Tag Archives: Surgeon

Why I Chose To Have an Eyelid Lift

28 Aug

A Note from Me:

The following is a note from a patient about their experience with blepharoplasty, or an eyelid lift. The patient has been a client and friend of mine for years, and had started doing Botox to lift her eyelids, although ultimately, she wanted surgery. I encouraged my client to talk to a plastic surgeon, just to get an idea of what the surgery was like, and when would be the best time for her to undergo this procedure. The patient decided to book surgery after her consultation.

I was able to assist in the procedure at the Newton Surgical Center location. Because the patient was also a friend of mine, we had previously arranged for me to take care of her post-op as well. The surgery itself was only about 2 hours start to finish. The patient stayed home for the next few days, but had very little pain or swelling. The best advice we can give: keep frozen peas in plastic baggies in the freezer and switch them out every 20-30 minutes. Ice decreases swelling, and the peas are light weight and mold to the shape of the eye. I knew there was some use for those things (I am not a fan of peas!).

I would like to thank this client for sharing her story!

(Do you like my shirt? I thought the eyes were appropriate for this post! Wow… I officially have started matching my outfits to my blog posts… maybe I’m becoming more like my mother (the kindergarten teacher) who has a festive turtleneck for every holiday of the year. I did match my diva weave to the Fourth of July this year…)

  • LK

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift)


Blepharoplasty, or “Bleph,” is a surgical modification of the eyelid. Bleph’s are performed both for functional and cosmetic reasons. Cosmetically, the heavy, drooping eyelid gives the illusion of a tired appearance. The lower eyelid bleph is almost always done for cosmetic reasons, to improve the appearance of “bags” and puffiness. (In my experience, eyes are the most concerning feature for women in regards to aging.)

In severe cases, where vision is compromised, everyday tasks (such as driving) can be hazardous. An eyelid lift gives the patient a more awake, alert and youthful appearance and increases the field of vision.

Source: Center for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery


Whether one is looking to treat their upper lid, lower lid, or both, this procedure is generally the same.  Blepharoplasty is usually performed under local anesthesia in an office or hospital setting.  I’ve assisted in many bleph’s (Observing Surgery: Blepharoplasty).

A crescent shaped incision is made either in the upper eyelid fold or next to the lash line on the lower lid.  Excess skin and fat are removed and small, inconspicuous sutures are left behind.

    


After surgery is complete the eye area can bruise and swell.  Cold compresses (or peas!) can be applied gently to minimize these effects. Antibiotic ointment also needs to be applied for the first couple of days to prevent infection.  Patients will return to for a follow up a week after surgery monitor the healing progress and most return to work soon after that.  The incision lines will fade after approximately two months, but are barely visible.

A Note from a Patient:

I can remember as far back as 6th grade having heavy eyelids. I am almost – and I say almost – 60 years old. For the past 10 years or so, I found myself constantly raising

my eyebrows in hopes that it would raise my eyelids. It became just so natural for me to do that – hence – wrinkles. Can’t win!!

Then I met Laura. Here I am – Miss Deathly Scared of Needles – and I had no qualms about getting shot up with Botox. Instantly there was an amazing difference. She was able to raise my brows so that it took an edge off of my drooping.

As a couple of years went by, I just got to the point where it just wasn’t enough for me. Hey, I am approaching 60, how long am I going to wait to become 40 again. Laura talked to me about seeing a doctor to get my eyes done. He was running a special time of the year sale and who doesn’t like a sale?? But seriously, I made the appointment and met the Dr. I felt so comfortable with his approach and what he had to say.

Originally, I had only wanted to get my top lids done. I had been so focused on them for so long that I didn’t even think about underneath the eyes. The doctor explained the full procedure to me (both top and bottom) and recommended I do both lids. He showed me the excess skin I had, and suggested once I did the tops, I would definitely want to do the bottoms (they were pretty saggy as well!). He said it didn’t make sense to do surgery twice. I was very happy with what he told me and made the appointment.

I was more excited than I was nervous on the day of my surgery AND lucky. I had my own private nurse. Laura picked me up and brought me in for the surgery. She actually stayed and watched the surgery for more of that unstoppable knowledge that she craves. I wasn’t totally knocked out, so I have very faint bits of hearing some things. Apparently, I wanted to get up and help. How thoughtful of me!! When I was done, Laura took me home and took care of me (as much as I can remember). Thank goodness for peas, the best home remedy in the world.

My recovery was so fast. I didn’t have any problems at all. It was amazing. I chose to stay in the house for almost a week just because I am so vain and it forced me to stay home and work. From being so healthy and constant peas on my eyes, my lids started healing over the stitches so they took them out early. Four of my friends came over to see me one day to bring lunch. I think I was in the very purple stage. No one wanted to say anything. My cousin told me later that she was scared to death looking at me. I knew how bad I looked. Now they all can’t believe how amazing my eyes look. I absolutely love them. AND the funny thing is that with all the focus on the lids, the best thing I did was underneath the eye. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Other patient experiences:

Why I Chose to Have a Tummy Tuck.

Thinking about a NoseJob/Breast Aug/Lipo/Tummy Tuck? … Butt Implants?

15 Dec

I go with a lot of my clients to their consultations and watch a lot of procedures with a plastic surgeon.  My wonderful friend called me at 8 this morning to ask me what she should ask at her consult (apparently she forgot I am NOT a morning person).  I jumped out of bed though, because I remembered I had a lists!  I love lists ALMOST as much as I love white boards!

