Asymmetry Post Bleph - Sacramento, CA

Mainly, I urge you NOT to go through w/ this...

Mainly, I urge you NOT to go through w/ this surgery. Only now do I see that MOST of the online articles say that the MOST COMMON problem is asymmetry! Gee, too bad this was not emphasized to me in advance.

Now I feel disfigured, embarassed, ashamed. I am sick every time I look in the mirror. Yes, I had a board certified p.s. Big deal. I'm still disfigured, depressed, sick.

Did it because risks were never discussed. Had I...

Did it because risks were never discussed. Had I known the risks, I would have walked away, as my eyes weren't so bad to begin with.
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Doctor did not provide thorough info on post op expectations. He minimized the risks, acting as if the procedure was so easily done, and results would be positive. No honest discussion about the risk of asymmetry, sagging lower lid, weeks of eye sensitivity, In hindsight, wild horses could not drag me into that surgery room, if only I had known the truth.

Updated on 25 Apr 2011:
Dr. Stevenson provides NO pre-op info, leading you into surgery with no concept of the risks involved. Post op, he only says "wait a while."

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 1 other found this helpful

Comments (98)

Sort by

I have read this whole thread and my heart goes out to all of you...esp. "Worst..."
OK here's my story.....I had an upper eyelid job from a general PS..who also did facial fat implants and a chin aug. and a complete facelift. Two weeks post surgery my right eye has that "surprised" look and left eyelid droops much lower toward the creaseline than does the right. When lowering both my eyelids and checking for the stitch line in the mirror I saw that the cut had been made MUCH closer to the lashline on the left eye than on the right. That's what's causing the problem, which I noticed hours after the surgery as much as I notice it today. All I can think now is that I might need a revision on the left eyelid...with a cut line a tiny bit behind the original cut...OR I will have to wear tricky eyeshadow/liner and and/or shades the rest of my life..to try and minimize the asymmetry. The PS said I wouldn't have to pay for a revision (already spoke about this) but can I trust him again??? I am really poor so going to an American specialist seems outlandish...the original PS is in Mexico and I got a "bargain" rate. Also I feel as though he built up above the right cheekbone more than on the left and the left jawline more than the right. I now have a dimple on the left when I smile but nothing on the right. And my left cheek looks flat under the eye compared to the right augmented cheekbone on the right. When I feel for the fat implants they do not feel symmetrical at all. But the doctor has insisted all looked symmetrical at the end of the surgery. And that all problems will resolve themselves with time. I don't think "time" will correct the mismatched cuts on the eyelids though, although I will reserve my judgment re: the rest of it. I might have to learn how to do some tricky hair styling. But I am 65 and still numb on most of my face and scalp and neck after over 2 weeks and now scared stiff after reading this thread. I looked terrible so I can't say I'm sorry I did it, and maybe if I just keep wearing dark shades and playing with hairdos I can avoid further surgery. But I must say I am going through something I didn't expect. Swelling and numbness I did expect. Does anyone know what can be done with asymmetrical fat transplants? Can they be "kneaded" into different places under the skin? I also might have to learn how to smile differently to counteract the asymmetry with that too.....
Like everyone else said, get VERY well informed before doing any of this, and if in doubt...DON'T!

