Tired of Looking Tired - Upper and Lower Blepharoplasty with Under Eye Chemical Peel

I'm a 49 year old professional woman. Every...

I'm a 49 year old professional woman. Every morning I wake up to same challenge of attempting to diminish the impact of the bags under my eyes. No matter what concealer I try or how full coverage my foundation is, there is no way to correct for the shadow cast from the bags under my eyes.
About a year ago, I spoke with the surgeon who did my tummy tuck a year previously. I knew I eventually wanted to have my eyes corrected, but had just started considering it.
This year I've decided I'm not waiting any longer. I researched the plastic surgeons in my area and decided to have a different surgeon do my eyes. After a very pleasant consultation with my selected PS, I scheduled my procedure.
It's now just 3 1/2 weeks away. I'm excited to get this problem fixed, but I'm also a bit apprehensive about the recovery. I know in the end I'm going to be pleased. Just have to get to the 21st! :)

One step closer

Today I made the big commitment.... I paid the balance of the surgical fees. I had to keep telling myself, "You are worth it. You're going to be so happy you did it." Like so many women, I have a hard time doing a lot for myself - always doing for others. Allowing myself to do this surgery had the hurdles of taking the time to do something for me and realizing that my well-being is worth the expense.
I also had my pre-op physical with my private physician. All went well. My doctor had only good things to say about my choice of surgeon which helped with some of the anxiety of having elective surgery on my face. I received the OK for the surgery- pending labs to be drawn in 2 days.
I feel really good that I'm this much closer. I'm even getting a little excited. Just 16 more days :)

A Scare 1 Week Pre-Op

A week ago this past Monday, I had my pre-op physical and lab draw. All was within normal limits -- nothing indicating I wouldn't be able to go forward with my upcoming surgery.
3 days after my physical I started a new medicine for my diabetes. The medication has a fairly high risk of nausea. On the first day I administered the new medicine, I slightly nauseous in the late afternoon. I read on the official medication site that the nausea goes away with time in most people.
5 days into the dosing of the new medication, Nausea woke me up very early in the morning. Then I had a very low drop in my blood sugar followed by vomiting. The pain became so unbearable I had to go to the hospital.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis related to the new medication as it turns out. After 3 days in the hospital including a day in the ICU, I am now fully recovered. Actually feel better than I have in quite a while.
The good news: as this incident was a reaction to the newly introduced drug, it does not appear that it will require my rescheduling the surgery.
Only 4 more days until my surgery. Will try to post pre-op photos soon.

1 Day PreOp

It figures. This morning I woke up with a fever blister :( I called the Dr and was prescribed Valtrex to begin today and take for the next 4 days. Gratefully, the appearance of the cold sore did not affect my surgery.
So excited now. Just 1 1/2 hrs before I go NPO. I'm to be at the surgery center by 7:15. Surgery is scheduled for 8 am. Will try to post updates/photos as soon as I can.
I'm uploading my pre-surgery pictures. Not flattering but hoping to get a lot of that fixed tomorrow :).

4 hrs post op

This will be short and sweet. Arrived at surgery center at 7:05. Staff showed up at 7:25 (10 minutes later than I was instructed to be there, but this was fine). A review on instructions, brief history and physical, three eye assessments (one of which was very irritating: they stick a special piece of papter in between you lower lid and eye ball... you close your eyes and keep it there for up to 5 mins! Very irritating to the eyes but it is a test for dryness). Dr Mandell-Brown's fellow Dr Singh came in and asked more questions and provided education about what to expect and how to do post op care. Dr Mandell-Brown then came in and marked my face and asked if I had any questions. Off to surgery we went. IV had been started previously.
All the staff were very nice. I had been given 2 vallium about 10 mins prior to going to the surgical . suite. In the surgical suite, I was given Fentanyl and local shots around my eyes. To my surprise I was awake most if not all of the procedure. I felt each of the many local shots. And remember multiple rounds of fentanyl . With each cauterization, I experienced a burning sensation, most of which were manageable. Dr, Mandell was always concerned with my comfort and explained as he went through the procedure.
The chemical peel was done last. It burned quite intensely for about 3-4 mins. But a fan was blown on it to help easy the pain. After 3-4 mins the pain subsided to a sunburn feel.
I'm very pleased with my experience today. The only think that I might have liked would have been o in more of a twilight so I would not have felt things so much. But all in all A+ for the staff, Dr, and surgical suite. Will post later...off to ice and sleep

