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My Blepharoplasty

by Sonia G.

I had a blepharoplasty done on the 22nd of January 2019. It was a while ago but I wanted to talk about it today because since I had this surgery, many relatives, friends, neighbors and even other people in Switzerland have asked me about my experience.

I wish to share my experience and my results. I am not a professional in this field and I cannot compare a blepharoplasty to other methods. Even though this is a common surgery nowadays, it is still major- should you wish to go down this path with the risks and complications that can occur, it is extremely important to take it seriously and know all the technical details beforehand.  It’s imperative to trust and listen to your doctor and to have the feeling that you have asked all the questions and nothing is unclear. Also, experiences may vary, this is just my own.

I had been looking at pictures and reading other people’s stories but it’s only when my friend Jeanette started to share her blepharoplasty experience with me with before and after pics, that I decided to go for it. Hearing about it from someone we know helps a lot because they will share the good and the bad with us! It is important to do our research but it’s reassuring to hear about it from people we know well and it’s exciting to be able to talk about the procedure with someone who did it and ask them if it was worth it. Obviously my dear friend was very happy with the results, we both love make-up and it’s quite life changing in this category.

Blepharoplasty is an option if you have droopy upper eyelids. The surgeon will remove the excess skin of the upper eyelids, it may also involve removing muscle and/or fat. There are several types of interventions depending on the person’s needs- it can also be done for the excess skin and bags under the eyes. I did not do a brow lift, which is different. Sometimes this upper blepharoplasty is done because excess skin interferes with the peripheral vision- in my case it was done for aesthetic reasons. However, right after the intervention, my frequent and persistent migraines were gone. If this has helped directly or indirectly, I don’t know- it might be a happy coincidence.

In Switzerland the insurance will not cover the costs if it’s only to improve our appearance. If the vision is impaired because of that excess skin, the insurance may cover or help financially but it’s obviously going to depend on your country and insurance.

I never did botox or skin treatments and I was 47 when I did this blepharoplasty. I had (and still have) a lot of lines- I have them all! The forehead, frown, crows, tear, bunny, nasolabial, etc etc etc… I cannot say that they don’t bother me, but what bothered me the most were my droopy eyelids. They didn’t even droop symmetrically due to a “beauty” spot on one of them- one was folding and drooping in a straight manner, the other was folding in two steps like a ladder.

My eyelids only blocked my eyesight a little- I always lifted my brows/forehead so that my lashes were not covered. After this excess skin removal, I no longer need to force lift my forehead and maybe this is what has helped with the migraines.

Before the blepharoplasty

The eyelid on the right is drooping more than the left. If I didn’t lift my forehead I looked really tired and angry!

This is how my eyelids looked before, you can see the difference in the way they fold.

 

If I looked straight, the eyelids covered the entire mobile lid and overhang, pushing the lashes down.

 

 

The Doctor removed more than 1cm of excess skin on each lid, which also removed that spot located on the excess skin, he evened out the fat underneath the lids as they were quite uneven.

The picture below was taken in Japan on the 16th of February 2019, so 25 days post operation. It’s a phone picture so it’s not that easy to see but the lids were still a little bit swollen and I still had a tiny bit of yellow under one eye. I was already wearing make-up and you cannot see that something had been done.
The difference is massive. Also, my forehead was relaxed, I didn’t need to do force-lifts, and I looked rejuvenated.

I am very happy with the results and even though I have a lot of deep lines, I am often told I don’t look my age (50), make-up helps too 😀 but I am pretty sure that this eyelid operation contributes a lot to this.

I am going to share how it happened and evolved but if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am very happy to share my experience but I am not a doctor, if this is something on your mind, please always talk to a doctor and even go talk to several ones to be even more sure about your decision.  I asked my doctor if it was ok to share my experience publicly with you all and also if I could share his details because so many people here in Switzerland are interested and asked me for them.

One week after the blepharoplasty, I went to get some products at the pharmacy. In Switzerland they always ask you why you are getting this or that- I explained and the lady at the pharmacy asked me for the details of my doctor because she wanted to do exactly the same thing and she absolutely loved the results, she could not believe it had happened only a week before!

