53 years old, tired of lower bags, surgery scheduled, little scared - Winston Salem, NC

I have had prominent bags underneath my eyes for...

I have had prominent bags underneath my eyes for several years and FINALLY am going to just "go for it" and have lower lid bleph. Since I am a 53, a little concerned about healing taking longer and also the fact that my doctor is going to use outside stitches which will scar. He did mention it if didn't fade as much as I'd like, he would laser it at no additional charge later, which I thought was very nice. Also, some have suggested arnica/bromelain supplements........the doctor didn't mention these. Are they worth it? I am posting my "before" shots and will be posting "afters" in about 5 weeks!!!!
The nurse with the surgeon I am getting second consultation returned my call and verified Dr. Thompson performs BOTH inside and outside procedures, on a case-by-case basis. I feel MUCH BETTER getting this second opinion and if he advises I need outside stitching and explains it fully to me, I will be much relieved and go ahead. It really has helped to have everyone here share experiences and advice. Will let you know the result of this afternoon's visit. :)
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Wonderful. I'm glad you feel better now. Your surgeon sounds great. I'm so excited for you! I am only about six weeks post op and I am very pleased with my result so far! The first week is the thoughest. Just concentrate on healing. I can't wait to hear your experience! Good luck!
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Glad you are so pleased and hoping I also will. I haven't talked to this surgeon yet but crossing fingers. They are in the same practice so not sure how they will react....but not my problem. Lol.
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Surgeon change, feeling MUCH BETTER about upcoming procedure

I met today for the second opinion regarding whether I required outside stitching and "pinch". The surgeon I saw today, Dr. James Thompson, was very very professional, patient and understanding. I feel a load has been lifted. He practices both styles of lower bleph. and agreed I have no loose skin underneath and am a perfect candidate for the transconjunctival procedure. He also explained that due to the hollowness near the outside corners of each eye, that he would recommend a small fat transfer to eliminate the "hollow" look. He left that decision totally up to me but I am choosing to do it. I don't want a "sunken look" . My surgery should be scheduled within a few days, the sooner the better! I wasn't required to pay for another consultation, yaaay. I am so very very happy I went through the trouble and red tape this involved to get another opinion within the practice. : ) I will post my new surgery date when I get it and the countdown will begin!!!!!
good for you, so exciting. glad you're getting the less invasive surgery, i didn't think it looked to me like you have loose skin either. my surgery is next week, i had my pre op exam today. in massachusetts you need an exam no more than 30 days old plus an ekg if you are over 50. how about NC?
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Wow, I am excited for you! Time is flying by. I have really appreciated your comments here. Yes, I also have to do a pre-op visit that includes bloodwork to determine my clotting ability and EKG also. I was originally scheduled for my pre-op tomorrow but since changing surgeons, I am waiting for a new pre-op and surgery date.
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maybe your new date will be sooner, if i had to wait longer than i did i think my review page would read like a book, lol. i'm so obsessed about the whole process i keep going online to check things out. hahaha
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Awaiting appointment with Dr. Thompson

My consultation with Dr. Thompson was a week ago today. I am still waiting to be scheduled for my history and physical and surgery with him. I have emailed this morning and am hoping to hear something soon. I feel it is the scheduler's lack of efficiency and intend to address this with the surgeon if I don't hear something very soon.
Tomorrow is your big day! Good luck; I look forward to following your recovery. You will be beautiful!
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Surgery Scheduled April 11

I finally heard from the scheduler today and I am scheduled for April 11, next Friday! I am a tiny bit worried that I won't be off Wellbutrin the recommended 2 weeks prior to surgery but the nurse said it is okay?????? I am super excited but also nervous and scared. I will be sure to post updates. Has anyone else had fat grafting when having the lowers done?
Good luck tomorrow, just get thru the first few days and when you wake up after that it feels like Christmas morning, very exciting. I read someone saying it's a gift we give to ourselves and now I understand what that truly means.
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Thanks so much. I have a few worries about how to keep icing on, sleeping on my back without special pillow, etc., but I'm sure it will all work out. I have appreciated your photos and comments so much! I hope I look as great as you do!
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I had fat repositioning. I believe SadieBee had fat injection. I'm not sure if that is the same thing as fat grafting. You could ask her.
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Tomorrow......................

