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Devastated After Lower Eyelid Surgery - Washington, DC

I went to PS for a consult on upper eyelids that...

I went to PS for a consult on upper eyelids that were slightly drooping onto eyelashes. PS pointed out my tired look and showed me how he could also correct my bags under my eyes with a simple procedure to remove a little excess skin. I did not have a problem with the way I looked but he made me feel like I did have a problem. He made the correction seem so simple and convinced me to do it, and asked me to trust him that he was an expert in eye procedures. I asked if we could try a little filler between the tear rim and upper cheek bone but he said fillers were not very successful in this area (ironically this is what he is now suggesting to correct the problem!)

It is now 5 months post surgery and I am devastated by the result and am on verge of a nervous breakdown. My eyes which were originally large and my best feature are now smaller, more rounded, and pulled up in an unnatural way. He also took too much fat out below my eyes and they now have a hollowed sick look. I get physically ill when I look in the mirror.

I'm very confused about how to correct these problems. Some doctors say try filler (e.g Restylane) for the hollowness, others say I will need a fat graft. I'm scared to death to do anything else for fear it will be worse - but I hate the way I look and am desperate to try to fix it.

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I would be willing to join anybody contacting the media..The Today Show, Dr. Phil, etc. My name is Amy. Please replay at amya1968ATyahooDotcom
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in short Santa Barbara the answer is yes, you probably payed good money to hike up your bags. If in 5 months they are still there then that is it,in my experience.
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I still have swelling under my eyes after 5 months. Not much but still there. when I look down in the mirror I see this swelling directly under my eyelid. It as if he lifted the bags instead of removed them. Does anyone know if these will eventually go away or did I pay good money to just hike up my bags?
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To Wilkes...all docs are going to say that things look fine...to say anything else they feel is to admit liability. If you had laxity before why did he not mention it and why did he operate on you and not correct this?? I would ask him these questions. They have huge egoes and do not want to ever be shown up to have done the wrong thing. It is clear his pre op assessment of you was wrong. Signing a waiver does not mean that he can get away with injuring you...
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Yes, Portland I will need to repeat the filler as often as necessary....which will be expensive. It cost $1400 this time. I got it done here in Australia and no it was not an occuloplastic surgeon, but was a doctor. I am still not completely happy and still do have some hollowing. If I get the chance to come and consult with Dr. Hoenig I would. I have however been told that my Restylane repair has been done very well. I still have slightly assymetric lower lids and one lid sits slightly higher than the other. So all repairs are just making the best of what was left after the botch job. I would imagine it is almost impossible to get things back to how they were before. Sadly, I still had some pouching under my eyes which was supposed to be taken away by the original surgery. This has been disguised somewhat by the Restylane.I still have dry eye which is quite painful if I do not take fish oil....so it is a lifetime of discomfort that these dodgy surgeons condem us to. I strongly feel that as individuals and as a group we need to complain constructively, but loudly about these surgeons and make them accountable.
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Hello again ERNurse, thanks for your reply. I will try the filler in July or August when I am six months out. I am hoping for a bit of a resolution, that I will feel that some of the contours and fullness in the under eye/upper cheek area will be back. We'll see...

The oculoplastic surgeon yesterday wouldn't really comment on the original work but he did indicate that the uppers are too hollow and that the weird crease in the outer corner could be calmed down with Dysport (similar to Botox but the results are softer looking). This was SO disheartening; since my family says I look fine I was hoping a professional would assure me that the work was okay even though I know in my gut that this is NOT a positive outcome!

I still am in disbelief that this elective surgery has left me with not one, but several issues I have to try and figure out. When is an appropriate time to begin lodging complaints and such in earnest? I agree with you, it is our civic duty to educate and warn others.

Also, how long have you been living with this? Emotionally does it get any easier? Is there ever a morning that you wake up and don't immediately think of your face and how devastated you feel about your decision to have cosmetic surgery in the first place? For once I'd like to wake up thinking about something, anything, else...
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Got the contact info for the Today show in the U.S. I will draft a letter and send it to them. Anyone else interested in chiming in and/or contacting Today to ask them to do a story on the devastation caused by unsatisfactory/botched plastic surgery? The address they give for story ideas is an actual address, not an email address {edited}
I say let's go for it!