I got very little briefing on possible complications. I did not sign any gag order. The only hint that there might well be problems was when the ASSISTANT said that "facelifts are the hardest part". But I wish somebody had said much more.
  • Reply
It's perfectly normal to feel your loss of normalcy
after an imperfect eye surgery. You need to move
forward and stop talking about it; have an
occuloplastic surgeon tell you what, if anything, would be accomplished by a revision. Make sure you
talk about potential risks ahead of time. Risks
accompany ANY surgery.
  • Reply
Its, exactly the way I feel. alot of people doesnt understand why I feel this way n they tell me well at least you didnt lost your sight, like that its a big help, n will make me feel better n solve my problem.
  • Reply
Stein Sapir in LA seems extremely knowledgeable
and competent. I have no personal experience with
him, also, ask around. Ask a plastic surgeon
for the name of a highly rated oculoplastic surgeon
for revision or look up the ocuplastic surgeon list
of names on the computer and then check them out.
  • Reply
When I went in for revision eye lid surgery with an oculoplastic surgeon (to correct the general p.s. job), he gave me Genteal lubricating gel drops (in a tube but it's like a thick drop). You can buy this non-prescription at the pharmacy and it's the only thing that's ever worked for me. It actually stays on the eye longer and feels real soothing.
  • Reply
Oh, yes, I have been down the road w/ Genteal drops, gel, ointments. When you are using as many drops as I am, even the genteal was causing red/stinging eyes, making things worse. Although they are supposed to be preservative-free, anything larger than the "single serve" little capsules does have SOME preservative, and therein lies the rub. Thx for the advice, and glad you found some relief.
  • Reply
Six Months Post op, still suffering badly w/ "severe dry eyes." I must carry single use drops with me every minute of every day. In every activity of the day (running, shopping, working, socializing), I must pause to interrupt what I am doing to put drops in my painful eyes. I cannot wear my contact lenses, tho before the surgery, I NEVER went out of the house with glasses. I am spending a fortune of "single use celluvisc" drops, as these provide the best relief. Fish oil, plugged tear ducts, Refresh PM, hot compresses daily, blah blah blah. My entire life has been turned upside down. I am finally in the hands of an eye disease specialist. She says, "I can't repair the nerves to the oil glands that were cut in surgery." We can only treat the symptoms now. I am a damaged mess. (oh, the non dissolving stitch in my eyebrow still has a pocket of fluid around it, tender to the touch, but no remedy short of "difficult surgery" according to Bozo Board Certified p.s.) Life is hell post bleph.
  • Reply
Worst Mistake Ever: I am so sorry to hear that time hasn't resolved some of your dry eye issues. Have you considered suing your plastic surgeon to recoup the costs of eye drops and opthamologist visits? As I said earlier - I still have some days where my left eye is dry (wind, sleeping in contacts etc) but it has improved greatly from the first 5 months. Does your eye doctor say the cause of dry eye is the oil glands are not providing enough to keep your eyes moist? My opthamologist never mentioned this to me and I'm curious about it. I would never recommend this surgery to anyone. An extremely long recovery period and so many complications with blepharoplasty. I am somewhat satisfied with my surgery, however knowing what I do now - I would not have done it.
  • Reply
I have consulted w/ 1 attorney who turned me down. I think it is just too boring....no razzle dazzle, and probably very little sympathy for people who go into "elective surgery." That's my take on it. If anybody knows of a reliable attorney in CA that handles cosmetic malpractice, I'm all ears.
  • Reply
Do you have a health care ombudsmen? Here in Australia it is through this method that you can get free legal advice etc. Do you have a small claims court or similar (less than $5,000 owing etc) Be professional in any letters you write etc. You must prove inadequate warning, that his surgery caused the problems you have now etc. Write to all the organisations he claims membership of.
  • Reply
Forlorn, So sorry to read about your sad outcome. However it is early days yet, and things can resolve with time....48 hours and back to work is an outright lie. However when confronted about this he will say...well, you CAN go back to work, if you dont want to then this is your decision. Or he will say that your swelling, bruising etc is more than usual, which again is usually very untrue. They are masters of deception. They know you would not go ahead if you knew the truth which is a long recovery and an uncertain outcome. Go see a occulo plastic surgeon. Get a second opinion. However you will likely be told to wait and see. Seek out EXPERT help. DO NOT let you initial surgeon touch you again if he has wrecked your eyes once, he certainly will not know how to fix you. However, have patience.
  • Reply
I am post 12 days from upper eye bleph. One of my eyes looks turned in and crossed. I had normal eyes before this. My eyes are also super light sensitive and hurt most if the time. My eye looks like it's turned downward. Is this normal or did my surgeon cut a muscle or something? I had a neck smart lipo the same day and have massive lumps and pain and bruising on my neck. My surgeon told me I could go back to work in 48 hours. That was clearly malarkey. I am a mess. Does anyone know anything about my new turned down crossed eye. My career at this point is over.
  • Reply
Forlorn: It took five months after an upper and lower bleph for my eyes to heal. I had dry eye after the surgery. On windy days my left eye still has a little dryness (I am now 7 months post op). I think you should make an appointment with an opthamologist and have them look at your eyes. A second opinion is always comforting. I told my surgeon many times that my eyes were dry and irritated so I went to an opthamologist and he diagnosed dry eyes and gave me drops. Some people heal slower than others and time has certainly fixed almost all of my issues.
  • Reply
I still have days where wind will make my eyes dry (never had this before the bleph). But other than that no more issues with dry eye after the 4th month. Wore my contacts in Vegas for 18 hours straight without problems. I hope yours will also improve after 4 months. Ocassionally I still regret my decision. I have to go look at my before pics to remind me that my eyes were almost slits to feel better. My friend had a boob job about 3 years ago and some of the "dissolvable" stitches just came out a month ago! Hang in there! And stay in touch:)
  • Reply
Thank you very much for the thoughtful note. I am so glad to hear you are doing better! My main 3 issues (3 months post op) and current status are as follows:
1. Assymetry--Much better, so I am hopeful that it will resolve.
2. Non dissolving stitch/lump in eyebrow area-- still there, not sure if the bozo will be able to remedy it.
3. Dry eyes--Still big problems. Some success in wearing contacts for 4-5 hrs a day. Taking lots of fish oil and drops. Had the tear ducts blocked off, but really, still needing MANY MANY DROPS ALL DAY and night too. Fish oil supposed to help, but really, not much improvement at this point. Angry about suffering w/ this, w/out any discussion, whatsoever. He claims it has never happened to any other patient, but there is a huge body of literature about this issue, and eye doc said this often happens after lasik and other eye surgeries.

