Pretty Peepers Are Back! First Surgery Ever at Almost 50 Years Old. - Sydney, AU

For the past 10 years or so I've had upper eyelid...

For the past 10 years or so I've had upper eyelid skin that sags/droops over my eye, so that you couldn't see make-up on my eyelids, or even eyeliner except for the inner corner. The skin was actually beginning to drop onto my eyelashes. I finally decided to treat myself for my upcoming 50th birthday, with an upper & lower blepharoplasty, & endoscopic browlift.

Before surgery

Here are some close-ups of my eyes before the op, to show how saggy the eyelid skin was, actually impinging on my upper lashes. This was the main reason I wanted to get the surgery done - an upper bleph to get rid of the excess skin.

I also had slight bags under my eyes, hence having the lower bleph done as well. I've included a "before" pic with make-up, as I find you can cheat a lot with make-up to make yourself look better. One thing I haven't been able to do for years though, is do a retro cats eye eyeliner and have it be visible. I cannot WAIT to be able to do that again!

Day of surgery

Despite never having gone under the knife before - except when I was 3 to get my tonsils out! - I wasn't too nervous. The initial jab when the anaesthetist put the needle in to sedate me, wasn't bad at all...and within seconds I was out.

It was only twilight sedation, but I was totally out til I came to after the op, in the recovery room. I felt a bit groggy and had a dry throat but otherwise ok. The Dr explained they'd had "an incident" where the lashes on my right eye were singed off, but I was too groggy to be upset, and lashes grow back, don't they?

When I got home I had a look at myself and it didn't look too bad...I thought I might be one who got off very lightly regarding swelling, bruising, bleeding, tightness etc...but more of that was to come :)

Was home by 12; time for pills & to get settled in. I watched tv for a bit, with makeshift cold compresses on my eyes (damp facewashers placed in the freezer to get cold). I had slight aches around my forehead (due to the endoscopic browlift) and my eyes, but it was manageable.

By 4 o'clock I had more severe headache pain, and realised when I went to the tablet box that earlier I'd taken 2 antibiotic pills and no pain pills! Rectified that, taking 2 of the prescribed Codapane tablets.

By night-time I felt very tight around the head, like having a migraine. Even with the pain relief, it was really unpleasant. I tried distracting myself, watching fave shows, eating ice-cream etc..but the first night was the worst for me.

Going to sleep was even worse, as I like to lie on my side, so almost sitting up with high pillows behind your head makes sleep nigh on impossible for some. I was awake literally every hour; grabbing only a few minutes dozing here and there. By 5am I was up and ready for more Codapane...but that leads us into Day 2.

1 day post surgery (Day 2)

I don't know why I was surprised that I looked worse on day 2.

Swelling meant that my eyes were more cat like or slitty, and watery as well as puffy under the eye. The pinkish/purplish bruising also started, under the eye, in the crease, and right at the eyelash line. There was slight yellowish bruising at the temples. I applied arnica cream where I could to unbroken skin, but of course nowhere near open wounds/stitches.

The right inner lid where the lashes had been singed also began to crust, so instead of feeling soft like the other eyelid, was scabby. Also, the lid itself was puffier than the left, due to the singeing.

I found in the course of the day, that I had to dab to get fluid out of my eye so I could see more clearly - I ended up getting hubby to get me some cotton buds (q-tips) that night, as well as proper eye-gel masks for compresses. I did feel better by mid-morning painwise, which was a relief.

That night I slept on only one big high pillow rather than 2 with the wedge shaped one underneath...and I slept better. Didn't look any better in the morning, mind you ;)

2nd day after surgery (Day 3)

Got up very early morning as oozy gunk in my right eye had virtually closed it shut. I dropped saline drops onto it, as well as onto a tissue to dab away at the ooze in order to see (then went back to bed!)

Throughout the day this was the case, with me sometimes finding it hard to see the telly or a magazine through the filmy substance on my eyes. That, and the continued ache (endo wounds on temple and bleph wounds around eyes) was the worst thing about the day.

I did worry that the burned lashes/lid on my right eye might never recover...but realise I'm only a few days out. And at least I can still see the roots of my lashes...which gives hope that they'll grow back. I think the wateriness & ooze in the right eye was made worse by the scab on the inside of the upper lid. There also seems to be a cut in the eye towards the outer wing, so it's not one continuous lovely lid like my left eye is. Still, early days.

The universe decided I needed some yellow bruising to complement the red and purple bruises - very colourful ;) And definitely the puffiness below the eyes was the worst it's been so far. So weird that in the short term, the lower bleph that's meant to take the puffiness AWAY, actually looks worse while it's healing.

