale /Lewis created, into something soft, and recognizable and pleasing. Please beware of whom you allow to cut into your face. It can change your life.
Rockford Plastic Surgeon

Do your homework. just because a doctor is board certified, does not mean they are qualified for all procedures, or stay up with new changes on procedures. I found Dr. W to be experienced and skilled in this area, and had confidence in his abilties.

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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So sorry you had to go through all of this! :( I know it doesn't make up for years of feeling "ugly" etc, but you look so good now! Hard to believe your age, you are older than I and look like you could be my daughter ;) Good for you, glad you have some resolution now.
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Hi Vickisue, Im glad to hear you finally got the results you were looking for. Currently, I'm in my research and saving money phase. What I need to address is the dark circle under-eye hollowness that I have, and am looking for a permanent solution such as fat to fill it in. I've heard of this surgeon by the name of Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS who is based in Boston and I'm slightly leaning towards him. He doesn't do the typical fat injections that majority of ps do, his technique is quite different and from what I've read; it's an older technique that most surgeons no longer do. Dr. Seckel places a fat graph (which already has a blood supply) and uses that piece of fat (intact) and places that under the eye. He does not inject it as he uses the graft itself. I'm not the best at explaining his method but you pretty much get the picture. He explains it better. I will attach the link below if you're interested (it's from his comment). I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that or his methods. Any input you have would be beneficial, like yourself I've been doing quite a bit of research on fat and which method/dr would be best for me. Here's the link below. Actually, I'll attach his quote and a couple links as well. Thanks for your time: "Injection techniques around the eyes are "blind procedures" and accuracy is difficult to achieve. Injections around the eyes are traumatic and often leave visible lumps and discoloration of the eyelid skin. Blindness has been reported following filler injections around the eyes-the filler material enters a blood vessel and disrupts blood supply to the retina. Fat injection techniques kill a great many of the injected fat cells so that survival of the fat is very difficult to predict. In addition lumps and irregularities are common following fat injections in the eyelid area-the eyelid skin is so thin that any irregularity beneath the skin is very visible. For these reasons and to achieve the best result when treating hollow eyes after blepharoplasty or treating dark circles under the eyes, I use a fat transplantation technique in which a whole piece of fat of proper size to achieve restoration of volume is surgically transplanted under direct vision into the appropriate position, through a small laser incision on the inside of the eyelid. Placing the incision here avoids disrupting the lower eyelid support by making an external incision and cutting through the muscle. The later technique causes the sad eyed look or ectropion." Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS http://www.realself.com/question/What-is-transconjunctival-open-composite-fat-grafting Link 2 Dr.Seckel's blog on "Removal of Dark Circles under the Eyes": http://drseckel.com/surgical-procedures/result-oriented-removal-of-dark-circles-under-the-eyes/ Link 3, Dr. Seckel's article on "Open Fat Grafting For Correction of Hollow Eyes and Dark Circles" : http://ezinearticles.com/?Open-Fat-Grafting-For-Correction-of-Hollow-Eyes-and-Dark-Circles&id=1778109
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simk420, I too have hollow lower eyes from a bothed bleph. I've tried fillers and injected fat to remedy my situation. I even went to the so-called best doctors that were supposedly known to get it right. I'll say one thing about Seckel. Everything single thing he warns about (injecting fillers or fat around the eyes) was like a checklist of what happened to me. Except for blindness thank god. He was absolutely 100% right. I used to think he's just being too much of a skeptic because so many of the docs on realself say you can do it no problem. I now believe that it's the only thing that makes sense around the eyes. Open composite fat grafting, pearl grafting, strip fat grafting, etc. You have to have a stable platform and blindly injecting is just asking for trouble. Fat injections/fillers can only be used to supplement or blend but not to build volume. This is nothing more then a fat repositioning procedure and he does have allot of experience with that. I believe he was one of the pioneers docs for that. The only difference here is that he uses fat from another location. I never went forward mostly due to the other so-called best doctors siphoning up my money. Plus, I would still need to talk to actual patients that have had it done. Three times bitten..three times shy these days.