4 hr post of photos

9 hrs Post Op

Took a bit of a nap after taking a pain pill (Lortab). I'm about 4 hours from taking the Lortab and my pain is really low. More itching of incision and inner eye (lower bleph site). Obviously have swelling and bruising still which seems to be spreading a little bit. Ice water gauze being applied freshly every 15 mins to my upper incision.
Husband called Dr to give him the requested update. All is well, even better than I expected at this point.

24 Hours post op

Feel pretty good on the pain front. All is still quire swollen making it a bjt challenging to see things, even my sclera (whites of my eyes is swollen. Im posting new pictures,

24 Hours Post Op Pictures

Looks like my upload of 24 hour pictures did not upload with my review yesterday. So here they are!

Just shy of 48 Hrs Post Op

Feel pretty good this morning. Still no need for any pain meds (even OTC). Cold compresses continue (as you can see I still have a bit of swelling). I also continue my wound care of cleaning the upper incision with hydrogen peroxide followed by a layer of lacrilube. The lower gets rinsed gently with water and then lightly patted crisco is applied to keep the chem peel area moist.
Still taking Valtrex (for cold sore which has really cleared up nicely) and antibiotics.
This morning I had a little goo in my eyelashes, but I gently cleaned that away with water on a Q-tip.
All in all, I am very pleased with how things are going (except for looking like I got in a bar fight!). I feel really good with very little if any pain.
Very excited to see the final outcome, but I know that is some weeks off :)

3 days Post Op

Felt pretty good. Still quite a bit of swelling, but no pain. Eyes are a bit irritated.

4 days Post Op

Today I woke up with my eyes matted shut. I had had some of this yesterday which when shared with the Dr during the daily check seemed to be of little concern.
As you can see from the pictures my eyes are very irritated today. Began eye drops (antibiotic/steroid). My eyes felt immediately better.
Continue with the wound care and chem peel care.

Day 5 Post Op

Very little matting of my eyelashes this morning. I do think the drops have helped quite a bit. The swelling in the left eye has gone down quite a bit. I'm still struggling a little with my right eye being a bit swollen and red.
Wound care continues. It is quite a challenge to keep the chemical peel area covered and moist.

Day 6 Post Op

Today I "returned" to work. I worked a full day from my home office. Continuing to heal. Right eye still slightly more swollen, but getting better. Continuing to keep the chemical peel area moist has proven a bit challenging....seems to dry out very quickly even with a layer of Crisco! Overall, I feel great.
Tomorrow I go to the PS for my Post Op visit.

1 Week Post Op

Went for my one week follow up appointment. Dr was pleased with the results. I was told to keep cleaning my incisions twice a day for the next couple of days and keep what is left of the chemical peel moist. As you can see from my pictures, most of the dead skin has come off. Just a couple of spots that need a few more days :)
Two things worth mentioning at the doctor's office. Dr Mandell-Brown asked me about my experience esp with anesthesia. It was refreshing to see him soliciting feedback to improve the experience for others who follow.
The second thing....Dr Mandell-Brown opened up my file and showed me several very up close 8x11 pictures of my eyes at the time of consult. WOW. I knew it was bad, but looking at those pictures gave me a new appreciation for this gift I have given to me. Not only were the bags huge, but the wrinkles under my eyes were really, really obvious, esp with make up.
I'm so pleased with where I am right now (even without makeup!) and know that things will get even better (like when I finally get to wear makeup!).

