Why one woman went through with her cosmetic surgery and how it changed her life.

Name: Jennifer Petersen*

Procedure: Blepharoplasty

Performed By: Dr. William Middleton

13 08 before after plastic surgery eyes 1

Long before Jennifer Petersen went under the knife to fix what she describes as “a fat bag on my lower lids,” the 45-year-old Torontonian tried everything to reduce the puffiness underneath her eyes. She used tea bags, cucumbers – even a hemorrhoid cream. “All the models at one time were putting Preparation H on their lower lids to shrink the swelling,” says Petersen. “I just wound up with an awful rash.”

Still, while she had planned to do something about the look of her eyes since her early 20s, it took her a long time to muster up the courage to take action. A “fear factor” of what cosmetic surgery would be like prevented Petersen from making an appointment, even though her appearance bothered her. “I was in university, I’d be going out at night and putting on makeup, standing underneath the light and seeing this big bag,” she says.

Eventually, when she was 36, Petersen became tired of agonizing over the bags, and after seeing the difference blepharoplasty had made for other women, she started thinking the surgery wasn’t necessarily as big a deal as she had initially thought.

In searching for a surgeon, she remembered seeing Dr. William Middleton years earlier on a TV show and after a consultation, she decided not only to get her lower eyelids done, but her upper eyelids, too. With Petersen’s own mind at ease after finally booking the procedure, she opted not to tell her family and friends beforehand.“I was worried about being judged,” she concedes. “It’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission. That’s one of my mottos in life.”

The day of the procedure, Petersen had some last-second nerves before the anesthetic took hold. She recalls feeling “great” immediately after waking up. And about two to three weeks later, she felt transformed. “I loved it. What I could do with eyeshadow was fantastic, because the excess skin was gone from my upper lids,” Petersen enthuses. “I put on mascara and my eyes just popped right out. And I could look in the mirror, under an overhead light and not see those bags. It was so thrilling not to see those bags!”

Petersen’s procedure involved making an incision in the crease of the upper lid, which she says is imperceptible. Dr. Middleton cut away at the excess skin sitting on top of the lid and eliminated the “fat bags” under the lower lids. Once the swelling had gone down, Petersen’s eyes had more of a “sculpted” look, with far more definition than before.

That was nine years ago. Petersen says the results have stood the test of time: “My eyes look like they were done yesterday. I’m amazed.” Being mistaken for a woman 10 years younger doesn’t hurt, either. “I get comments all the time. People do a double-take and that’s nice; it’s good for your confidence,” she says. “You only live once. It’s an easy fix and you can be happy with what you see in the mirror!”

*NOTE: Patient name has been changed.

ASK THE DOCTOR

Dr. William Middleton, B.Sc., MD, FRCSC,

Middleton Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, middletoncosmetic.com

Elevate: What concerns did Jennifer have when she visited you for the initial consultation?

Dr. Middleton: Her concern was the bags under her eyes, which made her look both tired and puffy.

Elevate: Which procedures did you recommend for Jennifer?

Dr. middleton   I recommended a transconjunctival lower lid blepharoplasty, as well as an upper lid blepharoplasty as she had excess skin sitting on her upper lids. I recommended a transconjunctival approach, which involves a hidden incision behind the skin of the lower lid as there was no excess skin or wrinkling of the lower lid. She merely needed the fat pad removed. As a result, there is no visible incision scar on her lower lids. The subscilliary approach would have involved an incision underneath the lashes, which would permit the removal of both the excess skin and fat. I also recommended Botox injections to soften the crow’s feet and IPL photofacials to treat her rosacea and sun damage.

Elevate: How long was the procedure?

Dr. Middleton: The procedure took an hour and a half to do.

Elevate: What incisions were made for this procedure?

Dr. Middleton: Incisions were hidden in the crease of the upper lid and invisibly placed behind the skin of the lower lid.

Elevate: What is recovery like?

Dr. Middleton: Recovery is relatively easy and painless and it is my understanding that she was back working in front of her computer the
next day.

Elevate: Who should have this procedure done?

Dr. Middleton: This procedure is ideal for patients complaining of excess skin or fat around the eyes.

Elevate: What is the average cost of this procedure?

Dr. Middleton: It’s $3,500 for just the lower lids and $3,500 for just the upper lids. If you do them together it’s $6,000 (plus HST).

Elevate: How do patients usually look and feel after the procedure, once they’re through the recovery period?

Dr. Middleton: This procedure has a very high rate of patient satisfaction—patients love it. They all complain that prior to the procedure people would tell them they looked tired, even though they had a good night’s sleep and felt refreshed. After the surgery, patients rave that they look open, refreshed and bright... naturally!