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Stache01, thank you so much for the comment. It really does reassure. I have the same feeling that you have regarding Dr. Seckel's treatment.. One of my concerns is that my ps in Toronto had informed me that he was currently treating a patient of Dr.Seckel's as a result of lumps from a fat grafting procedure Dr.Seckel did on the patient. However, like you said; it makes more sense to attach a piece a flesh which already has a blood supply then some processed fat injected into the area and hoping that it "takes" into a blood supply; But then again I'm not a doctor so what do I know. I completely understand where you're coming from because I had a fat transfer done in 2008. Fortunately the complications were not as severe as compared to other stories I have read however, long story short the fat did not survive and some of it migrated towards my cheeks (which was not the outcome I was looking for). I was eventually content with the result afterwards however, I just recently found out that restylane could be injected under the eyes and it is more predictable then fat so I decided to do that, and from April 2014 I've had about 2 syringes worth of Restylane under the eyes. Now, I've decided to try something more permanent and will wait until they are depleted to give fat another chance. I'm hoping this time it will work, and with a more skilled surgeon who is an expert with fat and under-eye hollow treatment. I'm being optimistic and I have good hopes for this time around although, I am prepared as well if it doesn't have the outcome I'm looking for, and I'm also prepared to deal with that. At the moment it's just about making sure that I am 100% certain that the doctor I consult with and choose is the right one, even if that means doing several consults with different doctors (which is what I am currently doing). lol. Also, I live in Canada so I'm prepared to go to the States and get it done. Just curious, which doctors have you gone to that didn't correct the situation? If you dont feel comfortable revealing their names please feel free to inbox me. Thanks.
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simk420, the doctors were Jonathon Hoenig for the Fillers and Mark berman for the fat. No real issue with Dr Hoenig though. He was conservative and did about the best you can injecting in the orbital area. Interestingly the filler ended up collecting on top of my cheeks giving me a puffy sunken in look for a few months. It eventually resolved itself after about 6 months. All in all it was worth it just to check it off the list. Dr Berman screwed me up bad though. I ended up with this lumpy sunken in look because all he did was graft around my upper cheeks. That despite many consults of him saying he'd make it look smooth and natural. Ha. Far from it. It sounds like you have a good attitude about it though. I think when it comes to this area you have to be prepared for any and all problems. Seeing different doctors is exactly right. What's even more important is talking to actual patients that that have had the same procedure for your exact issue done. Sounds like you've heard from at least one of Seckels patients. I would definitely hold off till I heard some success stories from people. With Berman I totally failed doing that. Just allot of talk. Btw. I believe Vicky Sue had pearl grafting done on the upper lids and a lift procedure for the lower lids. That and some FG to blend. It's just a bit different then attempting to just build volume on lower lids alone with fat. I think it's easier to hide any problems too with the upper brow bone while the lower lids are tougher nut because everything is so obvious. Seckels approach at least deals with this issue. He does a Arcus Marginalis release. Very important because the lower lids and upper cheeks are actually two separate parts. I had a friend go to Meronk a few years ago for the pearl grafting procedure on his lower lids. Well, that just gave him bags again. I think it comes down to either finding a good artist and/or with good technical skills. Hopefully both.
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Oh and I had to seek out help with Dr Hoenig for the FG. Took about a year of looking like a sunken eyed freak though. Not to mention my cheeks ended up noticeably lop sided.
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From what I understand, but you can correct me if im wrong is that a lower lid lift is performed if the person has bags under the eyes. In my case that wouldn’t work since I have hollowness, which is why the fat procedure is what I’m looking to achieve. I went to see my ps recently and I asked about the Arcus Marginalis in addition to other things and he had mentioned to me that an Arcus Marginalis release would not be a good option as it is performed for those that are needing a Blepharoplasty treatment (so basically those with bags). Also he had stated that in some cases an Arcus Marginalis release could create a droopy lower eyelid. :s I think that Dr. Seckel could perform the procedure even without a Arcus Marginalis release but, I’d have to wait and see what he would say once the Restalyne has been depleted. Are you thinking about doing any fat augmentation treatment in the future, or are you just feeling like you're done with it in general?
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Yes that is correct but it's more commonly called a lower blepharoplasty. Curious as to you're experience with the filler. Did you like the appearance it gave you and now you just want to do something permanent? Never heard of the droopy eyelid due to the Arcus Marginalis Release. It's standard as part of a fat re positioning blepharoplasty. If that's true you would think it would be reported more often. I have no more knowledge on that though. The reason he does the AMR procedure is because it separates the lids to the cheeks (arcus maginalis) to create a smooth transition. Otherwise you risk bags forming or making the hollowness worse by building up the cheeks too much. It's a tricky situation and you'll need to do more then just put volume under eyes. You have to balance the two areas. When I did the FG all he did was graft on top of my cheeks. It created a sunken in look that was much worse then the lower bleph. A couple years later I tried Restylane but it ended up migrating down and collecting on top of my cheeks and once again giving me that sunken in look. Although, not as bad as the FG. My friend did the pearl grafting procedure for lower lid hollowness with Dr Meronk but ended up with lumpy bags again. There's no easy answer to this problem unfortunately. Any thoughts of fixing it require thinking outside the box to address these considerable problems. AMR, cheeklift, some kind of implant, etc. Yeah, I'm pretty much done which is really weird for me to say. I feel like I'm quiting and I hate that. As I've said I've tried the fillers and fat with nothing to show for it but more problems. 3 times bitten and 3 times shy these days. Maybe one day when they'll perfect stem cell FG or some new filler or some kind of implant.