I became more aware of some numbness on my scalp - funnily enough more towards the crown of the head than at the hairline, which was still sore near the stitches. Not worried about that though.

Whereas I couldn't move my brow muscles on the first day, now I can, which makes me feel good that there's no damage and I will have normal expression as before.

Getting sick of being codeined up..had a real estate agent call to ask about a house I'd seen the week before, and I honestly couldn't remember which one it was! I have totes had "baby brain" all week. I also put dirty dishes in the dishwasher which was half full of clean (well, hubby should've totally unloaded it, or not at all, right?) Am having to write down when I take my antibiotics & pain relief, or I don't remember properly.

By night time was praying to whoever that the worst would be over that night. Just a bit sick of it all.

3rd day after surgery (Day 4)

Did the usual waking up early and getting rid of eye gunk that closed one eye then going back to bed thing (and OH BOY! did I look bad! See pictures)

But when I got up later, after 10, I knew I'd turned the corner. Just felt better. Despite there being more yellow bruising, I felt that the worst of the bruising, swelling, tightness, oozing etc was over. Didn't take any meds at first, then only panadeine in the afternoon when there was some aching.

My cheeks and lower cheeks were swollen so I have chipmunk face, but even so, could manage a smile and not feel totally ridiculous. Washed my hair and felt a lot better that night.

4th day after surgery (Day 5)

So Friday...what can I say? Still yellow bruising, but things are generally getting better. The scars in the crease are mostly gone, although there are a few little bumps (possibly cysts?) which I guess I'll have to massage out once the stitches get taken out on Monday.

I put some big dark sunnies on late in the arvo and walked the dogs with my husband. Posted a pic of my "good" eye on facebook, and friends were all very positive about the result. Had a few beers and slept on a normal lowish pillow that night - am sleeping well now, apart from getting up early morning to clear gunk out of eyes and going back to bed. Just waiting for the scabby hard bits on the inside of my right eyelid to heal (& lashes to grow back!)

2 weeks later

Well, it's exactly 2 weeks since I had my op, so time for pics!

I've healed really well except for a small bit of bruising under one eye, (and my right eyelashes are still growing back). My eyes aren't quite symmetrical, but I think there's still a little bit of swelling and therefore tension that keeps one eye a bit more cat-like than the other (see the pics).

And disappointingly, I still seem to have eye bags underneath my eyes, which is what the lower bleph was meant to remove! But of course, it's still really soon, and I go back to the doc in a month to see how it's going then.

So overall I'm happy - I have upper eyelids now and I can apply eyeliner and have it visible. I just hope the puffiness under the eyes goes, and that the eyes become more symmetrical in the next month. I still want to look like "me" and not be alien or "done" looking ;)
Sydney Plastic Surgeon

I only just had the op yesterday, so will be updating regularly. So far so good though. On the day of my appointment, I was asked to come an hour earlier, which I did, but then I had to wait til almost the original time! Not thrilled about that, but the day of the op, everyone was on time. I was in at 7.30am & went into op just after 8; and back home by midday. Dr Kohout explained everything well, as did the anaesthetist & nursing sister before I went under. Susie in the office likewise promptly answered my email questions & made me feel at ease. Since it's only one day post-op I can't answer fully about aftercare and follow up.

