49y/o - Enough of Bulging Eyelids - Australia

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I really had enough of bulging eyelids, pressing...

I really had enough of bulging eyelids, pressing on my eyelashes (needless to say make up is a distant memory) and interfering with my vision. If I had a good cry, they puffed up so I could hardly see. I admit I had a good case of 'crease envy' because I did not have an eyelid crease, just a bulging curve.

So far, so good

In Australia, there is a very small rebate on costs for upper blepharoplasty if done for medically indicated reasons (upper lids obscuring vision). Ideally I would have liked to have the lower lids done too because I have some tired looking puffy bags, but that is purely cosmetic (not functional) and would have cost much more than I could manage.

The procedure was in theatres in a day stay hospital. I saw my Dr and RN before the surgery. Despite not planning a general anaesthetic, I was fasted just in case local and sedation were insufficient. The anaesthetist was reassuring/professional and I was comfortable, even cosy, rather reluctant to wake up from a rather delightful experience, completely unaware of any discomfort at any stage.

No pain at all, and you can see the whiteness in the first photos from the local infiltration. I came home with a script for strong pain killers but only needed paracetamol once, the first evening for a slight headache and mild stinging above the eyes as the local lost effect.

I used the ice packs immediately post op (took my own in to hospital) to relieve pain and swelling, and as advised 15 mins per hour whilst awake, first few days. The Therabeads/BodyAssisted bead brands of hot/cold packs kept in freezer were perfect for soft moulding over eyes, one each side.
I used Chloromycetin ointment on the wounds to keep them soft and clean, preventing infection or drying/tightening. The first night my vision was truly blurry and obscured by the initial slathering of ointment in theatre, inevitably making its way into my eyes.

Swelling and bruising kicked in properly on day 2 and 3, making it difficult to keep the eyes open, cannot look up. No pain. Using ice packs and keeping head elevated day and night.

Day 4 – Huge watery bags under eyes, bruising subsiding. Mothers day, tried to keep a low profile and stayed home. Cared for beautifully by family.
Day 5 – Bruises yellowing and upper lids less swollen, gravity has caused the oedema to move down below eyes.
Day 6 – Pretty desperate to have sutures removed. Appointment in 2 days time. Reassured by Dr Ben’s lovely RN. Eyes more mobile, restricted but improving.

Sutures out, slow progress

Day 7- Eyes feel like shoelaces done up too tight and I want to get my boots off. Tight restriction of movement in eyelids. Feel like I have fixed stare. Up all night coughing
Day 8 - Removal of sutures by Dr's Associate, was expecting immediate relief but still feels very stiff and tight. Due to swelling I expect. Still using Chloro ointment until day 10.
Day 9 - Coughing all day and night, not good for reducing facial congestion and swelling
Day 10-13 - Started using Hydrochlor eye ointment on scars and eyelids, to reduce redness, swelling and inflammation. Scars still puckered, really hoping unevenness will be less apparent when swelling goes. Restriction of eyelid mobility continues. I know some muscle was removed, so I hope it is not going to leave me with permanent fixed stare due to reduced eyelid mobility.

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Posting photos

Trying photos again

Photos to go with previous description

Photos from previous update

Hope photos stick this time

Still concerned about gathers

It looks to me like a short piece and long piece sewed together, creating a gathered, puckered scar. It has improved as the swelling diminishes, but still obvious. Otherwise, I love seeing my eyelashes again after all these years, having an upper eyelid, and wearing makeup ('tho it gets trapped in the uneven parts of the scar so far)

One month post op

Saw surgeon for follow up, and will visit again in 2 months after swelling has settled. Billowing/gathering is less as scar is softening and swelling diminishes. Compared to before surgery, eyelids are much better, but I am waiting for the scar unevenness, redness and swelling to resolve before I feel really good about this op.

2 months post op

Happy with over all improvement. Still have lumpy red scar, but improving.

Happy - 5 months post op

Great result, even I am sure about that now.
Dr Ben still thinks my brow muscles are working to pull up my eyebrows, as I had to do for years to see past the upper lids. I guess it became habit, and he suggested Botox might assist in relaxing forehead muscles, and letting the eyelid settle.
If I had been able to afford the lower lid bleph, I would have done it, but I was not medically indicated, just aesthetic. The lower lids copped the gravitational 'fallout' of the surgery and are possibly worse off post op, still sometimes filling like fluid bags, when I sleep prone or have been very teary, etc.


In an earlier post i incorrectly named the eye ointment used after 10th day - it was actually Siguent Clor 1% not Hydrochlor
Unfortunately this site has not allowed edits to posts.

I have found hirudoid ointment very good to reduce the swelling, esp below eyes.
Dr. Ben B

Dr Ben B has worked in opthalmology and oculoplastic surgery overseas and around Australia. Based in Melbourne, he also has rooms and operating lists in Canberra.

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