47-years-old, Upper Eyelids Done! - Seattle, WA

I went to a consultation today here...

This reviewer is affiliated with RealSelf. The views expressed here are their own and do not reflect the views of RealSelf, Inc.

I went to a consultation today here in Seattle (well, actually Bellevue, which is a suburb). Within the last couple years I've consulted with two other board certified plastic surgeons about having a small amount of skin taken off my upper eyelids. Both of those surgeons recommended a brow lift in addition to, or instead of an upper bleph. Yeah, the brow lift might give me the optimal result, but at 45, I'm not there quite yet. I want something that will be less expensive and less invasive, but allow me to wear my eye makeup all day without it smearing off. I'd like a slightly tighter, more youthful look.

Dr. Amadi agreed that a brow lift would give the best results, but said if I want less invasive and less expensive, that an upper bleph should also give me some benefit.

My consultation was quick but went well. I waited in the waiting room for about 25 minutes after my appointment was scheduled, but it was free (special right now if you mention RealSelf), and it wasn't at all unpleasant sitting in the pretty office reading a magazine, so I dealt. :)

Once I got into the office, Misty, Dr. Amadi's patient coordinator, did a little pre-consultation with me. She was very personable and nice. Dr. A. entered shortly after. He was personable as well, a snazzy dresser, and explained everything very clearly.

He demonstrated on my eyelid that without a lift, I might still have a small hood of lid below the outer edge of my brows, but that I should still see improvement with the ptosis of my lids (he didn't use the word ptosis). He said that he only removes skin, does not cut into any muscles, etc. He also recommended a CO2 laser underneath my eyes to help with the crepey skin there. I probably won't pursue that just yet, but I liked that he was proactive in making other suggestions.

Supposedly the surgery is done with local anesthesia (another plus for me as I have two middle grade kids and can't be off my feet for long).

Now, I just have to sell my husband on this, because he wants a youthful looking wife, right? :) I'll update when I know more.

Concerned about incision not extending far enough

So, I came across this doctor Q&A about incisions extending a bit past the outer edge of the eye, particularly if a brow lift is not also done. It doesn't sound like Dr. A. is open to this, and maybe it wouldn't be appropriate for me anyway....but I think I'd rather have a little line than leftover lateral hooding. 

Going back and forth about this surgery a bit. I know I will want it done eventually, so I might as well do it now as prices will only go up, but also feeling guilty about spending the money. My husband and I are in the process of renovating a house and already feel like we are bleeding cash.

Photo of me with eye makeup

Switching to Dr. Portuese

I had a consultation with Dr. Portuese on Monday and I think I'll be going with him instead. He spent about an hour with me and asked me several times if I had more questions, which I was always able to come up with. He also seemed willing to work with my desire to have my incision come out a tiny bit more so I don't get the lateral hood (not sure if that's the right term) that will remain if I don't get the extra length on the incision.

I probably won't be able to schedule it until after the new year because things are insanely hectic for me right now. I was really happy I chose to go another consultation (I say it all the time, going on more than one almost always leads to more knowledge about your procedure and what is right for you.)

Still planning to do this!

Just not quite sure when. I got braces on my bottom teeth this week and, as I mentioned, we are renovating a house so are pretty much throwing money at contractors. I still plan to do this in 2015.

Here's a video of me blinking

46 year old blinking
0:06

Just an action shot so you can see the extra upper eyelid skin.

Just made one more consultation appointment...feeling ready

I consulted with Dr. Ridgway in Bellevue yesterday. I just felt I should do one more consultation with another surgeon before making the final decision. I liked Dr. R. a lot. He gave me loads of time, was very personable and extremely knowledgable. He's a lot more expensive than Dr. Portuese, though. I also like that Dr. Portuese's office is connected to Swedish hospital and that Dr. P, though not excited about it, was more willing to do my upper bleph under local. 

It's been a year since I consulted with Dr. P. last, so I am going in Tuesday to make sure all is as I remember it from our last meet up.

I would like to get this over with in January or February.

It's funny, sometimes I look at photos of myself and think, Ah, I don't really need this. I'm being silly. And then other times I'm mortified by the sagginess of my eyelids. I love eye makeup and would love to be able to have more fun with it and not have it smudge off. I think perky, younger looking eyes go a long way, even when the rest of the face starts to slide (though I will be getting a full facelift at some point). And if done correctly, this should last until I kick the bucket, right?

Pics from today - Dec 4, 2015

Second consult with Dr. P. today

I confirmed my decision to go with Dr. Portuese today! He did a good job of answering my questions. I like how he's honest and doesn't sugar coat anything, but also doesn't scare me. He seems to have a lot of integrity. He showed me his newly remodeled surgical suite. It looked incredibly bright white and clean with a view of the city.