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 Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Your eyes do look so much bigger.
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Thanks Eyedidit! :)
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Hello, I am having Blepharoplasty with (tarso) levator resection , external approach May 1st. I believe you had the this also? Was the "resection" on both brows? I go for my pre- op weds the 23rd and will they more details then. I was just curious and your "post" have been very helpful and helped ease some of my anxiet.
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Hi Pamgar, I'm not sure about that technical term you mention (tarso levator resection). I had skin from the upper eyelid removed externally, fat pads/bags from lower eyelid removed from inside the eye with laser, and also a browlift which was endoscopic (ie he made small incisions in my temples and lifted the muscles etc up a bit before restitching). Yep, I had both brows done. Good luck with your next visit. I too was really nervous prior, as I haven't had surgery before, but the actual day of surgery was fine; I was totally "out" and felt just a bit woozy upon awakening in the recovery room. And while there was definitely ache/pain like a migraine in my case the first night or two, I think it was the browlift rather than the eyelid surgery that was responsible.
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Hi Elmango and thank you for responding. The Techinical term I used was what is written on the papers our insurance Sent us. From what I gather they do the brow work through the incision they make in the eyelid for eye lift. I'm looking forward to my pre-op weds so I can know exactly what procedures she will do. By the way, you look Fabulous and I found your postings very helpful:)
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you look absolutely fantastic for your age. Eyes look great. I had mine done about a month ago and very happy. Its not until that skin is removed you start to realise how big your eyes are, si?
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You're right Shazzaa; I was only happy with my eyes when I had make-up on them, because I could make them look bigger with make-up illusions, fake lashes & lenses. But I don't mind them too much now. I'm glad you're happy with yours too :)
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U look wonderful for being only 2wks beautiful eyes n almost perfect results zero scars or not visible to me, after no upper lids n very visible bags u had before surgery when u were not wearing makeup of course. You look stunning(^_^)!girl!
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Oh thank you!! I do have faint scars still in the crease of my eye, but only the edges near my outer eye corners are visible. I can also still feel the lumps & hardness of the scar tissue...but it's not noticeable to others. And yeah, I am also realising the puffy lower eyebags are gone (but have wrinkles where the bags were, which I will probably get laser resurfaced later in the year).
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Hi...I'm 5 days out and am now getting around to posting. I found your experience very helpful and comforting. I am able to type properly now ...the first 3 I just could not focus properly. How are you?
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I'm so pleased you've found it helpful - yes, we don't really know how long the tightness, aching & swelling will go on for, so reading other sisters' experiences is quite calming, isn't it? I'm great now...still have one eye a teensy bit more elongated than the other one, & scars in the creases almost invisible but still a little sore when I touch them. Overall, I'm pleased :)
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I would not worry about asymmetry. No one is truly symmetric anyway and I think you look great already...two weeks out. I can't wait to use eyeliner ...Nars do a brilliant eye liner pen which was great when I had bags so when they are gone it will be fab. I hope. Lol.
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You look very good, especially for 13 days out!
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Oh thank you!! Today there's only the vaguest hint of a bruise under one eye, and I don't need any make-up to cover anything now!
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You look great. Thanks for the updates. I can't believe you went thru all that without general anesthesia. Better off though, I'm still lightheaded after 4 days post op. I can't wait to be at 2 weeks.
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Well thank you! Hehe, you kinda want to update a lot when the going is a bit rough, and so much changes each day in the first week. Yeah, I'd go local again, as I was totally out cold for the whole thing. Mind you, I had "baby brain" cos of the codeine I was taking for pain relief the first few days!! I know you'll be seeing the end of the worst of it any day now :)
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Would anyone advise me on having that eye bag removal surgery done , those under eye puffiness does bother me, but concerned about bad complication , I am getting married June 29th I cant have the surgery until May 3rd , I am wondering if thats enough time to recover
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I think it would be a pretty big risk to have surgery that close to your wedding.  You won't be fully healed, it takes at least 6 months, although you may look fine (just still somewhat swollen).  You should ask in our Doctor Q&A.
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well please let me know about final outcome because I am considering about getting under eye bag removal I even already given a down payment but I am concerned about bad complications
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Will do phebee! I haven't been post op long enough to know how long it takes for all bruising etc to subside. I'd HOPE 6 weeks is enough, but don't really know. I only went in on Monday, & it's now Friday. But hopefully some others in the community can help if you post the question in the appropriate section :)
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I really do, thanks Joejah! And today confirms it. Mainly waiting for my charred eyelashes to brow back and scabby bit on right eyelid to heal.
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I'm a bit confused as to what exactly happened to your eyelashes -- I don't think I've seen this in other reviews -- did they get burned during the surgery? If so, from what -- the instruments? Or did they fall out as a result of the trauma of surgery?
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You're right Joejah; it's unusual. It was definitely an incident during surgery - the doctor mentioned it as I was coming round. I believe it occurred during the lower blepharoplasty which was done with laser, and it must have been the angle of the laser, coming from above the eye looking down, that didn't leave enough space beyond the fringe of the lashes and burnt them. And it turns out the scabby bit I was talking about, was accretions to either a bit of tape or strip of glue along the lash line. I was moistening it to get rid of gunk yesterday & was able to pull a whole strip off! So it wasn't a scab, so much as eye gunk attached to the foreign material. Once it came off, my eye looks much better!
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Well it's good that your PS was honest with what happened. Fortunately, it sounds as though things are beginning to resolve themselves -- thank goodness! It will only get better, I'm sure! :-)
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Day three, right? You are right on schedule for the sadness and depression that hits you the first week. Day three usually seems to be the worst. Just know that what you are feeling is normal and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm so glad that my my doctor put a bandage under my eyes that was not removed until my first post op appointment a week later. He said it was to aid with swelling, but I have a feeling he puts the bandage there so his patients can't see how horrible they look during the first week. Please know what your feeling is temporary.
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