Oct. 13, 2012
Laura Ellis

TIRED OF LOOKING TIRED: Why I’m Considering Eyelid Surgery

I either need to change doctors or get a thicker skin.

On a recent visit to my primary care doctor to discuss lower back pain, he told me that women my age should stick to water aerobics.  Really.  No offense to any readers who are into that form of exercise, but in my mind at least I am still capable of pounding it out at the gym if and when I ever actually start going again.

And just a few months ago, on an annual eye checkup, I jokingly asked if I would end up needing eyelid surgery like a certain relative, who in her late 70s had the procedure per the orders of her optometrist and with the blessing of her insurance company.  She literally could not read a sentence without working herself into a state of surprise.

Tapping his finger just below my eyebrow area he said and I quote:  “Yes. You definitely have those fleshy eastern European eyelids.  Your insurance will cover it, but you’ll have to wait a while.”

Fleshy?  FLESHY?  What sane male person uses that word in a sentence with a woman, let alone a patient that he presumably wants to retain?

If he wanted to make an impression, he succeeded. Staring at my own reflection later that day, I could see what he was talking about.  There is definitely droopage.  My eyes look tired, and unless I’m smiling, my neutral, relaxed expression looks all “Don’t mess with me because I will seriously be in your face, right after a nap and a nice cup of tea.”

I have also noted recently that my upper eyelashes are in my line of vision. I am pretty sure that this is not normal.

So what is EYELID SURGERY and what does it entail?

Also known as blepharoplasty , eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper or lower eyelids, or as a double eyelid surgery procedure. While it may be covered by insurance if your drooping eyelids interfere with your sight, it is usually performed for aesthetic purposes to rejuvenate the eye area, get rid of under eye bags and dark circles under the eyes, and give patients a more rested and alert appearance.

Upper eyelid surgery is performed to remove those excess fatty deposits that create puffiness just above the eyes (see above “fleshy” reference). This surgery can also tighten and address folds of loose or sagging skin that can sometimes impair vision.

Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is performed to remove excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid, and correct bags under the eyes.

After blepharoplasty, the healing process may include swelling, bruising, irritation, dry eyes and discomfort which can be controlled with medication, cold compresses and ointment.  If you schedule a consultation it is important to ask your surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

I haven’t yet plucked up the nerve for a consultation, but I am seriously thinking about it. You can check out before and after eyelid surgery photos of patients at The Skin Center Medical Spa at http://www.theskincentermd.com/photo-gallery/eyelidsurgery.

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