Righto, where to start? I've always had quite...
Righto, where to start? I've always had quite hooded upper lids; I started wearing contacts when I was 14 for about 25 years, until I had my eyes lasered about 5 years ago. I feel that this aggravated my upper eyelids as none of my family really has eyes as saggy as mine were. Probably for the last 10 years or so I've felt really fed up by them and just generally sick of how tired and unattractive they make me feel / look.
I have had serious misgivings about getting them done though as I have very prominent eyes and worried that I could end up looking 'bug-eyed' or like a bull frog (hmmm... pretty much how I feel right now at 6 days post-op... bugger! ;o)
I'm not making any rash statements at this early stage though as one thing I have learnt from poring over this site is that things change every day.
I live in Christchurch in New Zealand & we haven't got a massive number of surgeons to choose from. I went with an opthalmic surgeon, Dr Rebecca Stack. She specialises in cataracts, oculoplastics & reconstructive surgery and came highly recommended. I had a consult with her back in Feb this year during which time my vision / family eye history was tested / discussed. I was checked for glaucoma as a great-gran had it.
She said that I was a good candidate but that she wouldn't do anything aggressive as her first priority had to be the health of my eye (music to my ears... and eyes ;o).
I then spent the next 4 months plucking up the courage to book the procedure!
Anyway, here we are, 6 days post - op.
I've been taking pics every day which you can see for yourselves are particularly attractive (not!). Every day does bring subtle changes which I'm hoping will continue for the next few weeks!
The procedure itself:
I knew it was going to be done under local anaesthetic which was fine. I was expecting to be given a happy pill (sedative) beforehand too, not that we had ever discussed that but because I'd had one before my Lasik surgery a few years back & just made the assumption! Anyway, didn't get one! My surgeon's justification for this was that she wanted me to open my eyes mid-op to check that everything looked natural & couldn't be confident that she'd be seeing 'Kirstie in control of her faculties' or 'Kirstie, half-cut & away with the fairies' which did make sense.
In hindsight, am VERY pleased that I hadn't known about the sedative as I don't think I'd have got through the clinic door; I was sh*tting bricks beforehand (sorry to be foul but that's the only way to put it!).
I was given drops to numb my eyes as the solution they use to swab the area can sting. Then we were straight into the local being injected at points along my lids.Rebecca then marked out the incision lines while the local was doing its thing. It was a very strange sensation... similar to losing sensation at the dentist but more disturbing as it was around the eyes! I could blink and move my eyes throughout the whole procedure..... Rebecca was great at keeping me distracted; she told me everything she was about to do and when she wasn't talking medical stuff, just kept me yakking about everyday stuff (good distraction technique!!) and when she wasn't talking to me, she was to the nurse.
I had asked her about how she made the incision & she said that her choice was with a cold blade as she felt that using a heat source like a laser for the initial incision changes the appearance of the anatomy & makes her job tougher. I also felt better knowing that there are another 3 layers of 'stuff' under the skin between where she was working & my precious eyeballs! She did use a layer to cauterise stuff once she was under my lid.
I could feel some tugging and a couple of times I got her to top up the local as I felt the TINIEST pinch when she did a couple of stitches but that wasn't a problem. I have to say that the procedure itself was painless..... it was more a case of messing with my head if I started to think too much about what was being done (yeuchhh!).
The procedure took about 45 minutes. I left with one eye completely taped over and nothing at all on the other. Was great to be able to just walk out of there (albeit a bit wonkily). I left the clinic at 4pm. Home by 4.20pm. 2 paracetamol at 5pm and that's the only pain relief I've taken throughout the whole thing.
Started taking Arnica tabs the morning of surgery which was stupid...should have started weeks before.
Anyway, my bruising on my right eye has been pretty spectacular as my pics will show. Far more than I expected and have been pretty swollen too, esp in the mornings when I look like a bullfrog. Have been sleeping elevated since the op but still get swollen. I would recommend that you ice as frequently as you can. I used wee ziplock bags filled with corn wrapped in a damp hankie.
I also did NOTHING for the 3 days post-op (THANKS TO MY FAB PARTNER xxx) which was recommended. I'm back to light stuff now; I don't work so am lucky that I'm managing to hide out quite easily. Feel a dick wearing sunnies around the supermarket as that kind of thing isn't really the norm in NZ!
