I posted my debacle of a juvederm experience in a...
20 Oct 2016
Day of treatment
I posted my debacle of a juvederm experience in a previous post so for those of you who may not have followed that, in a nutshell so not ever put juvederm in your TTs. The hydrophilic nature of it makes that area a horrible choice for juvederm. My eyes have been a constant battle of puffiness and sagging ever since. After several consults with several other Plastic Surgeons, I finally bit the bullet today and had a skin pinch blephoroplasty (with a little Botox thrown in for good measure). It was super helpful for me to read as many reviews on this site before making my decision so I thought I would pay it forward.
First of all, I can't recommend Cosmetic Surgery Associates in Bethesda highly enough! From the FaceTime consult, the quick responses from Trish and Christina who never treated me like the PITA I am, but recognized that my scary Juve experience had left me gunshy. Having said that, here's the story so far...
FaceTime consultation with Dr Jabs was convenient and great. We discussed doing a bleph or laser, and then he was leaning again toward laser. I wasn't feeling confident about that since he hadn't actually seen it in person. Due to the nature of juvederm, I look different every day (some days are super puffy, some just a bit less). I decided to drive up there to meet in person before committing.
Went to the office and he suggested Fraxel CO2 of full face, neck, and chest. I said ok. Then I had some more questions and talked to Trish about them. She was surprised that he suggested laser so I sent over a couple new pics to see if he still stood by his decision. We talked a few lite times and realized that a skin pinch might be better because I don't have a lot of excess skin plus CO2 needed a longer recovery and I don't have that much PTO. Still considering that down the road.
I got to the office today after a night of anxiety and fear and questioning my sanity but again we spoke about the pros and cons and I felt equipped with all of the info I needed.
Trish started off with the Botox (which I LOVE) and hen I was wheeled into the op room where I fell asleep. I was in and out of consciousness and semi-aware of what was happening but not enough to make me afraid. Woke up pretty groggy and a little sore. It was a 3 hour drive home and I stayed under the cold compress the whole trip. Trying to eliminate bruising as much as possible since I'm returning to work on Tuesday but right now I look like I lost a bar fight. Going to ice down for a little bit longer, take my arnica, and pray for the best. I will be uploading pics daily and open to answer any questions. And did I mention how much I love the doc? Follow up call with cell number, and he's already answering some of my concerns after hours.
Day 3...still going strong
Day 3. Still panicking over the bruising and swelling, although most of the swelling has subsided and there's a significant decrease in the bruising. Supposed to go back to work Tuesday and praying that I have the makeup skills to pull it off! I don't remember why I have stitches in my upper eyelids but I have my follow up on Wed to get a couple of the stitches removed. Overall, I feel pretty good and have been following docs orders!
So far, so good
Ok so I have a couple pics to post. Overall, I'm really happy with the recovery. I did 2 BBL treatments to help wth the bruising because I was hosting a huge Halloween party at my house and really couldn't be bruised. It worked miraculously! I'm at week 2 post op now. All of the stitches have dissolved as of a few days ago, and the scars are nearly invisible. Only issues are lumps from the canthopexy which I'm told will soften over time. I also can't really close my right eyelid tightly to apply makeup. PA says the nerves just need to wake up and that'll take some time. I am noticing some lumpiness and swelling which despite what the PA says, I'm pretty convinced it's the old juvederm, especially because I can feel it and it kind of molds when I push on it. But whatever. As long as I stay hydrated and limit my sodium, it's not that bad and will eventually dissolve on its own.
Back on the roller coaster
Haven't posted in a while so I figured it's time. I'll say that my scars look fantastic, but we've definitely had some pitfalls. Once all the swelling went down I was still left with puffiness from the juvederm. So back to the drawing board as now I am still fighting he same issues but also have scars and lumps as I recover. Went back to the PS and had Vitrase injected to dissolve the juvederm. Initially it looked amazing but now as the juvederm is gone, I'm back to having hollows and excess skin as well as what looks like possibly my still a little juvederm. They have suggested fat transfer to fill in the hollows and said the recovery on that is really quick, but everything I'm reading on here indicates otherwise which is a red flag for me. I feel like the filler should've been dissolved first and then the bleph Nevada now it looks like I need the bleph redone but I'm still not even recovered from that. This morning has been the worst so far and I've emailed pics. Waiting for another appt but this 3 hour drive one-way is getting old. Considering a consult with the oculoplastic surgeon in NYC. just overwhelmed and frustrated and want to look "normal". This can't be my new normal.
3 months out and time for revision
15 Feb 2017
4 months post
So we let the lids settle and after several conversations have decided that we need to do a revision. Possibly fat transfer as well but that will be decided during surgery. Surgery scheduled for next Friday. What a roller coaster this has been, and for anyone thinking of doing things to your lower eyelids, PLEASE be careful!!!!!