My big day is tomorrow at 10:30. Yippeeee....... I am very excited and a tad nervous. I am really tired of hearing "You look fine just as you are," "You don't need it," "What a waste of money," etc. Enough already, lol. I have mirrors and I have focused on the bags for years. Tomorrow is my special day!
Tonight will be a little hard. Make sure you follow your doc instructions fully. If it's to ice ice ice ...then do it. I left the tv on all night and made myself sit up. It's very hard to sleep. You won't be sore just uncomfortable. Day 2 will be ok then day 3 not nice again...as the bruising kicks in. It's just one weekend of your life. It will be worth it.
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Had surgery today. All went well. Applying icy guaze every 30 to 60 mins. Swollen and bruised as expected. Stomach area very bruised from fat grafting. No pain.
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Yup, just remember, "10 years younger" !
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April 11 surgery complete

Right after surgery, April 11. Have used eye lubricant twice as directed. Dr Thompson explained procedure and drew around eyes prior to surgery places fat was to be removed and also where it would be grafted to prevent hollowness. He explained that once I laid down bags would not be as visible. I have antibiotics to take every 6 hours. I had IV sedation and was completely out. I have a feeling to mm may look a bit worse but so far no problems at all. My supportive husband is changing cold guaze and taking care of me. I am so excited

Day two, feeling great!

Today is day two, surgery yesterday. No pain at all other than stomach soreness where fat was removed for graft. I am having difficult sleeping upright in my recliner but other than that, no pain at all. My left eye is worse as it had the most fatty tissue underneath prior to surgery. I actually wanted to get out with my husband today but he said no, not yet. Lol.
Today is day 2 following Friday's surgery.........I am a bit surprised at the amount of swelling, especially my left eye, which was the worse one. Also, my stomach is very sore as a result of the fat grafting. I have emailed the surgeon's office about the bleeding at one of the sites there as I wasn't warned about this. I am still amazed that there is no pain after so much pulling and tugging on the eye areas............
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Everyone was right, day 4 is turnaround. Gets better after that. Hang in there, it won't be long.
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Congrats on surgery!
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Forgot to add pictures.............Today is Day 2, surgery was Friday

Lot of swelling remaining, especially under left eye. Some bleeding from one of the fat grafting areas on my abdomen that I have emailed the surgeon's office about. I am looking forward to having tape removed next Friday.
I had massive swelling as well. I had chipmunk cheeks! Just keep reminding yourself that you PS did a lot more work that just the usual lower Blepharoplasty. Lots of swelling is to be expected. It will go down a lot in the next few days. Take care.
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Thank you so much for the reassurance. Since each of us are so different I don't know what to expect. I think it looks worse today than yesterday. Follow up Friday seems like a long way off
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Monday, Day 4, Left eye pretty yucky

I think I overdid things yesterday, felt great so I watched TV, read some, had company. I'm still sleeping upright and icing but left eye is REALLY REALLY swollen, worse than it was. I did hear back from doctor's office that I can apply antibiotic salve to fat grafting site on tummy but it has stopped bleeding now. I am really wanting left side of face to look better!
How are you doing today?
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Left eye remains very swollen. My husband was so concerned he had me call the surgeon who said IRS OK and normal for one side to be worse. I was really hoping for less swelling by today. Thankfully no pain though.
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Poor mama hope it gets better really fast cant wait to see more pix... Take care of yourself.
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Left eye really swollen, Tuesday, April 15

Still a lot of swelling but thankfully no pain. The surgeon's office returned my call and said for me not to be alarmed about left eye being so much worse than right. The surgeon said he had to do more work there and it started bruising immediately so they're not concerned. I have post op visit this Friday. I just feel good so want swelling and bruising to subside so I can get out and go places!
I'm glad you are not in pain. Things should start turning around in the next few days. Did your PS say whether you should keep icing? Don't do it for two weeks like I did! Duh, I didn't get the part about icing for too long...
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They didn't mention icing but my instructions said for the first 48 hours so I've only been doing it at night just because it feels good. My eyes are really red (the white eyeball part). My brother just visited me and freaked out, lol. I am ready for things to turn around and going to have my nasty hair washed Friday morning, can't wait!!!! Hope I don't scare everyone.
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i had one eye more swollen than the other too, by day 5 it was so much better but still took another few days extra than the other eye to look normal. you should see improvement tomorrow. you should try moist heat, it circulates the area and helps drain the fluid.
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Day 6

