Our GP & Patient Liaison Manager Sharon Cordingley writes about her experience of eyelid surgery in this insightful diary series…
In recent years, I had noticed that my upper eyelids were becoming more prominent. It began to droop over my eyelashes and I felt that it was really ageing my face. I had been considering this surgery for a while and decided that now was the time. I was asked to share my experience, so here are my diary entries which will give you a good idea of how I found the treatment, how painful it was and how I feel about the result after two weeks of healing. Happy reading!
(the image above is after two weeks of healing. There is still some swelling, but the pain is gone)
THE DAY OF MY PROCEDURE
LOCATION: THE SKIN SURGERY CLINIC AT GOOD SKIN DAYS, GUISELEY
I can honestly say I was a little bit apprehensive… who wouldn’t be, but I knew I was in very experienced hands. Being able to keep my own clothes on made it feel a little less clinical and looking back I wish I had done as they had suggested and brought some music as the room was very quiet.
I had a short consultation with the surgeon who explained the procedure again, what I should expect post-op and also the potential risks (which seemed to be minimal). In the minor ops room the consultant explained that he would start by outlining the area with a marker pen, he would then inject the area with local anaesthetic and finally, perform the procedure. I was told that the anaesthetic injections are the worst part of the procedure, but it really wasn’t as bad as I thought; it stung a bit but didn’t last long. Almost immediately after the anaesthetic my eyelids became heavy and I felt like I couldn’t open them. I felt pressure on my eyes and some slight pulling. At this point, I wished again that I had brought some music as I could hear the sound of cutting, which was a bit disconcerting! After each eye had been done, the surgeon cauterised the area and then put the stitches in. Antiseptic cream was then placed in my eyes which created a film and made my vision very blurred. You are not allowed to drive afterwards due to swelling and the blurred vision from the cream, I can completely understand why.
Straight after the procedure I was taken to the room next door where I sat in a reclining chair with a cooling eye mask to help reduce the swelling. After a cup of hot chocolate and when I felt ready to go, I was given aftercare instructions and an appointment to return a week later to have my stitches removed.
That evening the swelling increased and the area around my eyes reddened. I took paracetamol every four hours and continued to use the eye mask. I was advised to sleep propped up if possible, again to help reduce the swelling. It wasn’t the best sleep I’ve ever had but I think that was more due to the fact I was propped up and subconsciously trying not to sleep as I would normally do with my face in the pillow.
I had very obvious swelling on my upper eyelids and redness and bruising above and below. I would say it felt more uncomfortable and irritating than painful but the painkillers were probably helping with that.
More bruising appeared under my eyes almost down to my cheek bones. Everything looked and felt very uncomfortable and I wouldn’t have wanted to be seen out without some glasses on. I reduced the amount of painkillers I was taking as it was more uncomfortable than painful. The next couple of days were pretty much the same.
The stitches had really started to itch and felt very tight, the bruising started to subside and what was left had turned slightly yellow.
The stitches finally came out today! I was very apprehensive as things had healed so well I worried how they were going to get them out. The skill of the surgeon made the removal of the stitches far less traumatic than I had imagined and everything instantly felt so much better. The improvement after the stitches were removed was dramatic. I then went back to work and anyone who didn’t know I’d had surgery would not have been able to tell.
I didn’t want people to look at me and say “oooh she’s had surgery”, I just wanted to look and feel better which I’m very pleased to say I do. Someone I hadn’t seen for a few months gave me a nice comment recently, by saying I looked “bright eyed and fresh faced” and “several years younger than 51” (my actual age).
If you are thinking about this procedure, prepare yourself for one week of looking pretty horrendous and feeling uncomfortable but in my opinion it was all worth it. I’m only a couple of weeks into the healing process and I’m already so happy with the improvement in my eyelids. If you are interested in this procedure, please ask for me at the clinic and I would be happy to chat to you further about my experience.