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My experience with the filler is okay. the only thing is that the filler could only be injected into the tear troughs region where as, if I were to do fat, he will also be able to place it in the lateral orbital rim, lateral canthus, temple region in addition to the tear troughs. So, that is what I am looking for because that entire area is lacking volume not just the tear troughs. Also, I am looking to give fat another chance, I am being optimistic and have good hopes that I will get the outcome that I am looking for. Also, Im a bit of a risk taker as it is, so I figured why not. lol. Plus, when i pick a surgeon it will be someone that I am 100% comfortable with to do the procedure after all the research that is done. But, like u have said, I am also just looking for something permanent. Well, at least u know when to stop, for some pple they just continue on until they start looking like a cat.. lol. You mentioned Pearl grafting, however from my understanding and from what a couple ps have told me, pearl grafting is just another term for fat graft, or fat transfer etc. Apparently the names may be diff by the procedure is none-the-less the same
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Being squeemish is a normal reaction. You should never take any of this with a grain of salt. Funny I was going to say tear trough deformity but that's kind of an ugly word so I just called it shallow. That's the thing with you. For what you want you're going to have to consider surgery IMO. This surgery was done Transcutaneous or from the outside. There's more risk with that too. I believe you can have it done Transconjunctivally or from the inside of the eyelid though. You'd have no visible scars.
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I see. That link you gave with the patient who had an implant; he was done by Dr. Hoenig. This doctor has had great reviews. I am considering him as well now. Thanks for the Missj link by the way. I went to the site however, it stated that registrations are closed so I cant go into the link for facial cosmetic surgery since it's closed to non-members. Just curious; who is Missj? is she a plastic surgeon or is she just someone that is quite knowledgeable about the field? I emailed her about opening her forum up to me and will see what she says. I'm unsure now whether I should get a fat graft or implant. Im weary about implants only because when I think of implants, I think of breast implants; and I've heard stories of implants leaking and/or deflating, and infections arising. I wouldn't want any of that happening especially, since it's around my eyes.. I'm more leaning towards a fat graft from Dr. Seckel but, I will still consider an implant from Dr. Hoenig. I just still have to do more research b4 I choose. Luckily I have lots of time until November, even though it seems like it is flying by. I just remembered that you had stated seeing Dr. Hoenig; how was your experience? I remember you saying that you met with a couple doctors but I don't recall you mentioning how your experience was with Dr. Hoenig when I look at the past threads.
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I'm so sorry for your heartache but happy you were able to have a revision that left you looking incredibly beautiful. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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It sure looks like your pictures on dr massrys revision photos. That's strange. Maybe just a look alike.
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Vickisue, thanks for your review. I can say that your eyes are very nice and a vast improvement from the doll eyed look that the blepharoplasty resulted in. You did your homework and your patience has to be admired because it's easy to rush in and create a bigger disaster. The 7 years you waited couldn't have been easy. Especially when you are in so much pain emotionally from a bad procedure. I had a revision to my face work about 2 1/2 years ago and it lead to further disaster. I was anxious and desperate at the time and paid for the whole thing with credit cards - what a mistake! Your face is always worth waiting for. I had almond eyes with full lids VERY similar to yours and they were pulled down and rounded by a superficially placed fat graft. I want to restore the look of my eyes, including the canthal tilt. You say you had a mid facelift - I assume that helped the eye shape to come back? Either way, you are a very attractive lady with great features and the eye revision has made you look youthful and vibrant again.
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Wow!! You look fabulous & very happy! I went back to your first post & read your age & could not believe it, you seriously look 20 years younger than you are. You went through a great deal & I am so happy that it was able to be fixed.
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Thank you so much. It was worth it in the end. But I did not always feel that way. I suffered with emotions that were very bad at times. Being able to vent on Realself, was my saving grace. What a unskilled Plastic Surgeon is allowed to do, with no accountability, is something I will fight forever.. It can cause deep and life threatening depression and guilt. Just the opposite of what was promised. I wish what I went through on no one, and why it is so important to do your homework. This is not the only Site that you can get opinions on Doctors. Look them up, if they are not skilled, have many botched procedures, you'll find them. Main stream media is too big. Thank you again. I feel 100% better today. And hope all others keep searching for there revision specialist, they do exist.
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