Today is day 6 and left eye remains VERY SWOLLEN, has not gone down any since yesterday. Also, I have a clear "jelly like" covering from the outer corner of each eye that stops at the iris???????? I am anxious to see what the doctor has to say tomorrow about this. I am ready for bruising and swelling to be gone and see my results! My abdomen is also still VERY bruised. I'm still sleeping sitting up hoping it will dissipate the swelling.
I live in Charleston, SC and am thinking of doing the same thing you did. Thank you so very much for giving us reports on your ongoing saga.
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I have it too in one eye! It's awful. I can't drive and fine computer work tiring and irritating. My PS said to expect it as it's normal and he gave me a scrip for steroids but I'm trying to deal with it's with massage and regular eye drops. Hope all goes well today. I'm 2 weeks and the swelling is way down ...yours will come down too.
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Cant wait til you see your PS to give you thumbs up and hope that swelling goes down.. Soon Take care of yourself..
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One Week Post Op Review

I went for my week post-op check up today. Today is the WORST DAY I've had so far. I have had no pain until today and it's from the inflammation (clear jelly completely covering right eye and halfway on left) It makes my eye feel very irritated and it burns some. He did confirm I have inflamed conjunctivia and gave me ointment with steroids to be applied 3 times daily for 10 days. I have to return next Friday to be rechecked but he said it should be gone by then hopefully. He also said I could use regular artificial tears in addition to the ointment. Bruising and swelling are on track. I really could have done without this added thing to deal with and was scared to death until I searched this board and found it's fairly common. Surgeon wasn't concerned at all.
I had one eye that was much more swollen than the other, I was warned that could happen but it really freaked me out. I did a lot of resting with cold compresses( baggies of cold water, not ice) pretty much 24 hours the first few days. I also had gone to my nutritionist and started two weeks ahead of time with healing herbs that were zoked by my DR. I also had Accupuncture done the day after and am regularly doing EFT treatments on myself for healing. This is day 6 and yesterday I started with alternating warm and cold on my eyes. I am also going into my hot tub twice a day to get my blood circulating to promote healing. Lots and Lots of rest. Sometimes I take a half a pain pill to keep me calm and not try to do too much. It's so hard to me home and not get stuff done!
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Poor thing, sorry you're going thru this. Your swelling seems to look a little better. Hopefully the steroids work fast. Since I wear contacts I had an episode years ago when I was a party animal and I forgot to take my lenses out (too drunk) and got photophobia (sensitivity to light) and I think chemosis too. It was pretty painful, like stabs to the eyeball. They gave me steroids and they worked right away. I wear lenses I can sleep in now so I don't have to worry about that anymore. Did he say anything about moist heat?
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No, the doctor only mentioned cold gauze could be applied to make it feel less itchy. I did that last night. Several have mentioned massaging the area here on the board but I have no idea how to do that. I have also read where some have applied moist heat but when I google "Chemosis" only cool presses are mentioned. It is driving me crazy. I cannot even notice the improvement in swelling and bruising for looking at it inside the eye!
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Day 10, seeing improvement

Today is day 10 post-surgery. I am actually seeing improvement. The chemosis is still the worst but it even seems better today. I washed my own hair today, yaaaayyyy. I still have steri-strips until my return appt. Friday. I plan to return to work next Monday so hoping it won't look bad then. I REALLY appreciate the comments, tips, feedback you all are giving me. I am really feeling good about this!
Looking much better! I think you'll be fine by next Monday. You may have tiny swelling here and there but for the most part no one will notice. I still have a little swelling in one eye that comes and goes but probably not noticeable to anyone but me.
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: ) While I can see improvement, I want it to hurry! Do you feel that way too?
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Yes, of course. I planned on a long recovery because I smoke so I tried to just accept it. I don't look as bad as I thought but it's far from being healed, my scars are still red and I get periodic swelling. It's only been 2 1/2 weeks so I can't complain because they say it takes months to really see the results. i guess we have to have patience. i've been bad about salt too, i am addicted to potato chips and didn't have any 3 weeks before surgery and now that it's over i've been eating them here and there. not as much as i want but i guess enough to keep me swelling up. plus i had ham dinner yesterday for easter.
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Day 12------Bruises turned red???????