2 Weeks Post Op

It's been a pretty good week. No real issues with my eyes. I do continue to have swelling in my right eye lid, but this was the one that got a bit beat up so have to give it more time to heal. My chemical peel is now completely peeled and the redness has faded to a slight pink (which was great when I wasn't wearing any makeup! ). My upper eyelid incisions are pretty much healed. My lower lids feel like the stitches have dissolved and are gone. The inside of my eyelids some times feels a little irritated, but some moisturizing eye drops help. And my eyes do get a bit tired and achy at the end of the day (I do a lot of computer work).
I'm posting some new pictures. Overall I'm please with the outcome so far. On the right lower lid under the outside corner, there appears to be a small fat pad which hopefully will over time will become less prominent. Not really angling for a revision :) Still can't wait to put full make up on (currently only wearing a light dusting of bare minerals with blush, but nothing on the upper lids yet) . I think I'll hold out for that until next week.
I continue to do incision care in the morning and evening, but I think I'm about finished with that.

3 Weeks Post Op

Today I saw my plastic surgeon for a 3 week follow up. He was pleased with my healing and removed restrictions as to what I could put on my eyes/under my eyes. Makeup tomorrow!!
There is still a little bit of swelling under my right eye. And there two small fat pads on the outer corners of my eyes that we will follow. If at 11 months we are still unhappy with it, he will do a revision. The left eye is very slight, but I do notice the right eye (although I'm not really sure that others see it as clearly as I do).
I have no milia. I was told to schedule another appointment in 3-4 weeks, but had to schedule into August related to Dr's unavailability.
I also bought some SkinMedica skin care products (TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream and TNS Eye Repair) when I was there. They were quite expensive but I figured I spent a lot of money to get this corrected. I want to do what I can to keep it looking good for years to come. Of course, I took a look at Amazon and could have bought those products for 1/2 price there. Oh, well. I know where to re-purchase if I like them :)
Overall, I am very pleased with the results. Every time I see the consult pictures, it re-confirms my decision to have the surgery.
Next week I'll post a full makeup picture.

Week 4 Post Op

The week has been a good one. Really doing little for my eyes now other than gently cleaning and applying the SkinMedica products. Also making sure to put on SPF when going outside.
I have been wearing full makeup to work. I'm amazed every time I look into the mirror and see the person staring back at me-- no more bags!
I definitely think this surgery was worth it for me :)
Posting two pictures with makeup - one with hair pulled up and one with hair down (how I usually wear it)

PostOp Week 9

It has been quite a while since I've posted so I thought I would post one more 'healed' picture at just over 9 weeks. I am extremely pleased with my outcome and thrilled that I gave myself this gift. Not only do I look more awake, I even feel more awake!
The small fat pads that were visible several weeks ago have pretty much all but disappeared. I expect with time they will be completely gone. They are hardly noticeable anymore. Would be wonderful to not have to have a revision and it looks like I'm moving in that direction :)
Best of wishes for successful surgeries and quick recoveries to all!

Dr's before (consultation) and after (3 weeks post op)

Wanted to post the doctor's before and after pictures. So grateful those bags are gone!
Mark Mandell-Brown

I chose Dr Mandell-Brown after doing quite a bit of research. The consultation was very nice. Dr Mandell-Brown and his staff were very friendly and focused on education. Dr Mandell-Brown spent approx 30 mins with me. Several close up pictures were taken of my face and were used by Dr Mandell-Brown to explain his assessment/recommendations. I was shown several before and after photos and was encouraged to ask questions. I felt very much the center of the Dr's attention during my consult. Dr. Mandell-Brown is a consummate professional. His natural look approach yields fantastic results. Highly recommended. One other unexpected was that there was absolutely no pressure to schedule a procedure. In fact, I felt that they wanted me to go home and consider what I had learned during my consult. I very much appreciate this as other plastic surgery offices typically do not share this approach.

