Lower Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty- Great Success!

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*Treatment results may vary

I'm a 31 year old female and have had big puffy...

I'm a 31 year old female and have had big puffy eyelids my entire life. People were always telling me I looked tired and rundown (which is so rude anyways, who does that). I know this is all due to the big bags under my eyes, they actually created a shadow that looked like dark circles, imagine my surprise the day I figured out my dark circles were just shadows. I've wanted to do a blepharoplasty for years, and finally went for it. I'm so glad I did.

I had been looking at this website a lot before surgery I noticed there aren't a lot of reviews on here for lower only surgeries, so I opted to post a review about my experience in hopes to help anyone else out there not doing the uppers because I think just doing the lowers is a much easier surgery with far less healing issues. I don't know about you, but a lot of the reviews freaked me out a little and made me second guess if I should go through with my surgery, but after talking to the nurse about it in my pre-op appointment she helped explain that the lower only is much less invasive and not to worry. She was so right.

I went into this surgery with realistic expectations, I knew I would look like someone jumped me and hit me in the eyes with a baseball bat for a couple weeks after surgery. I think it is really important to realize that you will look crazy for a while after surgery and the results can take months to show up. We all secretly wish for overnight results but this is surgery, not botox. In my opinion, having healthy expectations going in will make or break your post-surgical experience.

I highly recommend buying two of these eyemasks before your surgery, the one they give you at the doctor is okay but this one is amazing. Get two so you can always have one in the freezer:

I rounded up all the pillows I could find and created a little nest on my bed the morning of surgery. If you have a pregnancy pillow (or a friend who has one) I recommend using it to prop yourself up in bed. I had books, electronics, medications, water, etc all on the bed too, so all I had to do was get in bed once I got home from surgery.

My surgery was yesterday afternoon (April 8, 2013) and it went great. I was really nervous about general anesthesia, I've only ever had a c-section so I'd never gone under before. Fortunately the entire staff was amazing and the Anesthesiologist put me at ease and answered all my ridiculous panicked questions. I just remember shutting my eyes after getting the anesthesia and then waking up and the surgery being all done. The most painful thing for me was my throat from the breathing tube, it took a while to be able to swallow and speak.

Random tip:
Be sure to tell the nurse in your pre-op appointment if you have a tendency to get motion sickness and nausea easily, they gave me two different medications to prevent the post-op nausea that is so common and the Anesthesiologist also gave me something during the surgery. I live over an hour away from the surgical center up windy mountain roads and I didn't get nauseous at all.

Day after
I feel great. I've been icing on and off and taking the pain meds but I really don't feel bad at all. My eyes are swollen and a little bruised but not as bad as I was expecting. I think it looks better like this than I did before surgery!

I'm really looking forward to seeing the *new me* once the swelling and bruising goes down. I'll post updated pictures as time goes on, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! So happy with the procedure and grateful to Dr. Steven Vath and the entire staff at the Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Golden, CO.

Day 2 post-op The swelling is definitely intense...

Day 2 post-op
The swelling is definitely intense today, but the bruising still isn't bad. I've been using topical Arnica gel and it seems to be helping. I've used topical Arnica for a couple years on bruises and it really seems to help so I figured I'd try it under my eyes. The pain has been really low so I switched to Tylenol today and retired the Percocet. The worst part of all of this, besides the swelling, is having to sleep propped up! I have not been sleeping well, but I'm hoping I'll get use to it.

Day 3 post-op Oh boy! I decided to take Percocet...

Day 3 post-op
Oh boy! I decided to take Percocet last night to help me sleep and I woke up feeling wrong and hungover. Maybe I didn't eat enough last night, but today I've felt pretty woozy and weak all day. The bruising is a little worse and the swelling is the same as yesterday, but overall it doesn't seem too bad. I was trying to not take any pain meds today but have a splitting headache behind the eyes so I took some Tylenol, although it isn't working. I think I just really need a nice big latte! Who wants to deliver one? I was hoping to get outside today and take a walk, but I'm afraid I'm too weak so I'll just watch terrible daytime TV and wish for coffee deliveries. I'm still so glad I had this procedure done. I can't wait for people to tell me I look rested (instead of tired). I've heard that days 2 and 3 are the worst, so if this is as bad as it is going to get I feel truly blessed.

Day 4 post-op Swelling is down to the point where...