I know Plastic Surgery isn’t for everyone, but I think if you are contemplating it, you should be prepared from the beginning; starting with the right surgeon can make all the difference in the world!

Plastic Surgery:  Making the Best Decision

Brief important plastic surgeon qualifications

Please check out www.plasticsurgery.org to see if your surgeon is ASPS accredited.  If they are ASPS accredited you are in good hands.

Each ASPS member must meet the following:

  • At least five years of surgical training and a minimum of two years of plastic surgery training.
  • Board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
  • Trained and experienced in all plastic surgery procedures, including breast, body, face and reconstruction.
  • Peer-reviewed for safety and ethical standards prior to attaining the honor of active membership.
  • Only operates in accredited facilities.

When making the choice:

  • Use your head not your heart in making the selection.
  • Bring before and after photos, if possible, to show what you want.
  • Research the doctor, call other patients for recommendations.
  • Get a recommendation from your bariatric surgeon.
  • Meet the doctor and get to know him or her; you trust yourself to his or her care, so you need to feel comfortable with the person.
  • Use the term “reconstructive surgery” with your insurance company, since “plastic surgery” is often considered to be “cosmetic” or “elective” and hence is not covered.

Questions to ask:

1.  Are you an ASPS member surgeon? If he or she answers “yes” you can rest assured that your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery, has hospital privileges and only performs surgery in accredited facilities.
2.  Are you board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada?
3.  Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure?   If so, at what hospital? Is the surgical facility accredited?
4.  Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
5.  What will be expected of me to get optimal results?
6.  What are the risks involved with my procedure?
7.  Will I need to take time off work?  If so, how long?

What you should ask about the procedure

8.  What is the simplest and safest surgery to help me achieve my goals?
9.  How is the surgery performed?
10.  What is the expected length of operation?
11.  Are other options available?
12.  What results can I expect, and how long do the typical results last?
13.  Where will scars be located, and how noticeable will they be?

What you should ask about your surgeon’s experience

14.  How many times has the surgeon performed this procedure?
15.  How long has the surgeon been performing this procedure?
16.  How many times per year does the surgeon perform the procedure?
17.  How many patients have required re-operation or touch-ups?
18.  What complications may occur?
19.  How frequently do these complications occur?

What you should ask about logistical matters

20.  What preparation is required the day before and morning of surgery?
21.  Should my regular medications be taken on the morning of surgery?
22.  What time should I arrive at the surgery location?
23.  Should someone drive me?
24.  Should someone wait at the surgery location or come back later?

 

What should you ask about emergency plans

25.  What emergency plan and equipment are in place to provide for my needs in the event of an emergency?
26.  Are the surgeon and staff certified in Advances Cardiac Life Support? (ACLS)?
27.  Does the surgeon have admitting privileges at a local hospital should problems arise during my office surgery? (Call the hospital to confirm)
28.  How would I be transported to this facility?
29.  Has an adverse event ever occurred in the past?

What should you ask about the recovery process

30.  What kind of care will I require?
31.  When will I be able to go home? Is an overnight stay required, or is one available if I prefer?
32.  Who will attend me in the case of an overnight stay?
33.  Will I need someone to drive me home?
34.  If a problem arises after I go home, who answers calls after hours and on weekends?
35.  If I need to be seen after hours, where will this occur?

36.  If I need help in my home, is a private duty nurse available?  At what cost?

37.  Are any special garments, medications, or diets required during the recovery period?
38.  How much pain/swelling/bruising is to be expected? How long are these likely to last?
39.  How long does the entire healing process last?
40.  How many follow-up visits are necessary?
41.  Who performs the skin care/post-operative follow-up/suture removal?
42.  When can I wear makeup?
43.  When may I return to exercise/bathing/driving/normal activities/work?
44.  At what point will I feel comfortable in a social setting?
45.  What if I am dissatisfied with the results or with the degree of changes achieved?
46.  If touch-ups are necessary when would that be performed?

What about fees

47.  Does the cost depend on where my surgery is performed?
48.   Will I need to see another physician prior to surgery for examination or testing because of a preexisting medical condition?

49.  Who pays this cost? Will my regular family doctor suffice?
50.  If a complication causes me to be transported to a hospital or stay overnight, who pays for this additional cost?
51.  If I request multiple procedures, can they be performed at the same time? What are the cost savings?

52.  What options are available for payment?

53.  Does the office accept credit cards?
54.  Is a payment plan available to patients?
55.  What is the refund policy should I change my mind after paying in full?
56.  Is my surgery covered by my insurance plan?

After discussing all of the factors involved with your proposed procedure with the surgeon, you should have a sense of whether or not the surgeon is right to you.  Take note of and consider whether the surgeon:

  • Listen and understand your priorities, opinions, and requests?
  • Communicate concern, compassion, request and honesty?
  • Instill confidence in you?
  • Display confidence in his or her ability to care for you?
  • Seem distracted, or come across as arrogant or curt?
  • Seem patient and willing to spend time to answer all your questions and discuses your concerns?
  • Condescend; talk down or under estimate your intelligence?
  • Make eye contact or continually jot down notes in the chart as you spoke?
  • Display positive body language?
  • Confuse you or offer clear explanations?
  • Appear to be selling you the procedure?
  • Adequately discuss any preexisting medical conditions you might have?
  • Encourage your family to participate in the consultation and decision-making process?

Do you:

  • Feel that you have established forthright communication and a positive rapport with the surgeon?
  • Trust your life to this surgeon?
  • Feel the Surgeon is acting in your best interest?
Remember, Aesthetic Augmentation is no one’s decision but yours. 
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