My recheck is Friday and my chemosis is mmmuuuccchhh better thankfully. However, my bruises have now turned RED??????? I went out last night and they were impossible to cover up. I've never had a bruise turn red before. Has anyone else experienced this? I am so happy to see the swelling subsiding and to have the steri-strips removed Friday. I feel so good it's hard to believe I had surgery a few days ago!
Wow, are healing is so similar! I also had the hollows and fat transfer as well. Yes my bruises turned red too! I also have a watery left eye and taking the antibiotic eye drops. I feel good no pain but the tearing and blurry on left side is annoying. I also have purple crescent bruises on the top of my cheek. I am in day 12. The concealer they gave me does not help at all! Can't wait to look normal and have my left eye back to how it was pre-surgery!
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Hi! I didn't have pain but felt like it took FOREVER for the bruising and swelling to go away. I didn't even try with concealer because none seemed to work. Hang in there, be patient (I know, right?) and it will all look normal again and you will be SO GLAD you did this!!! I do have a bit of a hollow underneath my eyes now but I'll take that over having bags any day!!! Please keep me posted. Good luck to you.
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My PS 's skin care specialist recommended Proderma foundation. It gives great coverage. Check it out on line. They actually sell it in the PS office so patients don't have to go shopping!! It might help you for work next week.
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Day 17, Back at work

Returned to work today, still a bit bruised and swollen. The bruises are an ugly red and I have on concealer and full coverage makeup and they're still obvious. I was hoping the swelling would have gone down more by now too. I guess I'm a bit impatient.
Post a photo. Sorry you are a little bruised......I am day 25 and it's way down. Day 17 I was still swollen.
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I tried posting earlier and it wouldn't go thru.....going to try again. I would appreciate your feedback once I get it to post. : )
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Day 17 with picture

I am wearing concealer and full coverage makeup. It's odd that my left eye was the worst of the two for having bags but now the right one has more bruising. Nothing seems to cover red bruises!
just read your note on my old question - the fat transfer could be why you're taking a little longer to heal but it will be worth it in the end.
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I don't think the fat transfers are the problem, didn't even bruise there. I looked at your pictures and you did GREAT. I read some of your stuff and I had LASIK about 10 years ago, was VERY nearsighted. It worked for about 3 years and I now wear glasses or contacts again. My prescription isn't nearly as strong as it was but still spent a lot of money on it. I work with a couple of people that have had to go back to wearing glasses/contacts a few years after having LASIK. They presented it to me as being "permanent" and it isn't always.
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I was always afraid of them screwing up my eyesight so i never tried it. i thought it would be permanent too, maybe just need readers. Do you need glasses for distance now too?
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3 and half weeks post surgery

I am now 3 1/2 weeks post surgery. I had follow up appointment scheduled for next Friday (4 week mark) but due to other obligations I rescheduled for the end of the month. Since I'm not having any problems, I feel it will be okay. I still have these reddish bruises but they seem to be turning yellow. I really thought all bruising would be gone by now. But I DON'T SEE ANY BAGS!!!!!!! I am anxious for all the swelling and bruising to leave so I can see what I am paying for the next 3 years, lol.
Ps looking great
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Bruises will go. Eat healthy and relax in the evenings if you can. The house work can wait!!!
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Looks very nice(^_~)! Smooth n no hollowness or scars it's nice. Now u just have to wait for bruise to fade away. Great job ur surgeon did on u lucky girl!
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5 Weeks Post-Op

Tomorrow will be 5 weeks since lower lid bleph/fat grafting. I am still seeing a lot of red and some swelling on the left side and minimal redness and swelling on the right side. I really thought it would all be gone by now. :( I rescheduled my 4 week follow up until the end of the month; hopefully both the redness AND swelling will be gone by then. But I'm not seeing any bags! Yaaaaayyyyyyy.
Did you notice if the fat transfer made a difference for you? I can't tell in your before pics where it was needed.
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Underneath my bags I had a small sunken in half circle. The surgeon wanted a smooth, even surface from underneath my lower lashes to the cheekbones. He said it could be even more dominant after removing the bags if I didn't.
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He called it "hallowness." Lol.
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5 Weeks Post Procedure with makeup

Went out tonight. This is with makeup.

