When Doctor Becomes Patient

by Patricia Sierra, M.D.

Our eyes are an expressive feature and one people notice first. As the skin around the eyes ages, excess folds appear in the upper and lower lids making us look older and more tired. It's something I speak to patients about all the time. It was something different to experience this aging problem myself!

About 3 Years ago, I became aware of the excess skin on my upper lids. As an ophthalmologist, I knew eyelid surgery could rectify this problem and restore a more youthful, rested look. I was somewhat anxious to undergo a procedure that was not "medically necessary" so I kept delaying this alternative and thinking "maybe next year".

Last summer, while applying eye makeup, I noticed how the eyeliner and mascara would frequently smear over this upper eyelid excess

fold. I knew this problem would only worsen over time so I consulted Dr. Perlman, our oculoplastics specialist about my concerns. He said, "Patty, we can easily fix that." I have been fortunate to work closely with him and observe his excellent outcomes, so I was very comfortable having him perform my surgery. 

Last December, I underwent bilateral upper eyelid blepharoplasty. The surgery was performed as an in office procedure under local anesthesia. I had some mild swelling around the eyes, which lasted about 3–5 days. I had no pain during or after the procedure and was back to work in one week. 

A friend of mine recently called me to ask me for advice as she was contemplating having blepharoplasty surgery in New York. I told her about my experience and how satisfied I was with the results. "There is only one thing I regret", I said. "I should've done it three years ago!"