I did a fair amount of research, had a few consults and put a lot of thought into whether a brow lift or blepharoplasty would best suit me .. and decided in the end that a blepharoplasty would be best, although due to my deep set eyes and thin skin I was worried about the ‘Kenny Rogers’ look happening .. so really needed a surgeon who I had absolute confidence in. I decided upon Dr Chen.
I’m a bit of a clumsy plain jane with not the best skin .. it may just be insecurity, but I sometimes feel like a neon flashing sign (like I don’t belong) when sitting in a waiting room amongst well-manicured and well-heeled beautiful things. But Dr Chen’s reception staff always made me feel very welcome and comfortable to be there. On the day of the blepharoplasty I was so unusually nervous and unsure of things that I forgot to bring my paperwork and only remembered when asked for it. I know that sounds dumb and I sure felt it, but the staff were wonderful, said it was nothing at all and printed out copies so no big deal. The ladies at reception really are kind, considerate and genuinely happy people.
I saw a theatre nurse before seeing Dr Chen on the morning of the procedure, who kindly offered me a valium (what a relief that was!) after chatting to me about the procedure and making sure I understood everything that Dr Chen had previously discussed with me about the blepharoplasty including risks. I was asked to fully read the consent form and invited to discuss anything that I was unsure about. The nurse also checked that I had taken prescribed medication and had fasted. My vitals were checked and I got changed into theatre garments.
I saw Dr Chen immediately after, he always seems easy to talk to, I felt I could share anything with him including my nervousness without fear of him thinking less of me or getting annoyed (that I was moments ago doubting the fact of even being there!). Things went really well from then on. Both the attending nurse and Dr Chen were concerned with my comfort, so I was warm and cosy. I almost didn’t feel the IV go in! I don’t remember much at all about the procedure and had no nausea or pain immediately after or following. I found the procedure pain free and had minimal swelling or bruising. Although I did encounter problems later on.
The reason I’m writing this review months after having the procedure is that I encountered the gradual formation of keloid scarring along the incision lines on both eyelids. I never had this kind of response to healing before so it was completely unexpected. The scars thickened and pulled the surrounding skin and it looked pretty bad. I was quite worried by the time I went back to see Dr Chen as I assumed not much could be done about it. That was my mistake and I do believe I saw a brief flutter of annoyance in Dr Chen due to me not calling about it earlier (and yes, I was made aware of the possibility of this type of scarring happening before the procedure, but dismissed it out of hand as it never happened to me in the past before promptly forgetting about it, so lesson learnt!). Dr Chen immediately gave me injections along the raised thickened scars. I needed two sessions of injections before things started to ‘settle down’. Surprisingly, the injections weren’t as bad as I thought they would be and there was no bruising. If I had of still been working while this was going on, there wouldn’t have been any downtime and I doubt anyone other than those closest to me would have noticed.
I really wish I had taken photos of what happened to illustrate how unsightly the scarring looked due to the hypertrophic/keloid scarring, it really did look unnatural and made me look quite strange if I raised my eyebrows as it pulled quite tightly on the surrounding skin. - But as you can see in my ‘before and after’ photos, Dr Chen’s skills are such that you now wouldn’t know I even had a blepharoplasty done in the first place, let alone hypertrophic scarring. The scarring is now so faint as to be practically invisible. I think what he did to resolve the problem absolutely amazing.
I wanted to mention the abnormal healing I had regardless that it made no difference to the good outcome I had as if you are like me, you always worry ‘what if’. What if something does goes wrong, will the surgeon go from being professional and considerate to arrogant and distant as once happened to me (decades ago with a board certified plastic surgeon) .. and will he be able to fix it without making a big fuss and charging huge fees?
Regardless that the problem I had wasn’t Dr Chen’s fault and was exacerbated by myself not calling him sooner, I wasn’t charged anything for his time upon any visit back in regard to this problem. Dr Chen was only concerned with the best outcome for me. I was very impressed with how he handled it.
I’m very happy with how my eyes look now. I was after a very subtle change to refresh the appearance of my eyes and Dr Chen gave me exactly that as you can see in the photos (I wish the photos turned out better but I'm hopeless with a camera!). He has decades of experience backing up his skills and the eye of an artist. Added to this is Dr Chen’s empathy and integrity. I would recommend him to my dearest friend.