Pretty Peepers Are Back! First Surgery Ever at Almost 50 Years Old. - Sydney, AU

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For the past 10 years or so I've had upper eyelid...

For the past 10 years or so I've had upper eyelid skin that sags/droops over my eye, so that you couldn't see make-up on my eyelids, or even eyeliner except for the inner corner. The skin was actually beginning to drop onto my eyelashes. I finally decided to treat myself for my upcoming 50th birthday, with an upper & lower blepharoplasty, & endoscopic browlift.

Before surgery

Here are some close-ups of my eyes before the op, to show how saggy the eyelid skin was, actually impinging on my upper lashes. This was the main reason I wanted to get the surgery done - an upper bleph to get rid of the excess skin.

I also had slight bags under my eyes, hence having the lower bleph done as well. I've included a "before" pic with make-up, as I find you can cheat a lot with make-up to make yourself look better. One thing I haven't been able to do for years though, is do a retro cats eye eyeliner and have it be visible. I cannot WAIT to be able to do that again!

Day of surgery

Despite never having gone under the knife before - except when I was 3 to get my tonsils out! - I wasn't too nervous. The initial jab when the anaesthetist put the needle in to sedate me, wasn't bad at all...and within seconds I was out.

It was only twilight sedation, but I was totally out til I came to after the op, in the recovery room. I felt a bit groggy and had a dry throat but otherwise ok. The Dr explained they'd had "an incident" where the lashes on my right eye were singed off, but I was too groggy to be upset, and lashes grow back, don't they?

When I got home I had a look at myself and it didn't look too bad...I thought I might be one who got off very lightly regarding swelling, bruising, bleeding, tightness etc...but more of that was to come :)

Was home by 12; time for pills & to get settled in. I watched tv for a bit, with makeshift cold compresses on my eyes (damp facewashers placed in the freezer to get cold). I had slight aches around my forehead (due to the endoscopic browlift) and my eyes, but it was manageable.

By 4 o'clock I had more severe headache pain, and realised when I went to the tablet box that earlier I'd taken 2 antibiotic pills and no pain pills! Rectified that, taking 2 of the prescribed Codapane tablets.

By night-time I felt very tight around the head, like having a migraine. Even with the pain relief, it was really unpleasant. I tried distracting myself, watching fave shows, eating ice-cream etc..but the first night was the worst for me.

Going to sleep was even worse, as I like to lie on my side, so almost sitting up with high pillows behind your head makes sleep nigh on impossible for some. I was awake literally every hour; grabbing only a few minutes dozing here and there. By 5am I was up and ready for more Codapane...but that leads us into Day 2.

1 day post surgery (Day 2)

I don't know why I was surprised that I looked worse on day 2.

Swelling meant that my eyes were more cat like or slitty, and watery as well as puffy under the eye. The pinkish/purplish bruising also started, under the eye, in the crease, and right at the eyelash line. There was slight yellowish bruising at the temples. I applied arnica cream where I could to unbroken skin, but of course nowhere near open wounds/stitches.

The right inner lid where the lashes had been singed also began to crust, so instead of feeling soft like the other eyelid, was scabby. Also, the lid itself was puffier than the left, due to the singeing.

I found in the course of the day, that I had to dab to get fluid out of my eye so I could see more clearly - I ended up getting hubby to get me some cotton buds (q-tips) that night, as well as proper eye-gel masks for compresses. I did feel better by mid-morning painwise, which was a relief.

That night I slept on only one big high pillow rather than 2 with the wedge shaped one underneath...and I slept better. Didn't look any better in the morning, mind you ;)

2nd day after surgery (Day 3)

Got up very early morning as oozy gunk in my right eye had virtually closed it shut. I dropped saline drops onto it, as well as onto a tissue to dab away at the ooze in order to see (then went back to bed!)

Throughout the day this was the case, with me sometimes finding it hard to see the telly or a magazine through the filmy substance on my eyes. That, and the continued ache (endo wounds on temple and bleph wounds around eyes) was the worst thing about the day.