5 Weeks Post Op. with makeup, picture 2

Another one with makeup on. No bags but still a bit swollen and red bruises that I covered pretty well. SO HAPPY NOT TO HAVE THOSE UGLY BAGS!!!!!
You don't look tired anymore ! Very rested relaxed and youthful! You must be thrilled so far.
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wow you look so pretty and your eyes are so bright and youthful ill bet you have all the fellas turning heads
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OMG! U look beautiful! Awsome results! Congratulations from the bottom of my
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Still an undereye "bag"?????

Most of the bruising and swelling is gone. I am now at 5 1/2 weeks post procedure. My left eye was worse for having bags. Now I'm seeing a slight bag in the inner corner area of my left eye. I am REALLY hoping this will go away. It looks so much better but would like this small one that I'm seeing gone too!
My surgery is April 11 and my eyes continue to look better and better! I had another post-op visit this past Friday and the Dr. Thompson is very pleased. When I mentioned the small remaining bag underneath my left eye, he commented it's probably swelling. I sure hope so but either way I am VERY PLEASED. I still can't get used to looking in the mirror and not seeing those huge bulging bags! I'll post a picture with makeup on soon.
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1 of my under eyes is a tad puffier than the other, won't be able to see in photos but i can tell in my 10x mirror, lol.
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I guess I wanted perfection. Lol. I have recheck the 30th and will get surgeon's opinion then. But overall, I am very happy with my result. You look great too! I cannot tell a thing.
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Surgery was April 11, eyes looking better and better!

I had another postop visit last Friday and Dr. Thompson is very pleased with my progress. When I mentioned the small remaining bag underneath my left eye, he commented it's probably swelling. I hope so but I'm happy either way. I'm still amazed when I look in the mirror and don't see those huge bulging bags under my eyes. I'll post a picture with makeup in a couple of day. I really like Dr. Thompson and am so happy I changed surgeons!
That's great news. Do post pic soon. Congrats. I'm glad your surgeon says there can still be a little swelling after 7-8 weeks. So does mine and I was worried that I was the only one.
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7 1/2 weeks post surgery, so happy!

My lower lid bleph. was April 11. I am so happy with the results. The tiny remaining "bag" underneath my left eye doesn't bother me. I wish I had done this years ago when I gave myself the choice of LASIK for my eyes or bleph. and chose LASIK. I am so glad I did this and people are commenting I look "rested." This is exactly what I wanted: a natural result. I am so happy to be bag free!
You look awesome - congratulations!
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You look fantastic! Thanks for sharing!!
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you look great, so glad you're happy.
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Before & After pictures

Here's my before and after pictures.............What do you all think? I am very pleased!
looks great. i have a tiny remaining bag too i think. i say "think" because sometimes it's there and sometimes not. i can't see any bag on you at all but i'm sure you see it yourself as i do mine. like you said, it doesn't bother me either, i'm just glad to be rid of the bigger bags i had. i feel like i don't look tired all the time when i'm not. i bet you do too! so happy you had a great outcome.
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Yes we are our own worst critics, lol. I am very happy nonetheless. Glad yours turned out good as well
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I am so happy for you, you look great! Thanks for sharing your progress and pictures, they are very helpful. I will share my experience very soon my surgery is 3 weeks ahead. The fat that was removed from your belly, I have three questions: Did you notice you lost some fat? Meaning your body looks better. Did the doctor said he will take from three different areas? I thought that only from around the belly should be more than enough? Did it hurt sitting or bending in the areas of your belly where fat was taken. Thanks and congratulations!
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Update 7-30-14 , 3 1/2 months post op, Happy Happy Happy

Surgery was April 11 and I am VERY PLEASED. While I still have the "small bag" underneath my left eye, I can live with that. I am amazed at the difference and what such a small and easy surgery could make. If you are considering this, I say "Go for it." I should have done this years ago.
HollyJo. You look great....so pleased for you.
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Thanks Cassandra!
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Winston-Salem Plastic Surgeon

Doctor is now DR. JAMES T. THOMPSON, WFUP Baptist Hospital Plastic Surgery Dr. Thompson is very personable and took the time to answer all my questions and address my concerns. He was skilled enough to know I would need a fat transfer to prevent hallowness underneath my eyes. I did not even think of that. He made me feel informed and completely at ease. I highly recommend him!!!

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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