ALISONS BLEPHAROPLASTY JOURNEY
I have always had eyelids that were heavy and overhanging and when Epsom Skin Clinics publicised an open evening with Mr Geoff Wilson from Surrey Plastic Surgery I was intrigued to find out more.
At the open evening the staff of the clinic welcomed me and other existing clinic clients with a short introduction to the procedures which could be done under local anaesthetic at the clinic. Mr Wilson and I had a quick chat and he assessed the possibility of the chosen procedure.
Costs and details of the procedure and the possible recovery time were discussed and each client advised to book a further consultation if they wished to go ahead with the procedure. Mr Wilson has been working as local NHS Plastic Surgeon for many years and has recently decided to concentrate on his private practice and offers both major and minor procedures at other hospitals around Surrey.
As a client of Epsom Skin Clinics for many years the thought of having the procedure under local anaesthetic in familiar surroundings and with familiar staff was appealing.
A few weeks later I attended for a full consultation with Mr Wilson at which he explained in detail what the Upper Blepharoplasty (as the operation is known) would involve. He agreed that my looks and eyesight would benefit from the removal of the excess skin on my upper eyelids and advised in addition a Brow Hitch to help the shaping of the eyebrows. He drew diagrams to explain the procedure and possible side effects and took a detailed medical history. I was then advised that I would be contacted by his assistant to confirm my decision and book a date. He explained that there would be some bruising and redness for a few days after the operation and that I should be prepared to rest during that time. As soon as the date was confirmed I took the first two days as leave and then arranged to work from home for the rest of the week.
Day of Operation
On the day of the operation I took some painkillers two hours before the procedure as advised by Dr Steventon, the Medical Director of Epsom Skin Clinic and got a lift to the clinic as it would not be advisable to drive home immediately after the operation. After a further consultation at which Mr Wilson confirmed I wished to go ahead with the procedure I signed the consent form and was taken into the minor surgery room.
The room is light and airy with ambient music playing in the background, no sign of scary instruments except the bright theatre lights. I was positioned comfortably on the theatre couch ensuring I was warm and supported. The initial introduction of the local anaesthetic was more than a “little sting” but bearable and was the only pain I felt. During the procedure the Mr Wilson, the nurse and assistant kept making sure that I was alright and I felt only pressure on my brow and eyelids during the 45 minute procedure. When it was completed I was given a cup of tea and biscuits before being driven home. I was advised that I should take some fairly strong painkillers within a couple of hours of the procedure and should not lie down flat for at least 2-3 days.
I experienced a small amount of bleeding from one of the brow incisions but with a little pressure that stopped quickly. I positioned myself with plenty of supporting pillows in a reclining armchair and dozed in front of the TV for several hours. The soreness kicked in about 4 hours after the operation and I took the painkillers as prescribed with very good effect. The numbness from the local anaesthetic was beginning to wear off and it felt tight and sore. Sleeping sitting up is not easy and I found that being in a bed on my own with several “V shaped” pillows was the best solution, that way I did not disturb anyone else and could doze, listen to music or watch TV if sleep was not completely possible.
I needed further pain relief I the middle of the night but by the next morning I I felt only slight soreness, which was controlled by paracetamol. I was advised not to take anti-inflammatory tablets such as aspirin or ibuprofen as this can increase the risk of bruising and bleeding, I did take the precaution of taking some Arnica tablets and using arnica ointment around the bruised areas. The eyelids were very swollen and bruised but the area of the brow lift was the most painful, some bruising was beginning to come down under my eyes as well but this was minimal.
Even though I had decided I would be unable to work I was asked to join a conference call as an issue needed resolving and I was able to comfortably join the call. I must admit for the rest of the afternoon I dozed in the armchair. A shower was allowed but I must remember not to wipe the eyes, allowing the water to flow over my face is soothing but it is difficult to find the shampoo and conditioner when you can’t open your eyes – so wash your hair before you allow the water to flow over your eyes!! I pat my face dry using a clean flannel to prevent any infection from the towel. Sleep was little easier that night but I did take the precaution of saving some of the strong painkillers for last thing at night to aid sleep.
The eyelids are probably more swollen and a little more bruising is coming out but as I bruise very easily, I have been known to have bruises from Botox and Dermal Filler injections in the past, I am surprised at how little bruising there is. I am also surprised that I need only minimal pain relief and have only taken a single dose of paracetamol. I have a business meeting at home with some colleagues who are also friends and they have been warned that I might look like a Panda – however they announce that if I had not told they would just have assumed I was wearing purple eye shadow! After taking the last of the strong pain killers sleep is a little easier but I remain sitting.
More bruising and the eyelids feel very sore, the antibiotic ointment that I have been advised to apply several times a day is melting and running into my eyes and causing blurred vision, so although I feel that I could drive, I decide that it is not advisable with the ointment on. I work from home and manage to complete a number of projects, most of my work involves a computer and I do find that my eyes get more tired than usual but otherwise I feel fine. I am getting used to it and I do manage to sleep through the night sitting up.
I wake feeling more alert, I have to attend a meeting with a local company today and I need to drive so I forgo the ointment in the morning and manage to apply a small amount of mineral foundation and usual lipstick. The girls in the office at the company have been warned but they are all intrigued to see that the scar and stitches ( 12 in the left and 13 in the right eyelid) are hardly visible – they are impressed and ask for details of the surgeon! I must admit that I am glad to get home and rest my eyes which are little dry and scratchy, the feeling is really beginning to come back now. Driving hundreds of miles to a meeting is part of my normal work pattern this was only 5 miles down the road and I am tired. Tonight I will sleep well, I have slightly reduced the pile of pillows but continue to be elevated and not flat.
3 Months Later
After 3 months the scars are almost invisible, and I have been able to experiment with eye make-up to enhance the look, this was previously a pointless exercise as the make up was not visible as soon as I opened my eyes!
My confidence is increased and I am pleasantly surprised at the number of people who comment on my appearance and are surprised by my age – most would take at least 10 years off my real age.
Thank you Epsom Skin Clinics and Mr Geoff Wilson for the whole experience which has left me feeling great about myself.