My eyelids feel heavy and stiff more than anything; can't say I'm in any pain. My stitches have mad itching moments so I scratch my eyebrows and pretend that feels better ;o)
Still using antibiotic ointment so eyes look permanently greasy and shiny which highlights how daft they look.
Getting stitches out tomorrow which concerns me as everything still looks so soft and goobery (yes, that IS a medical term!).
Can't say I'm delighted with results now as want to be able to get on with things without looking like a freak... this surgery was a bit of a stealth mission. Cosmetic surgery in NZ is not commonplace, esp in my circle of friends so am keeping wraps on for as long as possible. Hope to be able to socialise soonish without people falling down laughing or terrifying small children.
Anyway ladies (& gents)... hope you find this helpful. Any questions, please ask!
Jeremiah the Bullfrog (not my real name...)
PS - perhaps should also say that I'm 44 & generally v healthy. Don't take any medications at all, non-smoker and very moderate drinker. Have 2 kids and am moderately active (we're talking brisk walk with the dog every day, not hard-core work-out nut!).
PPS... I have heaps more pics to post but have to go be a mum now!
Just trying to upload more pics & it's crashed twice on me so will just do a couple at a time I think :o/
Looking at my pics I think I've definitely bruised way more than your average upper blepher & think my swelling could well have lots to do with my naturally protruding eyes.
The reason I've put which time of day I've taken my pics is that in the morning I look like I've got 2 earthworms for eyelids. The swelling does go down during the day.... and comes back the next morning. Yippee! I am sleeping on 3 pillows plus a tri-pillow which is driving me mad as I slip down off it all the time...
7 days post op.... getting stitches out this afternoon... aargh!
Well here we are a week since surgery... it's been the longest week of my life. Sick of looking at the dust bunnies around my house!!
Just been visited by one of my inner circle who knew about 'the procedure'; she's known me since we were teens & she said that my left eye is looking great while my right one is still deffo swollen (no shit Sherlock!). She has made me feel a bit better (thanks Vic!) & a bit more upbeat.
I've given myself a bit of a mental talking to since she left; being completely sensible about the whole experience, usually I don't wear a lot of makeup but I'm NEVER without light foundation, blusher & a bit of light eye-liner/shadow. I also have a large forehead & wear a fringe.... SOOOO spending a week with no warpaint on at all, with big bulging, greasy, bruised & stitched up frog-eyes and my fringe clipped back each side (it was sticking to the gloopy antibiotic cream) like a mental defective, was never going to leave me in the best head-space....
Anyway, am getting stitches out in less than 2 hours..... makes me feel decidedly pukey as lids look & feel way too moist & tender to be yanking anything out of them! Fingers crossed!
Still 7 days post op but no stitches now.... hoorah!
OK so I'm still bruised & swollen but my stitches are out and I'm so happy!!! Hoorah!!! Rebecca (my surgeon) is v happy with how things are looking and I can't believe that everything's healed up. Am going back in a month. I only have to use the antibiotic cream at night now & she said that's more for its moisturising properties than anything else; she said that I can use any decent moisturiser esp one with Vit E in it. She said to rub quite firmly over the scars while the cream's on which made me feel a bit vomit-worthy but I did it without passing out!
I can wear make-up during the day which is v exciting and will have a play with that tomorrow. She recommends keeping up with the cold compresses... I did ask how long I can expect the swelling to last, knowing it was a goofy question; she flung her arms out to say 'this long' ie the length of a piece of string! Never mind....
In discussion with her I've developed a theory as to why so many surgeons (particularly overseas) do this procedure under a general anaesthetic; I think it's simply that although they may be gifted in their fields, I feel that many of them perhaps can't bear the thought of having to talk to a patient non-stop for 45 minutes to keep their anxiety at bay as Rebecca did with me.... I'll wait for the hate-mail to start arriving now!
Will post some more pics soon after I've finished skipping round the house with my non-itchy eyelids.... still heavy, goofy & stiff, yes, but we're taking small steps here :o)
7 days post op... pics without stitches.
I was pretty happy with these pics which I took at about 4pm this afternoon, a couple of hours after I had my stitches out. It's 9pm now and my incision line is pretty red and they're a bit puffy. Think it's because I'm tired.... have definitely got some lumps & bumps and my right lid in particular doesn't 'fold' as well as the left. Am hoping that it will settle down as my swelling reduces... I also have an extra wee lump on the outer edge of the right incision... am giving this time too.