I did worry that the burned lashes/lid on my right eye might never recover...but realise I'm only a few days out. And at least I can still see the roots of my lashes...which gives hope that they'll grow back. I think the wateriness & ooze in the right eye was made worse by the scab on the inside of the upper lid. There also seems to be a cut in the eye towards the outer wing, so it's not one continuous lovely lid like my left eye is. Still, early days.

The universe decided I needed some yellow bruising to complement the red and purple bruises - very colourful ;) And definitely the puffiness below the eyes was the worst it's been so far. So weird that in the short term, the lower bleph that's meant to take the puffiness AWAY, actually looks worse while it's healing.

I became more aware of some numbness on my scalp - funnily enough more towards the crown of the head than at the hairline, which was still sore near the stitches. Not worried about that though.

Whereas I couldn't move my brow muscles on the first day, now I can, which makes me feel good that there's no damage and I will have normal expression as before.

Getting sick of being codeined up..had a real estate agent call to ask about a house I'd seen the week before, and I honestly couldn't remember which one it was! I have totes had "baby brain" all week. I also put dirty dishes in the dishwasher which was half full of clean (well, hubby should've totally unloaded it, or not at all, right?) Am having to write down when I take my antibiotics & pain relief, or I don't remember properly.

By night time was praying to whoever that the worst would be over that night. Just a bit sick of it all.

3rd day after surgery (Day 4)

Did the usual waking up early and getting rid of eye gunk that closed one eye then going back to bed thing (and OH BOY! did I look bad! See pictures)

But when I got up later, after 10, I knew I'd turned the corner. Just felt better. Despite there being more yellow bruising, I felt that the worst of the bruising, swelling, tightness, oozing etc was over. Didn't take any meds at first, then only panadeine in the afternoon when there was some aching.

My cheeks and lower cheeks were swollen so I have chipmunk face, but even so, could manage a smile and not feel totally ridiculous. Washed my hair and felt a lot better that night.

4th day after surgery (Day 5)

So Friday...what can I say? Still yellow bruising, but things are generally getting better. The scars in the crease are mostly gone, although there are a few little bumps (possibly cysts?) which I guess I'll have to massage out once the stitches get taken out on Monday.

I put some big dark sunnies on late in the arvo and walked the dogs with my husband. Posted a pic of my "good" eye on facebook, and friends were all very positive about the result. Had a few beers and slept on a normal lowish pillow that night - am sleeping well now, apart from getting up early morning to clear gunk out of eyes and going back to bed. Just waiting for the scabby hard bits on the inside of my right eyelid to heal (& lashes to grow back!)

2 weeks later

Well, it's exactly 2 weeks since I had my op, so time for pics!

I've healed really well except for a small bit of bruising under one eye, (and my right eyelashes are still growing back). My eyes aren't quite symmetrical, but I think there's still a little bit of swelling and therefore tension that keeps one eye a bit more cat-like than the other (see the pics).

And disappointingly, I still seem to have eye bags underneath my eyes, which is what the lower bleph was meant to remove! But of course, it's still really soon, and I go back to the doc in a month to see how it's going then.

So overall I'm happy - I have upper eyelids now and I can apply eyeliner and have it visible. I just hope the puffiness under the eyes goes, and that the eyes become more symmetrical in the next month. I still want to look like "me" and not be alien or "done" looking ;)
Sydney Plastic Surgeon

I only just had the op yesterday, so will be updating regularly. So far so good though. On the day of my appointment, I was asked to come an hour earlier, which I did, but then I had to wait til almost the original time! Not thrilled about that, but the day of the op, everyone was on time. I was in at 7.30am & went into op just after 8; and back home by midday. Dr Kohout explained everything well, as did the anaesthetist & nursing sister before I went under. Susie in the office likewise promptly answered my email questions & made me feel at ease. Since it's only one day post-op I can't answer fully about aftercare and follow up.

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 Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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