In terms of preparation, my doctor shared a lot of documentation with me, he asked me to sign a document, get some arnica, sterile gauze, physiological serum and a cooling eye mask. I also advise you to have sunglasses nearby just in case someone knocks at your door who isn’t aware of your situation- it could be a pretty scary surprise! Speaking of scary surprises, always ask for a cost estimation!

The operation was really quick, less than 10mn per eye, the most unpleasant moment were the needles with the anesthetic liquid, which is to be expected, especially if you aren’t fond of needles. The rest was ok and there wasn’t a moment where I thought “this has to stop now” but I was happy when it was over! After it was done, I went to relax in a separate room, waiting for my husband to pick me up- I think I fell asleep twice… I didn’t feel pain and I was not freaking out.  I think I have a high pain threshold  but definitely a low tolerance for needles so the needle part was quite difficult.  I have a tattoo and a piercing, during the tattoo I was joking and laughing all the time (I couldn’t see the needle), for the piercing I was almost fainting because of the very obvious needle.
I also did lasik in the past (refractive eye surgery to correct myopia, I had -4.5 D on both eyes), the results were amazing and after 10 years results haven’t move, 10/10 and no myopia. The lasik for me was a very stressful operation and extremely uncomfortable.  This blepharoplasty was nothing in comparison. We are all different and we are all going to react so differently.

IMPORTANT: This picture is right after the operation. I have covered the area in case you don’t want to see the scar/blood/etc, but if you click on the picture, you will open the picture and see the scar without the blurring so please be careful in case you don’t want to see it.  If you don’t want to see scars or blood, please DO NOT click the pictures.

I went home after a couple of hours, lay down in bed and listened to music. It’s really crucial to stay calm and follow all the recommendations that the doctor gives you, how to clean, what to apply, what NOT TO DO, etc. Make sure you wash your hair before going to your appointment as you may need to wait a few days before you can do it safely.

STAGES

D day: A couple of hours after the blepharoplasty.
D +1: The day after was probably the worst in terms of pain and swelling, at some point, one eyelid started bleeding quite heavily for 15mn then stopped. I was informed that it was probably blood mixed with the product they injected for the anesthetic. I had very little pain though, I did not take any painkillers and as long as I stayed calm all was good. The doctor called me home to check if everything was ok, which I certainly appreciated!
D +2: Better than D +1. The yellow and purple started to show under the eyes.

D +3: Much better. In that picture I am returning from my check-up appointment, I took the train because I wasn’t sure driving would be a good idea, I was wearing sunglasses and lucky me it was a sunny winter day 🙂 I just slightly covered the purple and yellow with foundation but really not much, I didn’t really bother.
I had migraines very frequently, at least every other day, not sure if this had any impact to be honest but I noticed that my migraines stopped there and did not come back since.
D +4: I could see the redness on the mobile lids toning down, this was a great improvement.
D +7: With stitches removed, the purple and yellow still there. One lid was a bit more stubborn and I had to keep a little plaster for two more days.

D +12: The scars were red but not scary. I could not believe the difference with before, truly amazing.
D +21: The scars are still red but it’s just in the fold so with the eyes open, we could not see them.
D +25: I was in Japan, I took that picture to show the brush and this is when I started to wear make-up again on the eyes. I told my friend in Japan that I had this operation as I didn’t want her to freak out if she saw the scars but she told me she hadn’t noticed anything at all!

Now it has been 2 years and a half, the scars are thin and white, I can still see the mobile lid which used to be fully covered before the blepharoplasty. The excess skin is not yet drooping over.

Before I did it, I wanted to know if and how much of the scar would remain visible.  In my case, the scars are subtle. They are there, but they don’t disturb a make-up application. If a shadow is creasing, the creasing will show along the scar (especially in the first months) but that’s exactly where our fold is, so obviously the product is going to gather there anyway. Scar or no scar, the product gathers mostly in the fold.