I need to discuss dates with my husband and then I'm booking!

My lids are eating my eyeballs

gross! Booking as soon as I get my voice back from this darn cold I have. 

Booked for February 18th!

Soooo excited. My husband is being very supportive despite the fact that he thinks I don't need it. He'll be driving me home the day of the procedure. Feeling guilty about all the money I'm spending. I'm just vain enough to do this and want to fight aging as much as possible, though. Pre-op in three weeks! I'll let you know how that goes.

Just had my pre-op appointment today...

I saw a nurse who asked a bunch of health questions and told me basically what to expect. He gave me an envelope of handouts. I asked a few questions, namely about how long before the procedure do I need to stop having my nightly glass of wine (several nights before the surgery), how to wash my face (use a cleanser and then do not put on any lotion/moisturizer, this will be hard for me as I have extremely dry skin), and to remove all jewelry. 

I then paid my balance and was on my way. Three more weeks!

Three more days until upper eyelid surgery!

I probably should feel more anxious than I am. I'm less nervous than I would be for dental work. My check in time is 7:30am Thursday morning. Not sure yet how we are going to manage getting the kids to school while I'm doing this, but my husband is working from home and is willing to be flexible. He rocks! Usually. Haha. I'll post a pic of my supplies soon.

Surgery done! An overall nice experience.

It's over and I'm home in my cozy bed, two naps later. My husband dropped me off a half hour early so he could get back and take our kids to school (what a good guy). So, I waited on a bench in the hallway for a bit and tried to distract myself with my phone, but I was starting to get a bit jittery, so I took half a Xanax that I'd brought with me. It kicked in QUICK. Within about ten minutes I was decidedly more relaxed.

At about 7:20 I wandered into the office and was greeted by the very warm Janet. I signed a few papers and we chit chatted for a bit, then I was taken into the surgical area. The office has a great view of the city and the suite was bright so that was comforting. Dr. Portuese was relaxed and friendly and he marked me up while I sat in a chair. I asked a few last questions (or, rather, gave him my last requests): Don't be too conservative, please extend the incision so I don't end up with a lateral flap, and I asked if he could remove a couple of white spots on the inside of one lid (he later found these were just spots and not cysts as he thought, so I don't know if they will still be there once the bruising subsides or not.

After being marked up I lay on the bed and a warm blanket was placed on me (I was wearing a gown over my clothes). The nurses were very nice and concerned with my comfort. I thought Dr. Portuese was fantastic. His bedside manner was great. He told me everything he was doing before he did it. First he injected my eyelids with numbing agent (Novocaine?), which was totally fine! That's the part I was most nervous about but it was just a couple of pinches. Way better than I expected.

The worst part of the whole thing was then having my upper face washed with an astringent that burned for about three minutes. I was left to rest and let the numbing take effect.

When I was all numbed up Dr. P. started, telling me what he was doing at every step. Time was a little fuzzy, but I think the whole thing lasted about a half hour. After, I was sat up slowly even though I felt totally fine, then led to a chair behind a curtain to wait for my husband to arrive.

While I sat there, the pain started to kick in. I had forgotten my hydrocodone at home, but my husband was bringing it for me. My plan was to try to wait until I got home and just take Tylenol, but it became clear that this was more intense than Tylenol could handle. In the car on the way home I popped my first pain pill, but it wasn't enough. I got home, piled up some pillows, grabbed my travel neck pillow (which is awesome for this recovery, btw), took another hydrocodone and promptly fell asleep until lunch. 

I ate a light lunch, then took another nap. It's 3:40 and I haven't needed another hydrocodone yet, but I want to stay on top of the pain, too, so I'm paying attention and will take one at the slightest twinge that it's coming back.

Appearance wise, I think it looks fab! He extended the incisions like he said he would. Immediately after surgery all I had was a little swelling and very clean incisions (I'll attach a photo). After my first nap the bruising really started and is now a lovely shade of dark purple.

I hope this all makes sense. I'm definitely under the influence right now so not sure how articulate I'm being. Haha. Will update tomorrow.

Immediately post op

Day of (night time)

my bruising has increased substantially so I wanted to show you a pic. 

Post op day 1

I can't believe what a breeze this is. Dr. P. called last night to check on me and one of the nurses called this morning. That was a nice touch. Bruised and swollen, but no pain. I took a half Xanax last night so I could sleep (propped up, which I hate). I wore sunglasses to drop my daughter at school, even though it's pouring rain, haha.

I'm already loving how much tighter my lids look and am feeling SO grateful and lucky that I was able to do this.