25 Feb 2017
4 months post
Went in for the revision on my lower skin pinch bleph yesterday. Doc decided that this time we needed to remove a little bit of fat, and then insert more fat (fat transfer). Made me a little nervous because I simply can't afford additional recovery time but I also don't want to have to go back under the knife. The experience was fairly similar this time only this time I actually remember things happening while I was sedated. I do have a few complaints this time though. We were running a little behind schedule and I felt a bit rushed. Not a lot of time to process what was about to happen and ask questions about recovery. Since we were adding the fat transfer procedure, I didn't feel fully prepared. My discharge instructions left a little to be desired. Prior to the appointment, several prescriptions were called into my pharmacy. Fortunately I found them from my last procedure because they cost about $150 total. There was nothing mentioned in my discharge paperwork about the rx. Fast forward to this morning....woke up pretty swollen and bruised as expected, but seemed a little more lumpy with some hardness that I didn't experience the first time--I assume it's from the fat. I love that the doc gives his cell # for follow up so I was able to ask questions. Turns out I don't need the eye drop rx after all (thank goodness o didn't get the scripts filled after all), and the only response was "elevation and cold compresses". I also noticed that the incision site seemed different and there's swelling in the inner corner of my eyes. A little concerning, but again the only response is rest, cold compress, and elevation. I got home last night around 6pm and have only left my bed twice to use the bathroom. Past experience tells me that tomorrow should be the pinnacle of bruising and swelling so I'm desperately hoping it's not much worse than today. I had my previous procedure done on a Thursday and was back to work (with lots of makeup) the following Tuesday. I've allotted the same amount of time off but at this point, I'm not feeling confident about that. Will keep updated pics for anyone considering this procedure.
Tom Petty said it---waiting is the hardest part
26 Feb 2017
4 months post
I'm not the most patient person. Not even a little. So this has been a learning process for me. The bruising isn't as bad as the first round, although I will hold off until tomorrow before making that determination. Today (day 2) has been the most painful. I feel so swollen, like my whole face could burst at any moment. My husband is an amazing caretaker since I'm laid up and as of last night, my two youngest kids are sick. I feel like a horrible mom and person that I'm being this selfish! Like thinking "please take your flu symptoms over to your dad--I can't even imagine throwing up in my current state". This too shall pass but the to-do list is growing by the minute. Can't wait to see how this looks once the swelling is gone (praying that's in the next day or 2)
Back to work
I found it really helpful when people would post their daily journey, so I'm paying it forward. When I scheduled the revision, I wasn't fully prepared for the amount of time it would take if we did the fat transfer, and since it was a game day decision, I couldn't change my work schedule so I went back today. I've learned some pretty impressive makeup tricks, and my non-rx glasses have been my saving grace throughout this whole journey. I spent minimal time in the public eye and since my job requires extensive travel, it wasn't odd that I left after being in the office for a couple hours. Truth is, the makeup was irritating and the swelling was increasing by the hour. I would describe the "pain" as mild discomfort at this point, although I still feel the lumps under my eye and feel like I would burst if anyone touched my face and I have no feeling in the lower lash area--feels very strange. Used hydrogen peroxide and neosporin today for the incision site. Big proposal tomorrow....maybe I'll wake up with no swelling :)
Follow up visit today. Stitches came out-thank God! Doc says I'm healing perfectly. Bruising is healing really nicely compared to last time (pretty sure my bruising didn't subside for 3 weeks). He told me to massage the "lumps", which are actually fluid and not fat like I thought, in an upward motion to help it release faster and to start using my steroid drops. Overall, I'm really happy and can't wait to see final results. Ready to get back to the gym!
Looked better when I was swollen
15 Mar 2017
5 months post
Ok so the honeymoon period is over. People, seriously. Don't mess with your face! The swelling is pretty much gone, I still have the droopy left eye, open incision site, and missing eyelashes. But now we can add even more wrinkly, crepey skin now that the swelling is gone. Isn't that why I did this in the first place? I called and talked to the nurse, who had been out for a couple weeks and expressed my concerns. She also said to wait it out a couple more weeks, but unless I turn into Wolverine and can self-heal, I don't really see what difference there could possibly be. I sent her these pics so hopefully I can get some answers. I'm really hoping that I don't have to go through this again, but I'm seriously considering a consult with an oculoplastic surgeon just in case. I can not afford to take more time off of work, especially after spending thousands of dollars and having unfavorable results. Seriously feeling like I look like Sloth from the Goonies.
Pre-all of this
15 Mar 2017
5 months post
Guess it would help if people knew what I looked like less than a year ago. This was taken in the newsroom at my tv station, so the lighting helps!