 

If for example you have a lash extension application, the person applying the extensions may see the scars because your eyes are closed and she is very close to you but if she doesn’t know about your blepharoplasty, I wonder if she would be able to link those thin lines to the procedure…   I did extensions and she didn’t say anything to me.
At some point the skin of our lids is not so tight and smooth anyway and the wrinkles or imperfections are somehow going to camouflage those thin scars…

So, can I see them on myself when I apply my make-up? yes I can see where they are, especially with the Simple Human magnifying mirror because absolutely nothing escapes it, but I am happy with the result- it matches the expectations that I had.

It’s very important to discuss your expectations with your doctor beforehand and to fully understand the risks.  I did not have issues or complications but they can happen.  The decision has to be yours and it’s yours only to take.

 

 

The results are long lasting, I understood they could last approx 5-7 years. I can see that after 2.5 years it’s not as obvious as the first months but I can still see mobile lid and that’s great.  I don’t know how it will evolve as the ageing process is definitely continuing its path.

As you can see I don’t have much space going on between my lashes and my brows, the brow is quite heavy but I personally prefer to look natural and I will be following this idea.  My objective with this blepharoplasty was to feel more comfortable with a more relaxed forehead and not have that excess skin hanging so heavily over my lashes.

There are also non-invasive alternatives- it depends on how much excess skin you have or maybe where you live there are options that you would prefer to try first. Now that the big excess skin has been removed, maybe I can continue with non-invasive type of maintenance for the future, let’s see how this evolves.

For those of you who are in Switzerland and would like to talk to the surgeon who took care of me, I share  Dr Meunier’s website.

I am not promoting or encouraging anybody else to do this, I shared my experience in hopes that it would help somebody else who is interested in this procedure. I thank you so much for reading it!
Life is short, enjoy each moment of it! Please take care and stay safe <3

 

3 months after blepharoplasty – A sweet cat inspection

 

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14 comments

Denise 18 October, 2021 - 3:28 pm

Wow! I almost did this. I am a chicken! . I have migraines also so it is very cool that they went away for you! . The amount of eyelid space really changed post surgery. With hooded lids my transition shade plays center stage. Thank you for sharing this. What can you do instead of another surgery? You touched upon it a little. I am 60 in six days! . I can see fine with my lid skin. I have seen photos of really super heavy lids. Question: Do you FEEL the difference? Like a lighter feeling perhaps?

Reply
Sonia G. 19 October, 2021 - 11:35 am

Hi Denise!! <3
Well, first of all, you are not a chicken at all, it's very normal to feel this way about this, it's not nothing!!
Regarding the migraines, I don't quite understand but I can definitely say that as soon as the day after something had changed and I already noticed they were gone. I had indeed that feeling of lightness and relaxation, this felt so much more comfortable!
There are other treatments, "non-surgical blepharoplasty" or "non-invasive blepharoplasty", if you look for these terms you will find a lot of content. Some are called Plexr, I can imagine that these techniques also evolve with time so it's important to talk to a great doctor who could direct you to the most appropriate for you. There could be other causes for the eyelids to droop and those have to be previously checked out too, every person is different and needs a very personalized diagnostic and strategy.
My cousin recommended Plexr to me (she hadn't done it herself though) but then, when she saw the amount of loose skin on myself, she said that a surgical option seemed more appropriate 😀 (she is not a specialist at all, she just likes to be informed and we laugh a lot about ourselves (she is the person sitting with me at the restaurant on my recent Instagram photo in Spain) She has the most amazing eyes!
In my case, something like Plexr may work in the future as there might be less skin to fix, I don't know, I would have to check if I ever feel the need that it's getting really bad again. It was either a brow lift or a blepharoplasty but the latter seemed more appropriate at the time for me. As I mentioned in my post, I want to remain natural, I don't want my face to change (even though of course there is a change) but I am sure that you see what I mean. I don't want those changes to be noticeable, or just so very little. For this blepharoplasty, nobody at all told me that I had something done, noone even noticed a change. However, I had friends and neighbors tell me "you look great, not as exhausted as you used to" 😀 They just couldn't link the fact that I looked less exhausted to my eyelid surgery.
But you can not revert those changes, so it's so important to be sure about it and know all the risks and be ready for the good and the bad!

Reply
Tracy 20 October, 2021 - 3:23 am

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. You look fantastic!