{By Britt. Please Personal Message user for info. Thanks}
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Good job Portland. I say go for it too. This website would be a good link to send them with everyone's horrow stories, as well as links to some of the surgeon's websites that talk about the problem and what an epidemic it is. Maybe something positive will come out of all of this...
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Before you contact the show, it would be good to get as many people 'on board' as possible. Put the word out that everyone who has legitimate complaints re their surgery to come forward. These doctors that are doing these procedures to unsuspecting people need to be outed. If this was going on in any other sphere of medicine it would not be allowed. It is happening here in Australia too. Here people have an official avenue of complaint, but most do not know about it.This would be another area to address with the Today show. In America where is your area for complaint...is it only lawyers? they are too expensive for most people. We have the Health Complaints Commission...free, they assign you a case worker, and all medico legal reports needed are obtained free. Why are there not better guidelines for PS and CS? People need to be told, that when doing eye surgery particularly the doc really cannot tell you how it will turn out...he does not know. However you will never get a doc that will accurately tell you that. I am willing to help you out, as I am a fellow sufferer from CS lies and denial.
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Hello ERNurse, I am happy to read that you have some resolution to your problems. Just wondering...will you need to repeat the filler long term? Was your Restylane practitioner in Australia or in the U.S.? Was he or she an oculoplastic surgeon? This is all so tricky as it seems that the key is to finding the right person...Thanks for sharing your story. We all have so much to learn.
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I am so glad that you have had some satisfaction Washington. The spacer grafts are what I have. They are taken from your hard palate and put into your lower eyelid (inside of course) and it gives the lower eyelid some strength and height to correct retraction. I have had this AND Restylane to correct the mess. It is still not perfect and I really need some extra surgery to tweak the shape of my eyes.

To Wilkes Barre, DO NOT LET YOUR ORIGINAL SURGEON TOUCH YOU. If he could not get it right the first time he will not be able to fix it. Read articles by Hoenig and Steinsepir. Yes, you have a right to your money back. Write letters stating the whole case (keep copies) get another docs opinion if you can and demand your money back. Not being able to close your eyes properly is mutilation and injury. Write to all organisations that your surgeon is a member of and complain about him. Tell your surgeon you have done this. Keep copies of all your letters and all your phone calls and visits. Ask for your notes and stand there while they give them to you. Do not give up, but as others have said take it very slowly, and do your homework...best wishes.
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Wilkes Barre I am so sorry for your unhappiness with your bleph surgery. I am 4 months post op upper and lower bleph and I am not 100 percent satisfied. I had gone in for upper bleph but my ps talked me into lower bleph as well. I realize now that most of the problems are associated with lower bleph. I experienced dry eye and assymetry for 3 months. I still have some slight assymetry now however only I see it. There is still a small bulge in the outer corner of my right eye. Not sure if it is scar tissue or left over fat. My ps told me to massage the area - well i have been doing that for four months. It is slightly smaller but still noticeable. I have a ridge under the eye area where my cheeks meet my new bags as I call them. They are higher than the old bags. This might still be swelling but no one prepared me for 4 months of swelling! I have contacted my ps to let him know I will be returning for a check up within the next month. My last check up (at 2 months) he told me "unless there is a problem I don't need to see you again" - this after I emailed and called his office constantly due to the dry eye and assymetry! If people read these blogs about bleph surgery gone wrong I am sure they would reconsider surgery. I know I would. I hope your issues resolve in time. I am hopefully optimistic about my recovery.
