Plastic Surgery: I Had an Eyelift.

True confessions time. On November 26, 2012, I had an eyelift.

You want to know why? Here’s why:

eyelid surgery, eyelift, plastic surgery, after photo eyelift, looking younger, eyelids, plastics, midlife, empty-nest, baby boomer, orange county plastic surgeon
Me, 5 days pre-op.

Look at those eyes. They look old, sad and tired. And I am not old, sad and tired.

Well, maybe a little tired.

Those eyelids…oh, how they tormented me. I would look at my husband and hold up those lids with my fingers and say “See? This is what I would look like.”

My husband was strongly opposed to me having the procedure done.

“I love that face,” he would tell me. He’s sweet, but clearly blinded by love, because that face has the eyes of a woman 10 years older than I am.

When I was a younger, I got many compliments on my eyes.

blue eyes, eyelift, eyelid surgery, big blue eyes, facelift, plastic surgery, looking beautiful, feeling confident, growing old, getting older, midlife, empty nest, baby boomer
Me at 28.

My eyes were just like my late father‘s, round and navy blue.  I loved being able to see my family in my face.  As I grew older, my heavy lids started to droop, until every photo of me was an assault on my self-esteem. One day, eye-shadow became a waste of time, and then mascara. People would frequently ask me, “Are you tired? You look tired.” My eyeballs were disappearing, and I didn’t like it.

Here’s the great part. When I told my friends and family that I was having my eyes done – technically known as a blepharoplasty – not one person – not one – asked me why. Every single person said they thought it was a great idea. Wow! It was time.

I went to see Dr. Jed Horowitz at the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery. I told Dr. Horowitz what I wanted – subtle, just a lid lift, no brows.  Dr. Horowitz told me if I waited a few more years my insurance would pay for the procedure, as my eyelids would begin to obstruct my vision. He then added that he’d like to do a lower lid pinch, which involves tightening just the skin, not the muscles, under my eyes.

Clearly, it was time to do this. And I was ready.

The outpatient surgery was done under local anesthesia, so I could hear snippets of conversation and was aware that something was happening around my eyes, but felt absolutely nothing. After it was over, I spent the next 7 days with continual ice packs, pain meds and lots of television watched through one eye at a time. I was swollen, uncomfortable, and very conscious of my stitches, but only for the first 3 days. After that, the recovery was fairly swift, though the swelling will take around six months to completely go away.

To say that I’m happy with the results would be a huge understatement. I’m thrilled. I feel better about myself, and my eyes actually feel less tired. People will say to me:

“Your hair looks great!” or “Have you lost weight?”

Happily and honestly I tell them that I had my eyes done.

eyelift, blepharoplasty, aging, plastic surgery, droopy eyelids, midlife women
Four months post-op

There are many people who believe that plastic surgery is an unnecessary and indulgent thing to do – that aging gracefully excludes any kind of plastic surgery. I understand this point of view, and in fact wavered about having this procedure done for the past 5+ years. There were times when I was convinced that I could be comfortable with looking as I did before, but ultimately I very much wanted to change not only how I look but how I feel when I look at my reflection.

I’ve never been a terribly vain person, but this was about more than vanity. For me, this was about recognizing the positive, youthful part of me – the part that I like best – when I looked in the mirror. When I looked into my own eyes. Now, I can really see myself again.

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  1. says

    So happy for you, Sharon. We all have the right to decide what’s right for us. I had a breast reduction about five years ago. Was it medically necessary? Not at the time, though insurance paid for it and it’s made my life so much better. Next, I’ll be looking for a “lifestyle lift” or some such neck correction. Not liking the fat from my double chin that’s migrating down my neck. Happy New Year!
    Lori Jo Vest recently posted..Do I Have To? Moving from Plans to CommitmentsMy Profile

  2. says

    I had the same thing done about 3 years ago. I have the same feeling about it now – so glad I did it! Droopy sort of “puppy dog eyelids” run in my family’s gene pool – so I lifted them – so have both my sisters, and reluctantly, my mother did too! What a difference it makes. You look great!

    So does the new site! Happy New Year to you – bright outlook on both venues!
    Barbara recently posted..Savory Brioche Pudding with Prosciutto or BaconMy Profile

  3. says

    You looked fab before..and even more so now. I believe a woman should always take care of herself however she deems best for her.. I moisturize up the wazoom, take care of my skin, hair, apply makeup before leaving the house, etc., My Grandma Josie told me to take care of myself — always — as no one else would give me the same sort of attention I required. She had a hard and different life compared to mine, but knew what she mean. Celebrating yourself is good.