I urge all candidates to stay with Ocular P.S. for bleph.
  • Reply
I would love to meet you and dicuss the outcomes! My left eye is also the "smaller eye" and the right still has a bulge under it that is not going away. I live about an hour north of SB but I love to visit SB! Let me know your plans and perhaps we can have that coffee! I actually am trying to figure out a date to see my ps (he is in Santa Barbara). I want him to look at the bulge (again - I pointed it out since my first follow up appt) as well as the slight assymetry. Just want to keep my options open in case this never resolves itself! His office is on Pueblo near the Cottage Hospital. He does free consultations so perhaps you could get in to see him. He could at least give you feedback on your surgery. After reading all the horror stories I am glad that my issues are minor. I am a slow healer and so I'm hoping that the bulge resolves itself (probably resolving the assymetry!) but if it doesn't I want to make sure that my ps fixes it at no cost. My surgery was the third week in January. I am a little over 4 months post op. I can tell you that I don't spend as much time worrying about my eyes now that the most concerning issues, gaping and dryness, resolved themselves at about 3 months. You are still at the part in your recovery where I too had to wear glasses and had feeling of something in my eye all the time. I was miserable and regretting my surgery almost to the point of panic. I am much happier now although I see the small imperfections. When we pay for perfection we expect to get it! If I had been told in the beginning that it would take 3 months to feel normal and 6 months to a year to see the results, I would have had much less anxiety! Stay in touch and let me know your plans. The PS is out of office on fridays and does surgery on Tuesday and Thursdays. So Monday would be a day that I would be able to see him and make a trip to SB...
  • Reply
We should email or FB, but the email icon to the left asks for your email address, which obviously I don't know. Are you more tech savvy than I?
  • Reply
I just sent you a private message. Sometimes my account is under SB and sometimes under SM... let me know if you get the message (click on your icon and see your account info).
  • Reply
How are things going WME? Just wondering if you have seen any improvement? I have not seen any changes in my eyes over the last month. Still a little tender underneath so maybe they are still healing there. Still the little bulge under right eye but it is hardly noticeable. Planning on seeing my ps next month at the 6 month mark. I hope to hear that your issues have resolved or at the very least have improved somewhat...
  • Reply
How are things going with your recovery WME? I am beginning to think this recovery is a full year ordeal! My eyes looked even before the surgery, right after the surgery, then left eye smaller, then somewhat better, then left eye smaller - what the hell? I see the difference but I know it is pretty minor. I still have some minor bruising (not visible) under eye when I feel there so I am wondering if the eye is constricting as it heals? I hope this is the case and one day my eyes be even again. Still occasional dryness but nowhere near the pain I had up to 3 months! Only wind and heat seam to cause the dryness now...