Day 4 post-op
Swelling is down to the point where I feel comfortable heading out into public again. I put some makeup on and feel like the bruises just look like dark circles. They feel a little heavy but otherwise I feel back to normal. It was nice to get out and back to normal life, now I just can't wait to run and lift weights again! I'll post another follow up next week after my post-op appointment. I'm always happy to answer any questions if anyone has one.

I've been slacking on an update! I went for my...

I've been slacking on an update! I went for my first post-op a couple of weeks ago and it was like a five minute chat with one of the nurses. I live 80 miles away from their office so it was sort of annoying since I wasn't having any complications, but it gave me an excuse to go to "the city". Everything was looking good- I was still swollen although it wasn't noticeable to anyone who didn't know I'd had surgery. All the bruising was gone. I'm now a month out and some days I have little eye bags and some days I don't. I think it is all diet/sleep/exercise related. I feel like I have slight dark circles under my eyes but I'm not sure if that is just my imagination or if I really do- depends on the lighting. I'm still happy with the results. I have to keep reminding myself that it takes a couple months or more before everything is really healed so anytime I start to panic because of a puffy looking eye bag or dark circle I just walk away from the mirror. It is a pretty good strategy :)

Post-op visit with the Doc

A couple weeks ago I went in for my first post-op with the Doctor.  At first he said I still had some bags and we might need to consider a second surgery (is that cost included with the first surgery? ha ha I doubt it).  But after talking for a while he thinks it is actually just swelling since some days I seem to have bags (much smaller than pre-op) and some days I don't have any.  My body has always been ridiculously sensitive and gets puffy really easily, super annoying trait.  He said he took a lot of excess fat out during the surgery so he would be pretty surprised if I needed more taken out.  Honestly I'm not sure I'd do another surgery if it turns out I could use one; the bags right now are so much less obvious and I'd hate to risk taking too much fat out and then being stuck with a skeletor look, especially as I get older.  I have small bags today as you can see in the pics.  I go in again at the end of summer for another post-op Doc visit so we shall see if the little bags that come and go finally leave forever.  Still happy to have done the surgery!

2.5 months out- feeling good

Happy to report that my little eye bags are most definitely just swelling, they are pretty much gone (but show up if I eat too much salt, drink alcohol, go to bed late, etc- they are like a nagging mother calling me out whenever I do something I shouldn't...how nice).  I don't have a picture- I'm having technology issues.  The other day I was in this freak accident where one of those giant umbrellas at an outdoor restaurant got blown right into my face from a huge burst of wind and the big pole/stand part of it whacked me in the eye before knocking my water into my lap and giving me a lovely just peed your pants look.  I was so worried it had hit my eyebag area and done something catastrophic/ruining the surgery results but fortunately it just hit me on my eyebrow and forehead so just some bruises and pain.

No one seems to notice a difference.  My friends and family who knew I did it claim they never noticed the bags before so they don't really see a change (liars).  No one has told me I look tired, which is THE BEST!  I have my big post-op in September so I'll try to get copies of the before and after pics (haven't taken the after pics yet) to post. 

Final post-op visit, still have small bags

I had my final Dr. visit last week. I still have small bags, I can't tell if they are the same everyday or if they get bigger and smaller depending on the day. My Dr. said that technically I don't have bags, that the eyebag is actually flush with my cheek, but rather the trough is the problem. He mentioned that you can surgically add fat to the trough but that it is risky. I inquired a little about filler in the trough but ultimately I don't really know if I care enough to really look into any additional treatments. At the end of the day the bags are much smaller and less noticeable. I certainly still focus on them when I see a picture of myself, but I think I will always be hyper-aware of my under eye area. Down the road I might revisit trying filler in the trough but at this point I'm going to take a step back and let it ride and see how I feel. I've included a picture that I just took so you can see the smaller bag.

I am happy with the final results either way. I didn't really know what to expect or if the bags would be totally gone. I think I look a lot better, and I feel a lot better. I'm glad I did it. If the bags change at all I'll be sure to update :)


I have a friend visiting who hasn't seen me since before the surgery and she said she can really tell the difference. Although I've said I'm happy I did the surgery I have sometimes felt like I was crazy because no one would acknowledge any difference. She has known me most my life and said she could tell and that the bags were gone. Just wanted to share because I know I'm not the only one who feels like everyone thinks your crazy for getting such a subtle surgery.


