Thursday, September 21, 2017

Blepharoplasty -Upper Eye Lid Surgery

Hi Dear Folk,

I took the 6:49AM train to Jefferson Station and walked the one block down to 9th and about six blocks over to Walnut Street.  My appointment was 8:45AM, but I was there by 8:00AM.  It I had taken the later train it would not have got me there in time,  I got the paperwork done, sat down and had hardly sat down, when I was called by the nurse.  She took down my medical details.  I waited about 10 - 15 minutes then the doctor came.  This is what I need done.

Blepharosplasty, upper eye lid surgery.  I have now decided that I can't stand it anymore, it was an epiphany, why am I putting up with this?

 I did not inherit my mother's lovely open eyes, rather I inherited my father's hooded eyes, he had to have this surgery too, when he was in his sixties.  Not only that but both my tear ducts are blocked high up and even though I had surgery over twenty years ago twice on my right duct, it never did solve the problem, I constantly have to wipe tears away from my eyes. All those tears get trapped under the skin folds of my lids and cause lesions which is at the minimum annoying and to be quite truthful, painful.  Plus I always have a feeling of heaviness and my peripheral vision is to say the least limited.

Five years ago my optician recommended an ocular plastic surgeon, who I did visit, at a satellite office. He did a test on my tear ducts just to make sure nothing could be done and said yes totally blocked near the tear duct and the operation for that is only 50% successful, so I decided against that.  I spoke with him about my upper lids, he took some measurements and he said it would only get worse and to make an appointment to come back and be tested.  I never did because I was concerned that my health insurance would not cover this.  But the good thing is he has my records from my previous visit and it has obviously got worse since then.

I also chickened out after looking at pictures of Kenny Rogers, before and after and Renee Zelwegger who so altered her looks as to be unrecognizable.  There is an interesting article here about her ethnic routes and how she stood out in Hollywood from the Barbie Doll look before her surgery.  Plus she was young.  When I was young I didn't mind having hooded eyes it was who I was, but as you get older things change.

As this ocular plastic surgeon already had my records and since he also works out of Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, a highly renowned institution I decided to go back to him at his main office. He looked at my records and said "I can see it has got worse." This time he sent me right down the hall for a visual field test.  This is where you wear a patch over one eye and have to click every time you see a light, this is done on each eye.  Then they tape your eyelid up and do the same test on each eye with your lid taped up.  A comparison can be made between the two graphs.

Back to the doctors office.  A young woman assistant doctor came in and took measurements, and finally I saw the surgeon for a summery.  He said yes I did need upper eye lid surgery as my vision is quite impaired.  You don't actually realize how impaired it is, because you unconsciously compensate, by tilting your head up and raising your eyebrows to raise your eye lids.  In fact when he went to take a photo of my eyes I was facing him and he said relax your eyebrows and it was only then that I realized how when I look at people I raise my eyebrows, to have more peripheral vision, but never realized I did this.  Now I'm conscious of it, I catch myself doing this all the time.

Fortunately I do not have a problem with the eye lid muscles just the skin, so the surgery is about 45 minutes to one hour for both eyes.  A cut, remove the excess skin and stitch up.  But you do look like a prize fighter at the end of a boxing match when it is all finished.  It takes up to two months to totally heal, is what the doctor said.  And sometimes each eye does not heal at the same rate.  I asked about time off work and he said some take as little as three days, but I will take at least a week and see how it goes.

I had to wait over three months for this appointment, with this particular surgeon.  My original appointment was five months, but was able to call back and get it moved up, so was surprised that surgery is scheduled for Nov 6th.

I had a friend who had this surgery done, but she went the route of a plastic surgeon as opposed to an ocular plastic surgeon.  I think she paid for it herself.  I did phone them, but with my problems they recommended an ocular plastic surgeon and I was concerned about my pre existing problems too and the fact that it pulls more clout with the health insurance company, at least I would think it would, if you go to a ocular plastic surgeon, at a renowned eye hospital.  Obviously you must have a medical reasons for getting it done and not just cosmetic, for insurance to cover it.

I asked my surgeon if the insurance company would cover this and he said if they turned me down, he would go to bat for me.

Will keep you posted.

Christine

3 comments:

  1. I have never come across this type of surgery before so found your post most interesting. Hope all goes well with the surgery and that your insurance company will cover the costs. Take care.

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  2. Hope all goes well with the surgery. I hate field tests and have them regularly. They seem to go on for ever. I hope the insurance covers it and you benefit from the procedure. I would think if it is affecting your vision it is important to have it done. At least you have your trip first so enjoy.

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  3. I do so hope your insurance covers it. Because it affects your vision I would think it would. I hope it all goes smoothly!

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