Reply
amy miranda 18 November, 2021 - 2:09 pm

beautiful, you are beautiful inside and out.. this is one surgery i might consider one day and i am sixty..thank you for your beautiful post.

Reply
Sonia G. 18 November, 2021 - 4:36 pm

Hi Amy, happy to see you here! I just checked and wasn’t subscribed, I think I was actually but with my old account so I just rectified! 😀
Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comment, it’s a big decision for sure but in my case it changed my life quite a lot! I looked and I can’t believe you are sixty, and you still have space visible on your mobile lid, this is fantastic! I am here if you want to talk about it one day and if I can help! Please take care!! <3

Reply
Meredith Swezey 29 November, 2021 - 7:35 pm

Hi Sonia, you look terrific! I had this done 29 years ago when I was in my thirties and it is still going strong. I’ll never need to do it again. I didn’t feel any pain afterwards and it was an easy experience. I do remember the stitches were itchy and I took Tylenol which helped. After one week they were taken out and after that I just waited as things got better and better. We have a lot of blood supply to our head because our brains need it so there was definitely bruising which takes weeks to go away completely. I am very happy with my results. One question I have for you. How did your little daughter react to your appearance post surgery? My children were 5 and 3 and I explained beforehand and they handled it just fine.

Reply
Sonia G. 29 November, 2021 - 11:46 pm

Hello Meredith! Thank you!! This is fantastic to know (for me and for anyone interested reading this) it’s wonderful to read that you are happy with the results! yes indeed bruises were also there for me but my daughter was not scared at all. I was wearing glasses -or trying to- but she just didn’t want me to wear the glasses, she was 3 and she really didn’t care at all. My mother in law, that was something else because she can’t see blood and she didn’t want to look at me but my daughter has always been really relaxed with any bobos that we had. My daughter was way more scared when I was using a moisturizing mask 😀 LOOOL so funny! I would love to see a picture of you before and then after!! I send you lots of love!! <3

Reply
Lucia 28 August, 2023 - 2:14 pm

I always think of do it ,a blefaroplasty for under eyes but its not easy choice, I would like to know how to feel now ?? Do you know a good spanish Dr for this , Im spanish woman ! Thanks for your help

Reply
Sonia G. 30 August, 2023 - 10:14 am

Hi Lucia, unfortunately even though I am Spanish, I don’t know who in Spain would be best to perform this.
For my upper lid blepharoplasty, I am really very happy today, the aesthetics but mainly the comfort is really what makes this surgery a big success for me.
It has to be your decision and something you can talk about with the doctor, see what are their recommendations and how they can help.
I saw several doctors and it’s only when I felt ready and confident that I decided to do it, but there is always a risk and you have to keep this in mind.
Best thing is to ask in Spain, I heard there were excellent surgeons! Then see several doctors and take some time to think about it! Please let me know what you decide! Un abrazo y buena suerte! Ojalá encuentres alguien en quien confias y que te salga todo bien! <3

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Ella Frost 7 February, 2022 - 3:06 pm

Wow! I am glad that the treatment worked on you, Sonia! I am about to get this blepharoplasty treatment. I don’t know anyone who has undergone this type of procedure. So, I am happy to find your article. It’s a great help for me because it will be my first aesthetic treatment.

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Tessa J 12 February, 2022 - 3:02 am

My dad had it done a few years ago and it took at least off of his appearance. Since I inherited his eyes, so I’m looking for the opportune moment to have it.

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Tessa J 12 February, 2022 - 3:03 am

> …at least a decade off…

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Amanda 9 August, 2023 - 5:19 pm

I will want a blepharoplasty probably in 10 years or so. My mother’s eyelids are not something I want because honestly, I love doing makeup on my lids too much to deal with the extra skin. Makeup is art to me. I don’t care about other lines on my face but I want taught lids and once I lose that, I am getting it done. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Reply
Sonia G. 22 August, 2023 - 9:12 am

Hi Amanda, thank you for taking your time to share your thoughts. I fully understand and if you decide to go for it when time comes, I hope all goes well and that you are delighted with the results! Sending you lots of love!

Reply

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