At 56 years old and having recently lost 35...
At 56 years old and having recently lost 35 pounds, my upper eyelids were sagging and sat on my eyelashes making it difficult to keep my eyes open wide enough to see properly. The opthamologist in the my insurance medical group referred me to a their oculoplastic surgeon and treatment for ptosis. The two who practice in my area were out on leave so I opted to travel two hours to the next available surgeon in my medical group insurance. The traveling was not an issue, since I had met my out of pocket maximum and deductible for the year due to kidney stone treatment, this medically necessary procedure would be completely covered!
Dr. J examined my eyes and agreed with the diagnosis requiring upper blepharoplasty. He suggested two optional procedures: lower blepharoplasty to remove the bags under my eyes ($4,000) and a brow lift ($6,000.) Initially I did not select the options but after seeing results on this site, I opted for the lower blepharoplasty.
Wow, what a ride!
Day 1- I was not prepared for the bruising and the many colors which would develop. Most of the photos I'd seen on this site do not show the intense bruising I experienced. I took Norco for the pain for three days.
Day 3- I looked the worst even though I was very careful to follow all directions carefully: sleep with head elevated (I was in a recliner for 7 days) and ice/cool compresses at least 20 of each hour (more like 45 minutes of each hour for me for 4 days.)
Day 5- Stitches were taken out on the upper eyelids which was slightly painful. The lower eyelids had stitches which would dissolve.
Day 12- The numbness around my eyes and up to the brow is just now beginning to fade. As part of the upper lid work, an internal browpexy was done to help retain the lid tissue. On the left side, the numbness extends up over the brow into my scalp.
The full cost of the procedure is not know as I only paid for the additional option on the lower eyelids.
So far, I am happy with the recovery and I'll be patient as the numbness wears off and the swelling subsides. My vertical field of vision has improved.
So many of the photos posted by other on this site were very helpful, so I have photos to post but the site will not allow me to upload them yet. I'll try again later.
Photos of the healing process
Here are the photos I couldn't post before.
4 weeks and improving
Swelling continues to resolve and the bruising is almost gone. I'm happy with the progress. Looking less tired has improved my confidence.
Six weeks after surgery more small improvements
This past Monday, was the post op appointment with my surgeon. This is the first time I've seen him since the procedure on Dec. 19th. (A medical assistant had removed the stitches the week after surgery) He examined my eyes and answered my questions with short answers and a very casual "Give it time and it will heal" manner. I pointed out the small stitch ends at the outer corners of my eyes which were irritating. I had tugged on them over the past few weeks but they were firmly attached. He said he'd remove them. Well, he removed them by pulling them out, no cutting, and no pain meds. Ouch!!
I still have small lumps at the outside lower ends of my eyes which he instructed me to firmly massage against the bone to help break up the scar tissue. It is working as they are getting smaller already. He said not to do this on the upper eyelid. It is a different area. There appears to still be some swelling to allow time for healing.
There a no further appointments scheduled and I can still contact him for the next six months if needed. Remember, he is a physician in my medical insurance's HMO/deductible plan. I have no problem with this set up.
Since I was curious about procedure and being a former medical records clerk, I ordered a copy of my records for the appointments and the surgery. Very interesting reading. On the day of this post op appointment, he noted the presence of inferior conjunctivochalasis. That explains the thickened sort of gelatinous tissue covering the scalera. He didn't mention this to me. I will keep watch on this area.
Now I understand the bruising
After reading the medical record of my surgery, I understand the depth of the tissue involved in the process. Fat was removed under the muscle which causes more trauma to the area than it would with just a skin tuck. This was on the upper and lower lids and I am hoping this will be a more permanent correction lasting for the years ahead, as I age.
Awesome, I have long eyelashes again!
Last week I decided to wear mascara for the first time, post op. Since my natural hair color has lightened (read grayed) my lashes are almost invisible. After applying mascara I was shocked to see my lashes were nearly twice the length that they had been before the surgery! I can only assume that the upper eyelid bagginess had an influence on how long my lashes would grow.
Two month to the day!
19 Feb 2015
2 months post
December 19 was the surgery and today is February 19. As you can see from the photo, I still have minor bags below my eyes but my upper eye area is much improved. There are still some lumps I hope will dissolve away and and odd vertical crease at the end of my left eye. Time will show the final results. I'm patient.
It was time for my driver's license photo today so lots of make up.