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Hello gals - just checking in to give you an update on all my consults with oculoplastic surgeons over the past week and where I stand with my situation. Had five consults, one in DC, one via skype in Seattle, and three in Beverly Hills over the past few days when I was in town attending a wedding. The DC doc was the only one who recommended revision surgery - something called spacers which I had never heard of. The Seattle doc recommended fat injections, and the three Beverly Hills docs all recommended Restylane fillers, and highly recommended against more surgery and fat injections for my particular situation - which is mostly hollowness under the eyes, slightly smaller and retracted eyes, and severe dry eyes. In my consult with Dr. Hoenig, he recommended salt injections first to see how I would like the result - and I did. So I went back two days later (today)and he gave me a small amount of Restylane filler under the eyes to fill in the hollowness and smooth out the unevenness from the original surgery and botched filler. Every doctor I talked to agreed that I should never have had the surgery, which like Santa Barbara, the doctor talked me into after going in for an upper eyelid consultation (which thank god I didn't let him do!) They all also agree that you should never "double down" with your surgeon and let them do more work on you. The risks are too great that you will end up with a worse result. The filler for today was only $450 dollars because I didn't need that much to fill in the hollows of my eyes. The consults have definitely added up ($125-695 per visit) but I feel like the money and the research was worth it to prevent me from making things worse. There is no perfect solution without risks, but in my case, since my problem was not so bad compared to the horror stories these doctors told me about, it seems the filler is the lowest risk option to start with. Plus it can easily be reversed with an injection of a solution that rapidly dissolves the Restylane if you don't like it. I'm a little swollen and bruised from the injections this morning, but I think I look better. I don't expect to have my old face back when the swelling is gone, but at least I won't see the hollowness every day when I look in the mirror. It was such torture. The key to fillers I now understand is to go to an oculoplastic surgeon who is skilled in filling around the eyes. Most dermatologists and other plastic surgeons are not skilled at using fillers around the eyes. I had my original surgeon do a touchup with Restylane a few weeks ago and he did not do a good job even though he said he was very skilled at it. The key is to do your research and find the right person to do it. I believe the doctors in Beverly Hills, because they do it so much, are more skilled than in other parts of the country which is why I decided to go with Dr. Hoenig. I also really liked him and felt very comfortable with him. If I needed revision surgery I would also probably go with one of the docs in Beverly Hills because a large percent of their practice is fixing other surgeons mistakes and I think they are the most skilled. If anyone wants to talk about the various consults I've had feel free to send me a personal email and I can give you my phone number if you want to set up a call. I've packed alot of research into the past few months and I'm happy to pass it on to help others. Stay positive out there!!
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Hi Washington, thanks for letting us know how you are doing. I have been thinking about you and wondering how your consults were going. I am seeing a Portland-area oculoplastic surgeon today to talk about filler under the eyes. We'll see how that goes. In addition to feeling hollow below my eyes, I also have a noticeable and funky-looking crease that shows up at the outer corner of one eye when I smile and the inner corner of the other eye has an area where the skin does not drape nicely (I had the upper bleph as well). I will also show these issues to the oculoplastic surgeon and at least get a 2nd opinion.

