My Blepharoplasty Journey
In January 2022, I went under the knife and had a blepharoplasty done. It was a super simple procedure in terms of recovery compared to the chin implant and lower deep plane facelift that I had in 2020. (There’s a blog post coming on that one too). Having a bleph had a huge impact on my appearance and boosted my confidence without a lot of downtime. My intention of writing this blog post is to explain what a bleph is, why I chose to have one and what to expect before, during and after recovery.
What is a bleph?
A blepharoplasty, commonly referred to as a bleph, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the eyelids. This is often done to improve the appearance of sagging, heavy or baggy eyelids, which can cause a person to look sad, older and more tired than they actually are. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the excess skin and fat from the eyelids, leaving the patient with a more youthful and refreshed appearance. In addition to its cosmetic benefits, a bleph can also improve a person’s field of vision if sagging skin is obstructing their sight. The upper lid is the most common area to treat, however in some cases a bleph can be performed to the bags under the eyes. It is a relatively simple, safe and effective cosmetic procedure with a short recovery time, making it a popular procedure for those seeking a fresher look.
Why I chose to have a bleph:
I have always had a hooded eyelid, it’s genetic. It’s a Scandi thing and it’s unique. I embraced it and never felt self conscious of it. Hooded eyes are beautiful, and years ago my makeup artist friend said they are the best eyes to make smokey and dramatic because you can pile on lots of eyeshadow on the lid. I noticed as the last few birthdays of my thirties passed, that my lids seemed a little droopier each year and I felt it made me look tired and sad. My mom’s eyes gave me a pretty good idea of what to expect if I didn’t get a bleph. She doesn’t have obstructed vision (yet), but she does look more tired than she probably is. I considered doing it when I did my lower face, but I wasn’t ready to touch my eyes for fear that I may not look like me. When I turned 40, I decided that it was time. I felt great in my own skin as 40 approached and I was in a really good place with my life decisions and felt confident. But every selfie I took or picture I posed for, there was this sadness in my eyes that masked who I was on the inside. In a way, I felt like letting go of the lid bags was the last stage of letting go of any past emotional baggage I had carried around in my life.
Preparing for the Procedure:
Having had a couple of cosmetic procedures, I knew that this one would be the easiest with the least amount of downtime. My surgeon, Dr Asaria at FACE Toronto and friends and clients of mine who had already had a bleh confirmed this. However, the same rules applied for having a cosmetic procedure. No vitamins or supplements for two weeks before in case of interference with the anesthesia. Some surgeons will do a bleph under a local anesthetic, but Dr Asaria’s preference is to have you go under with general anesthesia. Fair enough- I didn’t want to be a distraction for my doctor by being awake. I got over my fear of anesthesia in 2020 and now I actually love the feeling of going under. It’s the best sleep you will ever have in your life! I don’t smoke cigarettes or cannabis, so nothing to cut out there. (Smoking affects blood flow and impedes the healing process). I also try to eat the healthiest I can, hydrate well and not have any alcohol for a month before and the month after. This is my way of putting my best self forward and limiting swelling and inflammation going into and coming out of the procedure. I had prepared my aftercare kit- Aquaphor, peroxide and some other things supplied by FACE and filled my prescriptions for painkillers and antibiotics beforehand. Since I had the procedure done in Toronto and I was on my own, the protocol at FACE is you have to be picked up by someone and spend the night somewhere where you are not alone. This is a precaution when you have had general anesthesia. My friend Lisa graciously agreed to pick me up and let me stay in her daughter’s room for my recovery.
The recovery period:
My recovery period was super smooth. FACE has the best team and amazing anesthesiologists, so waking up I felt completely relaxed and comfortable. I was a little greasy from the chest up because I added on a laser treatment to my bleph procedure. If you are going under anesthesia, why not make the most of it and max out the time with a skin treatment? I was slightly groggy that evening but coherent enough to watch an episode of Euphoria with my friend’s daughter that night. I also had an appetite and had some cold pressed juice and a bowl from Impact Kitchen. My eyes were swollen, but not nearly as bad as expected. They felt tired and I stayed off my phone and was ready to close my eyes after an hour of TV. The laser treatment Dr Asaria performed on my face, neck and chest felt a little sunburned and tight. Nothing terrible though, I have had sunburns in my twenties that felt way worse. I think I took 1 painkiller to help me sleep the first night, but by day two it was Tylenol only. I stayed with Lisa for a couple of days, but would have been completely fine on my own the second day. By day two, I could clearly see the screen on my phone but my eyes tired quickly and if I looked at a screen for too long, I had a dull headache. By day 4, I was able to see a couple of clients and perform simple services like a color retouch. I didn’t book an extension client because the details and the similarity of the extension and biological hair would make it hard to see clearly. I had a bit of a headache after a few hours of work, but nothing crazy and it disappeared by bedtime. Day 7 I worked a full day and had my stitches out that evening. I had to wear glasses for about a month as a precaution and not wear eye makeup either. Slightly annoying, but manageable. Everyone was impressed by how well I had healed in just a week. I flew back to San Diego and my husband saw me 10 days out and he couldn’t believe I had done anything because I looked natural and normal. My secret? Do whatever the surgeon tells you to do! I worked hard for my money to pay for my procedure, and I was committed to getting the best results possible. Within a couple of weeks, the tiny scars started shrinking and I was back at the gym by day 14. Within a couple of months, there was barely anything there and a year out, I didn’t even notice it. Scarring is different for everyone, but the one thing you can do to have your best results possible is use a scar gel, I used Vivier which I bought at FACE, stay moisturized and do NOT get sun on your scars!!! The sun WILL darken them!
In conclusion, having a bleph was really so easy! And my eyes still look like my eyes, but better. My only regret was not doing it sooner. It’s been almost a year and a half, and my eyes look amazing. I wake up and I feel fresh and look awake. My selfies look more like me- happy and youthful. I am not one for wearing a lot of makeup, but I am more inspired to play with eyeshadow now that I have more noticeable eyelids. I think it made a huge impact on my appearance, definitely on my self esteem. Friends and clients have commented that I look younger than my 41 years and I look happy and fresh. As much as I think a great skincare routine, diet and exercise has to do with how we look, I think a lot of that is in the eyes too. After all, the eyes are the window to the soul. My soul is happy, my outer appearance reflects how I feel on the inside now.