    New blog looks fab, too.
    Brenda recently posted..Remembering YouMy Profile

  4. Helene Bludman says

    You look wonderful! True confession: I had the exact same procedure done about 8 or 9 years ago for the same reason. I was thrilled with the results, and the questions about my being tired stopped!

  5. says

    As the creator of the Debi Drecksler Authentic Me Campaign, I have not been a big fan of plastic surgery. However, I recently met an elderly man who had the same surgery you had because his eyelids were drooping so badly, it was affecting his sight. He was thrilled with the results. I think you were very brave to have the surgery and to share the results with the world. You look beautiful! Hugs, Debi

  6. Susan says

    Congratulations! You look wonderful and I admire your bravery. Just this morning I was watching plastic surgery videos on Youtube and wondering if and when I would have the guts to go for it. I’m still scared, but your very normal looking outcome is encouraging! Thanks for sharing the photos!

  7. Susie Kessler says

    I love your article and you look fabulous. I especially like (and relate to) what you said about seeing your family in your face. Happy New Year and new you!!

  8. says

    Hi Sharon– thanks for sharing your story. The last time I had an eye exam, the doctor had to lift my lid/brow at one point for the first time. This surprised me and was an uh-oh moment.

    My views about plastic surgery are evolving. We have to set our own priorities, I guess. In my case, I’m torn between daydreams about a trip to Italy in 5 years or doing something about my chin (it fell and can’t get up). Decisions, decisions.

    I wouldn’t have noticed anything wrong with your eyes before, but I think I understand. I don’t look as young as I feel, not even close. That’s annoying!!!
    So good for you, and so glad that you like the results (that’s what matters)– you do look well rested, no doubt!

    The site looks great, crisp and modern– like the new Sharon!
    Happy New Year!
    Melanie recently posted..My Voice is HereMy Profile

  9. says

    I am so, so happy for you for the eye lift. Your eyes look just like the younger picture. Doctor did good. And, I am just amazed at the new blog. I am getting ready to have a little bit of a redesign done on my blog soon too.
    sue recently posted..Best Movies House of 2012My Profile

  10. says

    Sharon, what a redo for EHFM and for you. Congratulations on having the courage to follow your instincts on both. I love the photos of you and your sentiment of how you cherish seeing your family in your face. Your navy blue eyes – shared with your father – clearly show your happiness. Bet no one accuses you of being tired unless you actually have been out all night, celebrating the new you. Well done.
    grownandflown recently posted..Christmas Morning, It’s Childhood All Over AgainMy Profile

  11. says

    Sharon – I am forever saying that you must be reading my mind. I’ve been considering a procedure to make me feel and look more like myself. I recently took the plunge for a consultation. You have inspired me to proceed. Happy and healthy new year to you and yours.

  12. says

    LOVE it and LOVE that you:
    1. Did not move your eyebrows closer to your hairline :0)!
    2. Shared this withOUT reservation! You looked great before and this makes you look just enough better where people will be like “Huh…what has she done? She looks great!”
    It is subtle yet significant! Here’s to a great new year!
    Donna recently posted..The Age Old Issue: SinMy Profile

  13. says

    I had my eyes done and the only negative is … Why didn’t I do it years ago! Good for you! If I had the money, I wouldn’t hesitate having a couple of other little things done, too. We need to do the little things for ourselves that help us present to the world the true way we feel, not the ravages of time.

  14. says

    Oh Sharon, you look beautiful. Refreshed. I completely understand your wanting to see the real you in the mirror. I feel the same way. There’s something–well, two things– I’ve longed to have taken care of and your courage to undertake this and share it is inspiring. And I love the new look of your blog! Great logo, and visually everything looks crisp and clean. A great way to ring out the old and ring in the new–literally and virtually! Happy New Year!
    Marci Rich recently posted..Dory’s New Year StrataMy Profile

  15. says

    You look fantastic, Sharon! I fully applaud your decision to be comfortable in your own skin. Good for you. Love the new look and feel of your site, too.

  16. says

    My husband had the procedure done a few years ago. Besides the aesthetic part of it, his eyes were a lot less tired and his daily headache went away. You look fabulous and thanks for sharing!

  17. says

    Liking the plastic surgery – both on your face, and on your website.