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
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (60)

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You look soo good! Wow
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Thank you!! :D
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OH MY GOSH! You look absolutely fantastic!! Incredible difference!! I'm so glad for you, your doc did a great job!!
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Thank you! I'd highly recommend Dr Mandell-Brown!
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Your eyes look beautiful, I can see it took about a month to see the beautiful results
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Thank you! I can honestly say my eyes are still getting better each day. Very pleased with the outcome!
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You look stunning !
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Gorgeous eyes! You must be so pleased :)
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How helpful your words are! I am getting my eyes upper and lower done Sept 11th and have a decent idea of the recovery and hope for the result because your story was so helpful and real. I think you are lovely! The eyes are the window to the soul and yours are beautifully framed. Your comment about taking the time and spending the money on ourselves being important is true too. Thank you!
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Thank you so very much for your kind words. I'm pleased that you found my experience helpful, Best of luck Sept 11th! You will be amazed at the change. I'm looking forward to following your story :)
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I'm no expert but I don't think any revision is necessary. They both look really wide and wrinkle and bag free. No wonder you are pleased. One more thing.....you look as lovely with the hair pulled back as with it down ....no need to hide anymore. Try a new style!
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Thank you, Cassandra! :)
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Wow! Getting better and better. And I'm sure it will get even better!!! Congratulations.
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You look so refreshed, so much younger what a awesome transformation so happy for you!!!
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Next time give us a smile too. You look great.
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:D Yes I should start smiling in my pictures. Thank you!
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you look really good and younger afterward, I am going to have my lower eye bags and hollows done in august, I am 36, but mine make me look like I am at least 56. Here you look so much younger in your after pics, I haven't seen you fully healed, but this is so encouraging as you no longer look like you are in your late 40's but instead in your 30's. Your eyes look amazing! I cannot wait for my procedure in august. I also have a "fat pad" in both eyes that has slid down and then there is my hollowing that gives me weird skeleton eyes with bags thanks to my fat pad. This is inherited on my mom's side and I started to see it when I was 16, only now I have the means to finally fix it. Again you look GREAT!!! :D
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Thank you, Tvelazquez, for the kind words! I was just hoping to look my age afterwards, but hey, if I can get a few years back, I'll take it! You are very smart to get your eyes fixed as soon as you can. I lived with mine in denial for way too long. Unfortunately, they don't ever get better :( Looking at our faces in the mirror each morning and not being able to see past the bags to the beautiful women beneath is no way to live :) I'm looking forward to following you through your surgery!
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Forgot to say to be careful with make up remover too ...for eyes...get almay or similar!
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I had the little fat pad too....My PS said it would away by itself. On this post I saw people were massaging lumps with vitamin e oil etc.....gently. So I did it did for a week. Then I got allergy and stopped. Haha. The pad has gone away pretty much by itself like the PS said, at 8 weeks, so take heart. As for make up you should buy brand new ; Almay , Clinique or Josie Maran(Sephora) are hypoallergenic. You can finish your old ones later in the year. It's worth it to have untouched new products for your liner and mascara. The Maran concealer is fabulous...I used it for my swollen allergy eyes ...ask for a sample in Sephora. They gave me a months worth!
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Thank you so much for the support Cassandra and the great advice about buying new makeup! I definitely think I can 'force' myself to go shopping for makeup :)
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Very helpful. Thanks for sharing. I go under the knife Thursday am for same with out chemical peel.
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You are very welcome. Hope it helps answer questions people might have. Good luck tomorrow! I will be thinking about you and look forward to your sharing your experience.
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Great! Thanks so much for your very detailed account of the surgery and the post op progress. You look good. Do try and post some more recent ones too? One questions, why did you do the chemical peel? Is that an integral part of the surgery? Thanks again.
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You are welcome! I'm surprised how quickly I've recovered and how pain free it has been. I plan on posting pictures and updates every week through about week 6. If I need a revision , I will update the posting and share pictures, as well. I decided to get the chemical peel because I wanted the best possible outcome right after surgery (wanted to 'look my best'). I went in thinking the peel would likely be a one time occurrence, and I still am of that opinion - not because it was painful (burns for a couple mins but then stops), but because I know I can't stave off all signs of aging and I'm willing to live with the wrinkles. My fine wrinkles never bothered me ,much before my surgery, but boy did that close up photo taken at my consultation really show how makeup makes them stand out!
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