8 days post op... makeup on!
Well, I've finally got makeup on this morning... to be honest feels nicer without it as I feel a bit glugged up & am conscious of scars being so 'fresh' so will only put some on if I'm going to face the world! Am still swollen but great knowing that I can disguise things if I need to. Feeling very positive :o)
9 days post op....
Well the bumps where my stitches were felt a little less prominent this morning but I was still swollen which I am expecting for a wee while.
I don't think I've mentioned that my lids between my lashes and the incision line are pretty numb... feels very peculiar putting makeup on as I think I can feel the pressure against my eyeball through my lid more than I can on the lids themselves. Not concerned at this stage though... think it just all needs time.
I also feel that I have had a very conservative amount taken off (which my surgeon did say was her style) but am also hoping that they will look a bit better once all the swelling has properly subsided.
Deffo feel that the hard part is well behind me & now just have to be patient. Can't believe it's only been 9 days :o)
12 days post op....
Well, time flies!! 12 days post op. Bruising just about gone now (yeah!!).... still numb along top lash line. Eyes still puff up a bit over night but conversely, incision line is paler & less 'bumpy' (where stitches were) but by the end of the day the swelling has gone down but the incisions are lumpier and redder. Am putting cream on them at night & giving them a wee massage too. Considering swapping to Bio Oil as I know it's great for scars but my surgeon did say that it'll sting like buggery if I get it in my eye!
Am happy with the results; I do notice when my eyes are open that the fold isn't symmetrical but to be honest, my whole face is wonky so I'm really not worried!!
My friend's 12 year old son did tell me yday that 'my eyes look funny', which was really lovely to hear (!) but I'm not taking that to heart!
13 days post op....
No makeup on today: before I had surgery my surgeon commented that it looked like I had some blepharitis & told me how to deal with that (swabbing the lids with a solution of baby shampoo & warm water). Anyway, post-op while I was putting the antibiotic cream in my eyes at night, I was fine but now that I'm not doing that & am wearing makeup again my eyes feel irritated.... they're looking a bit pink & are a bit gunky. I've got some lubricating drops which I'm using which them a bit more comfortable.... I'm certainly not in agony, they're just annoying more than anything. Am wondering if this could also be a bit of post-op dry eye? Anyone experience anything similar? If so, what dyou recommend please? Thanks.
6 weeks on.....
Have been to see my surgeon today for my 6 week post-op check. She's really happy.... I still have a couple of bumps along my right suture line and on both eyes where the outside edge of the incision was I have a wee 'kink' where the incision ends; I also still have a wee wonky bit on the inner crease of my right eye but it is definitely improving. My surgeon told me to massage the lumpy bits and that they will continue to improve. I'm confident that she's right.
My lids are still slightly numb under the incision line but definitely improved and I have my blepharitis under control by meticulously removing my makeup each night & swabbing along my lower lash line with a solution of baby shampoo & warm water. All good!
I definitely had a very conservative amount of skin taken away & to be honest, nobody who didn't know about the procedure has commented; I'm happy though and can definitely apply more eye-liner on my upper lids which is what I wanted.
Wish I'd been brave enough to do it years ago :o)
12 weeks post-op.... getting better all the time :o)
Pretty much all feeling back.
Lumps on top lids (along incision line) gone... yippee!! I've been pretty strict about applying cream on them every night and giving them a wee massage as per doc's recommendation.
Crease at inner corner's of eyes much better / straighter. Can still see a wee line on outer edges of incision line but not bad at all.
Am v pleased I went ahead with surgery and looking back can't believe how fast recovery time was.
Approx 9 months post-op. My last post here :o)
13 May 2014
9 months post
Just thought I'd add a final update to my story. I'm about 9 months post-op now and am SO pleased I had my surgery. Found some old pics a while back which really showed my droopy lids and they were just awful :o/
I went back to the UK at Christmas and no-one commented that I looked any different which suits me fine :o)
The incisions are pretty much invisible now and I have full feeling back above the upper lash line.
I went for my last consult with my surgeon at the end of January... she had a look and told me to 'be gone'... that means she was happy too!
Phew.... now for a brazilian butt lift..... joke (hadn't heard of them until I found this site...!)