    It’s not the right choice for everyone, but obviously, you researched your doctor well, could afford it and weren’t looking for a miracle. (I know some people who believed that plastic surgery would help them get work, or find the love of their life. While it may help toward those goals, in and of itself it it won’t totally change one’s life.)

    Cheering you on, and impressed by your honesty, courage, and results.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..The Road to Hell or Helium, Your ChoiceMy Profile

  18. says

    Good for you! I had my eyelids done a while back and it was the best thing I have ever done. My eyes always looked tired and top-heavy. I am proud of it too, just like you. You look beautiful!

  19. says

    Sharon, you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. If we can afford occasional facial pick-me-ups, I’m all for it.

    I had a rhinoplasty (nose job) when I was in my late 30s. I asked my soon-to-be-ex to pay for it as I said it will encourage more men to be interested in me…well he bought that and paid for a slighly revised nose for me. Actually, most of the “girls” in high school had it done – but I was naiive and thought I was the only one with a slight bump. Go know!!!

  20. says

    Sharon – You look terrific, congratulations. You’re an inspiration to me, and your story sounds like I could have written it. My father’s eyes, compliments when young, looking older and more tired than I feel these days. The eye life is the only plastic surgery I would consider, and you’ve helped me along in that process. Thanks!
    p.s. Great new logo too!

  21. says

    This is exactly the reason to get an upper blepharoplasty. You look great! Your doctor did a good job, as far as I can see. I love the name of your site, and the fact that you love being able to see your family in your face. Very sweet! Best of luck to you.

    Dr Rhys Branman

  22. Dorothy says

    So glad to have found your blog today. And an extra thank you for your post on your eyelid surgery. I am moving more towards having that surgery myself and am glad to see the change made in you. I feel like I always look angry or tired because of the droopy lids. What a difference! Enjoy your new look.

  23. says

    Good for you! It seems as though from your doctor’s comments that it was going to move from a cosmetic issue to a practical issue, anyway. So why not take care of it sooner than later. But in any case, you are the boss of your body. Good job taking control.
    Karen D. Austin recently posted..Aging DisgracefullyMy Profile

  24. says

    You look great and not unnaturally so. As you say, like you’ve been on vacation. Good for you for chosing to go ahead and have it done. I’m in the middle of writing a letter to the editor/blog post about ND Women losing their right to choose, and your post has given me some inspiration. Great job also on the Gen Fab website, I know you were putting in some long hours, but it’s Fabulous!

  25. says

    Love the website…your eyes are twinkling especially today as they should be. Look what you started with your vision for GenFab!

  26. says

    Sharon, I’ve got to tell you my husband had this same done and it made a huge difference….I even felt like he was paying attention a little bit better. Even though he joked that he had plastic surgery, I never really considered it “plastic surgery”, he wasn’t altered in any way…that’s what I associate “plastic surgery” with…being altered. You, my dear, look fabulous! You simply had your eyes repaired…not altered! Strong work!

  27. says

    OK….i gotta admit that almost all plastic surgery creeps me out. However, the eyes are the window to the soul and they just don’t need heavy drapes to keep the light out. Would I have my eyes done? That would be the one thing I think I would do. Your eyes look fabulous and you are thrilled with the result. ‘Nuff said!

  28. says

    I think we all have differing levels and understandings of what we need. One of these days my lids will get so droopy that I’ll be able to claim it as a medical necessity…and I might think about it.
    You look great and I applaud your decision to take care of yourself.
    Walker Thornton recently posted..Aging Gracefully? Bring It On!My Profile

  29. says

    Personally I am against plastic surgery to “make yourself look like you are in your 20’s when you are clearly in your 50’s, 60’s or beyond.” It just is not going to do that for you. HOWEVER, I don’t think your eye lift falls into this area. You had this procedure done because your eyelids were hanging down so low it was covering where you applied make-up, and was soon going to cause vision issues. Yes, it made you feel younger, and made you look less tired, but you were not falsely hoping it would magically make you be 28 again by stopping the clock.

    So basically I guess it depends on your ‘motivation’ for having plastic surgery that makes the difference to me.

    I love that your hubby loved your face and didn’t want you to change it…how sweet he seems :-)
    Holly recently posted..What “Growing Old Gracefully” Means to Me ~ #GenFab BlogHopMy Profile

  30. b+ says

    There is an interesting phenomena that happens in older women (maybe as a result of wearing contacts?). Sagging eye lids can actually impair vision.

    I know you must be glad you took the leap and had this done. I have thought about doing the same thing.


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