I raised my eyebrows all the time to see which caused a lot of headaches. Did my research and found I had ptosis, which my surgeon (Dr. Lay) confirmed during my consult. I consider the surgery a success because I no longer have to raise my eyebrows to see. However, my eyes look the same size as before the surgery (30 days post-op). I'm hoping it's just the swelling and that they'll get bigger, but I'll be okay if they don't.
Read below if you want more details!
I have natural double eyelids, but they aren't visible since the fat and skin hooded over them and made it look like I was mono-lidded.
For several years, I noticed that after long 4-8 hour meetings at work I'd come home with a headache (or worse, a migraine). Massaging my forehead would help ease tension and alleviate some of the pain. Turns out I always raised my eyebrows to see. It was an unconscious habit. If I didn't do it, I couldn't see clearly.
I experimented by moving my eyebrows and also relaxing them to see how it made a difference in my vision. I realized that by raising my eyebrows I was effectively lifting the extra skin and fat that was hooded over my small double eyelids and allowing my eyelid to lift above my pupil.
Reasons for wanting the surgery and getting it:
I didn't want to have to continue raising my eyebrows to see clearly. I was sick of having headaches every other day.
After 2 months of online research, I discovered that I might have something called ptosis. So that's what I talked about during my consultations with 4 different surgeons over a 1-mo period. They all told me different things about my ptosis so it was a little confusing.
In the end, I chose Dr. Lay because I felt comfortable around and trusted him - he's congenial, knowledgeable, professional, listened to what I had to say, didn't push any extra procedures on me.
Most importantly, he understood what I wanted, which was to fix the functional aspect of ptosis. There are many people who think ptosis isn't a real thing or is just used as an excuse by people who want the "asian double eyelid surgery" so they can say the surgery wasn't for purely superficial reasons. He showed me ptosis cases which put me at ease since it showed he had experience. I also wanted natural and subtle results and there were a lot of "before and after" photos where the eyelids post-op were almost unnoticeable.
Also, location was important. I wanted it to be easy to go to follow-up appointments and also go in case of a post-op emergency.
Additionally, all the after photos showed eyes that looked larger and brighter, which is what I also wanted after talking with Dr. Lay. I noticed that my eyes looked bigger when I raised my eyebrows than when they were completely relaxed. After the surgery, I hoped that my eyes would look the way they did when my eyebrows were raised (which is what I was used to seeing).
Factors for success:
1) Functional - No longer having to lift my eyebrows to see clearly
2) Superficial - That more of my iris would be visible
Consult: $75 nonrefundable deposit for consult in March (but will be used toward cost of surgery if I chose to go with him). He spent a little over an hour with me. Never felt rushed. I basically asked him ALL my questions (I brought a list with me). There was another person in the room who took notes of what I was saying/asking and his responses.
Making the appointment: I called to make the surgery appointment in April (one month after the consult). Appointment was made for May, because he was booked 4 weeks out.
Day of surgery: I had asked Dr. Lay if I could drive myself home after the surgery and he had said it wouldn't be a problem. My mom wouldn't let me and came with me, and I'm glad she did. The surgery took 2 hours (he had said it would take 1 hour before going in) and I don't think there could've been any way for me to drive home because my eyes were so puffy I could barely see out of them (rested and iced eyes for about 30-45 min after surgery).
Aftercare: I went to see him one week after the surgery to get stitches out. I was so scared it would hurt that I took medicine beforehand but it didn't hurt AT ALL! My eyes felt a lot better after getting the sutures out. Then saw him again 2 weeks after that so he could check on the healing process - he told me that I'm on the slower side of healing and that I still looked pretty swollen. I've made another appointment for 3 weeks after that so he can check on the swelling - he said if it doesn't get better he'll give me a shot to help reduce the swelling.
After the surgery:
Day 1-8 post-op: Rested for 2 days straight doing nothing (finished 2 audiobooks). Iced for 5 days. Had a no sodium diet for 8 days (just chicken and veggies with literally no salt). My eyelids felt heavy and I could feel tension where the incision was and all across my forehead.
14 days post-op: I no longer have to raise my eyebrows to see clearly! Even when I do lift my eyebrows, it makes absolutely no improvement or changes to my vision, which proves Dr. Lay successfully fixed whatever it was that was forcing me to raise my eyebrows (whether it was ptosis or not). With this, the surgery was a COMPLETE SUCCESS!!! It makes me very happy.
However, I'm not sure the surgery was a success on the 'superficial' front. I'm really hoping it's because of the swelling and that the swollen eyelids are preventing me from seeing the result of a larger-looking eye. The way I see my eyes now, they look the exact same size as before the surgery. The actual size of my eye doesn't look any bigger and the same amount of my iris is visible. For some reason, I feel like my double eyelid crease actually makes my eyes look smaller than before. I think this is something where only time will tell.
30 days post-op:
My eyes still look the same size as before the surgery. It's been a month but my eyes don't look that much bigger. Honestly, I had hoped that my eyes would look brighter and bigger. However, I'm okay if they don't get any bigger since I'm happy that I don't have to raise my eyebrows to see. I haven't had a single headache since after the surgery!
Also, I don't particularly think that the eyelid crease is very pretty. Unsure if this will change as time goes on and the swelling goes down.
I can still feel tension where the incision is, when I lift my eyes up to see. It's less than before but still there. Hoping this will go away as time passes because I don't want it to be like this forever!