My area of concern was my eyes, specifically my lower eyelid area. People would tell me all the time I looked tired or would say 'you must be stressed' because of my dark circles and bags. It started to define who I was. I started feeling like I was stressed and tired because of my eyes. I would wake up in the morning and be very disappointed that I didn’t look well rested. This is why I ultimately decided to have eyelid surgery. It wasn’t all about looking younger -- I wanted my inside to match my outside.
I found my plastic surgeon, Dr. William Burden of Destin Plastic Surgery in Florida, online after doing extensive research on blepharoplasty surgery. I am from Destin and he seemed to have some of the best reviews on the internet as far as plastic surgeons go.
Dr. Burden's staff was really kind when I called his office to inquire about a blepharoplasty. I spoke with Natalie, who is one of the patient care coordinators there. She was so sweet and personable and didn't pressure me to schedule an appointment. She provided me with all the information I needed and I called back later that same week to schedule an appointment.
At my appointment, Dr. Burden had a very calm demeanor. He speaks very softly and that put me at ease. I told him of my concerns and how I was interested in a blepharoplasty. Dr. B examined my face and said my upper eyelid was fine but I would benefit from a lower blepharoplasty. He said that the procedure involved making a small incision in my lower eyelid skin, where he would remove the fat that was causing my eye bags and then suture it back up with fine sutures. This would get rid of my bags and tighten the loose skin I had under my eyes. The incision would be hidden in the crease of my lower lid. He said the procedure could be done under local anesthesia, which was a bit of a relief to me. I had gone under general anesthesia 5 years earlier for a cyst removal and the feeling of not being aware of what was going on scared me. My eyelid surgery cost around $5000 but it was a few years back, so it's a bit difficult to remember the exact price. Whatever I paid, it was worth it in the end.
Since my surgery was under local anesthesia, I did not have to take any pre-surgery precautions. I just had to make sure I showered in the morning and had to make sure my skin was very clean.
The day of my procedure I felt comfortable and relaxed. I had no worries at all. I was happy and satisfied with the decision I had made.
The scariest part of my operation was when the needle for the local anesthetic looked like it was coming close to my eye. I was very numb during my surgery and experienced no pain. It was over before I knew it though and thankfully I can still see.The surgery took about 1.25-1.5 hours to finish.
Immediately post-op my eyes looked better. The swelling had not appeared yet but I knew it was going to come, since Dr. B had told me it would take two weeks before I did not look beaten up anymore. I also had very fine sutures under my eyes and was taped up. I wore sunglasses on my way home to hide the way I looked. My husband drove me back, although I could have easily done it. I was actually feeling pretty good for someone who just had a surgical procedure.
By the evening after my procedure, I started seeing much more swelling and bruising. Dr. B was right, I looked pretty rough. I started applying cold compresses from that evening until the following week. I also used eye drops because my eyes felt very dry. Fortunately I'm a stay at home mom, so I didn't have to be at work the next day. (If you're having lower eyelid surgery, I would suggest taking 2-2.5 weeks off from work. You will feel fine but look very battered.)
My eyes became more swollen for approximately 2 days after my procedure and then my body's healing process kicked in and I continued to look better each day up until the two week mark when almost all of my bruising and swelling had gone away. I should also mention that I usually wear contacts and was unable to do so for a few weeks following my operation.
In the past 2 years since I was operated on, I have been so happy. I now receive so many compliments on my youthful appearance and my under eye bags no longer make me look tired. I wake up in the morning feeling good about myself and people tell me I look so fresh and happy now. Dr. B did a great job and I had no side effects during or after my operation. Everything went as planned. I had realistic expectations going into surgery and even I was blown away with my eyelid surgery results. This procedure has restored my confidence and I feel like a new person.
I've been asked if I would recommend this procedure and I would, but please remember that making the decision to have cosmetic surgery is a big one and you should take your time when looking for a plastic surgeon. Unlike getting Botox or fillers, surgery is permanent and irreversible. You must choose your surgeon wisely.