I hope your eyes are feeling better and your assymetry and dry issues getting better. Please keep in touch!
  • Reply
So nice to hear from you! My little support group! You know, I will be in SB for my son's UCSB graduation June 9-13...maybe we can have coffee. We can SEE eachother's eyes and give honest feedback! I'm 8 weeks post op. The assymetry is still noticeable to me, the right has a "saggy" lower lid which glistens, almost showing a red inner lid...yuk. The left remains a little too small....it looks and feels like it was pulled up too tightly. It hardly matters because I'm still wearing eyeglasses and having major problems with dry eyes. Saw another eye specialist yesterday, and now I'm on tetracycline (not infected, so why I don't know), along w/ fish oil, moist compresses, drops drops drops, gel, etc. When was your surgery? The only ocular p.s. in town will not even meet w/ people until 12 months post op, so you are right...it's a 1 year recovery. I suppose this means there is hope.
  • Reply
Worst Mistake Ever: how are things going? I am hoping that some of your issues are clearing up as time goes by! I am 14 weeks tomorrow. Hard to believe so much time has gone by. Still some little issues I hope will clear up within the next couple of months (a little under eye bulge in the right corner of right eye, right eye minutely bigger than left although only noticeable to me). Although my ps told me I don't need to come back unless I have any problems (he told me this at 9 weeks)I intend to go back and have him take a look at six months. I still have days (not very often) where my eyes get tired and a little dry but nothing like before! I hope time is being kind to your eyes!
  • Reply
Kind of you to write, and I am so glad things are normalizing for you, somewhat. I'm 4.5 weeks out, and still having LOTS of trouble with eyes...constantly stinging. Been to eye docs, which is taking time from work, and interfereing with work, vision-wise. I am using several types of drops/ointments/moist compresses, etc. I think it is because the right lower lid is not "in contact" with the globe of the eye, as the right is more troublesome than the left. Unable to wear contact lenses, and my eyes are just red as heck. Did I trade a (minor) cosmetic concern for a (significant) medical problem? Did he ever warn me of these possibilities? Not even maybe. I would like to see an oculopastic person, if this continues. Gals....run, don't walk from this procedure, bottom line.
  • Reply
I was miserable at 4.5 weeks as well. did you try taping they eye at night? This might help with the dry irritated eyes during the day. How about the fish oil?
I wear contacts as well but wasnt able to wear them much in the beginning. Around the 3rd month i could wear them all day again without problems. I have changed my equate brand for opti free multi purpose solution. much less irritation. I think mostly it was the "gaping" of the eyelid (bottom) away from the eye that caused most of the problems. You should see your lower lid area firm up around the 3rd month. I know it sounds far away right now but you will get there. Stay in touch!
  • Reply
Your experiences are so helpful. Tho I am shocked that it took 3 months to normalize contact lens wear, there is some comfort knowing that there is hope. I am taping the problem eye, but haphazardly at best. Maybe I will coax him to show me how when I see that board certified bozo on Friday a.m. I am hanging on every word, gals. Big thanks. (maybe I will try to post a foto tonite)
  • Reply