So, if the filler done by the right person was a help to you, do you plan on repeating the filler indefinitely? When I talked to a staff member at Dr. Karam's office she told me that he does not like to use filler more than twice as it does cause scar tissue to build up in the area. Has anyone heard that?

One last thing...in my last visit to my plastic surgeon I noticed something. She had told me that she had had lower bleph surgery at one point in her life. And guess what? When I looked more closely behind her glasses I saw that she looks rather hollow under the eyes. I hadn't noticed it before since I didn't know what she used to look like but I can recognize it now. I'm not a mean person but I did feel a small victory that she herself has to live with this!

I would much rather that all this cosmetic surgery stuff would work as we had hoped and dreamed it would though...

Hang in there, gals!
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Portland - I had not heard about the scar tissue concern. I'll have to ask Dr. Hoenig about it. I had assumed I would be getting the Restylane injections every year for the rest of my life (which is one of the factors I will include in my request to my original surgeon to reimburse me).

It's interesting that you noticed the hollowness in the eyes of your surgeon. I too am now much more observant in spotting it in others. And ironically, my surgeon's assistant told me before surgery that she too had had the lower bleph surgery performed by my surgeon. She had glasses on so I didn't really notice the hollowness until after my surgery. I so wish I had asked her to remove her glasses BEFORE I went through with the surgery as I'm sure it would not have looked attractive to me and raised a red flag. I wonder how many people out there, like me, are now wearing non-prescription glasses to cover up botched eyelid surgery. It's such a shame...
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Hi Portland - I spoke to Dr Hoenig last night about repeating the filler more than twice. He said what happens some times is that the filler can become permanent tissue alleviating the need to continue to get it. He has had patients that stop coming after a couple of years because they no longer need it. He had another name for it than scar tissue - but actually thought it was a positive outcome rather than negative. He says it happens more in people with thin skin. I have thin skin and have seen this permanence of the filler occur in my brow area where I treated frown lines with filler a few years ago. I have not had to go back for several years now. I am hoping for this result under my eyes as well.
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Hello, I saw the Portland area oculoplastic surgeon yesterday. I also asked him about whether or not it is deemed okay to repeat the filler as needed. He said that when it is injected deeply (as it should be in the under eye case) scarring is not a concern. I had also heard that Restylane might not be needed in some people after a while. That is good news and I hope that will be the case for you and others who are in need of it now. The explanation I had read about how that works is that the injections cause a minor injury which, when the body heals them, causes collagen to form. Sounds good to me! In my case the oculoplastic surgeon said to come back when I am six months out and that it is too soon to attempt to correct the issues I have as we don't yet know how everything will ultimately settle. He also refrained from commenting on whether the hollowing was caused by the bleph (indicating that natural hollowing may have already been present); he also wouldn't comment on the quality of the work of the original surgeon. He did admit that the uppers were unnaturally hollow but that only someone who knows eyes as well as he does would notice this telltale sign. That made for a sad rest of the day for me. I so wanted to hear that this is all in my head and that the work is alright after all. I do believe that my fears are true, that the work was simply NOT conservative enough to be flattering or a positive outcome. I wish I could undo this. It is so hard to live with unsatisfactory results from elective surgery!
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hi thanks for all that information, i had u-l blepho 6 weeks ago and one eye look way bigger than other, PS place a stich today in my lower lid pulling up to my eyebrow ,to place in place my lower lid HE SAID,but you can see that he took too much skin fron one eye, im desesperate, i live in LA if we can change phone numbers so i can get some of the information you have, i stared searching for a specilst today
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To Susana 7542...It sounds like you have a Frost suture insitu. It would be a little late for this I think....your PS obviously knows something is wrong.. I have had these too, but always straight after surgery and they stay in for a week or so. Wait a while and see what happens with this and massage. Even a specialist will not do anything until the eye settles down. Make sure you keep a record of every visit and conversation you have with your surgeon.
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OMG, I didn't know so many people had all these problems with the bleb surgery. I just posted pictures and question about what to do with the bags that show up when I smile. I had a successful FL 20 years ago and forget what exactly he did to upper eyes but I had one droopy eye he corrected but now I have some extra skin in the corners of that too so I really not sure what to do. I really appreciate all of you sharing your experience. Look for my pictures and question what to do about eyes tomorrow. One thing would everyone agree that it is important to have an ocuoplastic surgeon specialist and not necessarily the plastic surgeon do the eyes. I think a doctor should have a lot of before and after pictures if they have not been a referral.
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Washington, thank you so much for sharing your story and for the follow up as well which I see is two years ago. I just posted a question about what to do re my eyes and will send you that when it shows up. Awhile back one doctor on Real Self recommended fat injections for the hollowness I have on the upper and lower. Now I am really going to reconsider whether to do any cutting as my eyes are my best feature and the problem is more noticable to me than others (however, the bags when I smile just drives me about crazy) so I'm going for a couple of consults. Last year an eye doctor didn't think I would be happy with cutting and warns about dry eye for some reason I forget why so I will proceed with caution. I need to find out what the original doctor did in Costa Rica in 1995. Overall I was really happy and my biggest issue is my neck is beginning to sag and I always look mad or sad in corners of mouth. I would like to contact you to share other pictures than just here so will wait until I hear from you. Thank you again for your honest experience.
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I had posted a question about eyes that wasn't worded very well so only one reply but he recommended fat filler and I have heard that if successful, it is best but that also it can be reabsorbed by the body so I haven't done anything yet and just now going to get some professional advice and really appreciate you and Washington sharing so much about your experiences. Thanks so much to Real Self. More woman ought to be sharing and taking warnings.
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I forgot to mention that the Ocular doctor had recommended C02 factional laser and after reading of the horror stories, and I have thin skin under the eyes, plus I did some matrix laser that did about nothing on my face, I really don't think that is a solution. Show me before and after pictures of a person with bags when they smile that had some sucess, and then I'll think about it but how can they recommend these procedures and not have one picture?
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Oh, I also wanted to mention to you that what they deem mild would not be mild if it was them having to walk around like this for the rest of their lives...OR if their Barbie Doll wives had to walk around with the equivalent of 2 crooked back eyes. Resentment is rearing it's ugly head. I'm having a hard time controlling it.
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