This weekend I ran a huge running race and also camped, only to wake up to some pretty significant bags the next morning. Granted I'd just put my body through five hours of hell and then slept poorly on an uneven surface, but it was pretty heart-breaking when I woke up and felt like I had huge bags. They did sloooooowly go away over the course of the day, but since I'm so self-conscious about it I feel like I spent to much energy worrying about it. I guess this is just how it is going to be? Today everything is settling down but I'm again hyper-focused on the bag area every time I'm around a mirror. I wish I could just let it go and be content!

Is it just me?

Lower bleph ladies and gents- I'm now 6 months out and I've noticed when I spend a lot of time on the computer or reading I feel a slight strain in my lower eyelid area. Anyone else experience this? Maybe I'm imagining it.

I still have small bags, and at 6 months out I'm guessing they are here to stay. I guess technically they are not really bags, but a result of my tear trough, but they still annoy me. I'm trying to find a good pre-op pic so I can do a side by side comparison and post it here. I'm hopeful that by the time I'm a year post-op the appearance of small bags will be smaller, or I'll realize I'm nuts and that I'm just seeing things :)

Old pre-op pics, new post-op pics

Alright when I look at pictures from when I was a kid or a few years ago I can see a huge difference with how my eyes look.  Even when I see the small bags post-op they look so much better than those big ol' pre-op extra baggage bags.

I cropped the hell out of these since other people were in the original pics- hopefully this works and you can see.  The B&W pic is from when I was in probably 6th grade and isn't the best quality, but you can see those hereditary bags.  The other two are from four years ago on a very puffy day.

I just took the rest of the pictures.  Today I feel like I have no bags.  I'm not sure when, but I feel like at some point in the last few weeks the small bags went away.  I still think I get a little puffy from time to time but I'm starting to realize that maybe they are the kind of bags "normal" people have- the ones that are a result of too much salt, not enough sleep, etc.  I've been drinking a TON of water the last few weeks for a RealSelf experiment (I'll post info about that later) and I think this might be a part of why the bags seem to be totally gone.  I've ordered this eye cream I use to use that has arnica and vitamin k in it so I'm eager for it to arrive to see if it helps at all on the puffy days.  All those products made for eye bags that never worked before probably work now! 

One year later

I just put this in the one year anniversary forum and thought I'd add it to my review too- I can't believe how fast time flies!

I just realized I'm over a year post-op. Overall I am happy with my results. They are honestly not what I expected. I still have smallish bags, or maybe just a really visible tear trough. Either way, I feel like my expectations were off as to what I'd look like post-op. Having said that, I know I look so much better than I did pre-op. I have to remind myself sometimes because I'm so critical of the outcome. If I could do it over I'm not sure if I would change anything since I had zero complications. I'm worried about the bags coming back, I have heard that over time more fat bulges under your eyes. Only time will tell I guess!

Year post-op pic

Here is the picture I was waiting for on the cloud.  To me it still looks like I have small bags because of the tear trough.  I broke down and bought some dermablend brand concealer so I'm trying that out to see if that makes a difference at all.  I normally don't wear makeup but I guess I'm at that age where makeup is more for just trying to look human again- LOL.

Tear trough pics and update

I was just talking to some other community members about how long it takes to truly see your results after eyelid surgery and how important it is to be patient for AT LEAST 6 months (8 months for me).  I'm adding more pictures to try and show how I don't have bags anymore but my tear troughs are so indented and close to my cheekbones that they create the illusion of bags.

I'm not interested in getting filler or a fat transfer to the tear troughs because it isn't worth the risk for me right now.  If one day I have a few thousand dollars burning a whole in my pocket and a very skilled plastic surgeon convinces me to try some filler then I might give it a go, but right now it isn't on my radar.  No one ever asks me if I'm sick or tired anymore and I no longer think about the horrible, huge bags on my face so I'm happy overall.  

The dermablend concealer line is AMAZING.  I rarely use it but when I do it gives great results.  Also in these pics- I'm dehydrated and both ate salty food and drank wine last night AND slept like crap.  Pre-op I would have looked like a baggy zombie in the same situation.  

Any questions let me know!

3 year update

My 3 year surgiversary was a few months ago and I thought I should post some pics and a quick update. Same old same old!  Still have a wicked tear trough but not willing to try fillers and it all still better than the pre-op bags. :)

Denver Plastic Surgeon

I did extensive research on surgeons in Colorado with advanced facial surgery training and certifications. I was very impressed by this medical group (The Center for Cosmetic Surgery).

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
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