One day post op

Day 2 Post Op

Bruising is much less and it's already turning yellowish around the edges. Swelling is down by about half I'd say. It's a bit itchy at times but otherwise I'm doing great. Absolutely thrilled!

Day 3 Post Op

Seventy two after a after surgery and the look of the day is yellow. My lids feel a little itchy and a little tight, but otherwise fine. I'm not experiencing any dry eye to speak of. The most annoying thing is sleeping. If I try to turn my head the ends of my stitches poke me. That should resolve soon though as the stitches start to dissolve. 

Day 4 Post Op

Day 4 Post
3:44

Day 5 Post Op

Here's a quick shot of me today. Still yellow with red incisions. I hit a wall of impatience yesterday. Still very grateful, just ready to be healed.

Day 6 post op

Tomorrow it will be a week since my upper bleph. Today has been a turning point. I had my post op, at which Dr P told me I could gently wash my face. As soon as I got home I did and all of the scabs fell off. I look like a new person!

He also told me I could start wearing make up. A little concealer was all I could bring myself to do. 

I'm going out with a friend tomorrow night so maybe I'll wear a little eye shadow. So exciting!

One week post op

I did my normal eye makeuproutine today because I was excited. My conclusion: it's too soon. The makeup distracts a bit from the incision lines but also weirdly exaggerates them. Plus my lids are still pretty swollen. Will probably go back to my Gwenyth Paltrow (I wish) bare lidded look tomorrow. 

Head on pic before and one week after

No makeup in the before pic, but still!!! Sooo happy. I look so much less annoyed and angry. 

Post Op day 8

incision kind of bumpy but I read that lumpy incisions are normal at this point. I pulled out the last visible stitch with tweezers and it slid out very easily. I only wore concealer today. 

10 Days Post Op - bumps along incisions

I think these small bumps along my incisions are called milia? Very annoying. I think I'd be looking great if not for the lumpy lines. Seems like they are just temporary. Hoping they go away do I don't have to go in and have them lanced. Otherwise, still very happy I did this. 

Two weeks post op

Tomorrow will officially be 2 weeks post op. Incisions still bumpy, though a tiny bit less so. Found another stitch last night that I tweezed out. I can't believe how bright eyed I feel without the extra skin!

2.5 weeks post op

incisions are still pink. Bumps are lessening. I still have some swelling and tenderness when I'm putting on eye makeup. Another stitch fragment worked its way out today. 

3 weeks post op

Things are healing well. No one I haven't told seems to notice I had anything done. Incision lines are still bumpy. Still have some swelling. Particularly on my right eyelid that needed the most work. 

3.5 weeks - taking longer than I expected

I took a couple photos without makeup and surprised myself when I saw how much healing has yet to happen. I'll post three angles sans makeup and three with makeup from about an hour ago. Still red, swollen and bumpy. Thank goodness for concealer and eye shadow. 

Best drug store concealer!

I've been using Maybelline Master Concealer this past week and whoa! It is blowing other concealers I've tried out of the water. Creamy but not sticky. Not cakey. 

1 Month Post Op

I'm five weeks post op today and wanted to show you guys my pics with and without makeup. I'm noticing that the incision lines on my inner eyes are thinning and fading. Outer lids are still bumpy and red.

6 weeks post op

just a few recent pics taken yesterday and today. 

2 months post op

I had my two month post op appointment two days ago. Incisions are still a little bumpy but Dr P said that should smooth out in a month or so. He said all swelling should be gone. I love my eyelids now!

3 months post op

I finally remembered to take pics of my eyes without makeup. Still a few tiny bumps. The incisions are turning white but are raised. My eyelids seem quite pink when I'm not wearing concealer and primer. 

Five months post op

New photos

Here are some current photos. White line pretty visible without makeup. I hope they fade more over time.

Botox convert!

So, I've always been nervous about trying Botox, but I went to Dr P's injector anyway and told her to use a tiny amount on my 11s. She injected 14 units. It did pinch and I had a light, transient headache right above the bridge of my nose for about two days, but holy cow. I loooove Botox.

One more comparison shot

Light makeup in after photo, but otherwise I had the same neutral expression in both shots.
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Portuese was the perfect choice for my eyelids. Over the years I've consulted with probably 7-8 board certified plastic surgeons, but believe Dr. P. to be the most experienced and skilled of them all. He's attentive, and has a great staff to boot. Each and every one of them treated me respectfully. I like that his office is located in the medical tower of Swedish Hospital. He called me the night after I had surgery to check in (nice touch). I have zero regrets about choosing him to do my upper bleph. I feel like he really listened to what I wanted and delivered.

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
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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