23 September 2005

Nikki Lovell, 37 has wanted to get rid of the carrier bags under her eyes for the past ten years. Here she reveals all in a diary tracing her steps from before surgery to the amazing results that have changed her life.....


Cosmetic eye-bag surgery changed the life of ad exec Nikki Lovell, 37. In a diary of her experience she tells REAL how losing the baggage left her feeling del-eye-ted!Two months beforeI've been wanting to get rid of the carrier bags under my eyes - which are so big they rest on my cheekbone - for the last ten years, and I've finally decided to go ahead with cosmetic eye bag removal. Even if I've had 12 hours of sleep, I look tired and have to put on loads of make-up to cover the bags. Even then, people say to me, Had a good night, then?' and I say Yes' to cover it up. I am ageing faster than I want to! So today I went to a free cosmetic surgery consultation at a hotel close to where I live, held by the Harley Medical Group. At today's consultation, a nurse went through the basics of the operation with me (it is called blepharoplasty) and showed me some photographs of other people's operations to give me an idea of the end result. Because I had quite a lot of overhang above my eye as well, I decided in the end to have both the top and bottom eye bags reduced.Three weeks beforeToday I had another free consultation at the Harley Medical Group's clinic in Harley Street. The offices were very relaxed and I didn't feel as though anyone was looking at me thinking, What are you here for?' The surgeon who was to perform the operation, Alan Rezai, looked at my eyes and found that I had three fat pads under my eye which were the reason for the bagginess in my lower eyelid. Then he explained the procedure to me right down to the final stitch: the fat pads would be taken out and the eyelid sewn up again, and the muscle pulled up slightly. From my top eyelid, a piece of saggy skin was to be sliced out and sewn up again. The surgeon was very thorough - he made me feel relaxed and happy about the whole procedure. He also explained the risks of the operation, but I decided to book a pre-op medical examination in two weeks' time.Operation dayI wasn't allowed to eat anything this morning. At 7:30am, my partner, Neil, dropped me off at the clinic and I waited in a private room until the surgeon and anaesthetist took me down to the operating theatre. I wasn't nervous at all - I just couldn't wait to go ahead with the operation and see the end result. The general anaesthetic was given to me as an injection in my arm. Within three seconds I was out and the next thing I knew I was coming round, in and out of sleepy heaven in a private room. I couldn't open my eyes at first and I had a sticky feeling around them. The nurse came in to check I was OK and gently took off my eye-pads, but my vision was blurred because Mr Rezai had put lubricant in my eyes. I looked in the mirror and was a little shocked to see the blood and bruising around my eyes as they didn't hurt at all. The operation had lasted half an hour and I was fully awake and having a cup of tea by 1pm. Neil picked me up at 3pm, and had to escort me to the car. I still didn't want to open my eyes fully because I was conscious of the fact they had just been slit open, so I kept them closed for the journey back home. I could feel every bump of the road in the tenderness around my eyes, but there was no pain. My eyes still felt anaesthetised, so I didn't have to take any painkillers that I'd been given. Back home I was still bleeding a little from my eyes, but Mr Rezai had told me this was to be expected.One day after operationLast night was very uncomfortable - I was trying to go to sleep, but had to keep my head in one position on the pillow. I put pads on my eyes to stop the bleeding from my scars, but it wouldn't stop. I was pulling lumps of congealed blood from under the bandages and had blood coming down my face like tears. When I woke up this morning, mypillow was soaked in blood. I got a bit worried and called Mr Rezai. He asked me to come back down to the medical centre and, after examining me, reassured me that everything was fine - I just needed to rest. By this evening, the bleeding has stopped and I felt much better.Two days after operationEvery day my eye area is getting cleaner.Five days after operationToday I went back to Harley Street to have my stitches taken out. I took two painkillers before I went in, because I had been told this was the painful bit. In the end, the nurse was so gentle I hardly flinched. As soon as the stitches were out, I could really see for the first time that the bags under my eyes had gone. But there is black, purple and green bruising under my eyes from the operation, so it is still not obvious. After leaving the clinic, I felt fine and went shopping - wearing dark glasses to cover the bruising. I don't want to go out in the evening yet, but I'm very happy that everything looks good.Six days after operationThe bruising is turning yellow. I'm leading my normal life, apart from still wearing no make-up. Also, I don't want to drive to work in case I strain my eyes and affect the healing process, so I am working from home.One week after operaionNow that the bruising is starting to disappear, everybody I know has told me the result is amazing. I am very happy.Ten days after operationToday Neil and I flew to Madeira for our holiday. The only traces of the operation now are tiny bruises under my eye sockets. You mustn't let sun get to your scars, so I am wearing sunglasses all day.Two weeks after operationMr Rezai had told me that within two weeks, I would be able to wear eyeshadow and mascara again. I thought two weeks was a bit short, but right on time, all the bruises are all gone! I am now fully recovered, except for just slightly delicate eyelids.Three weeks after operationMr Rezai gave my eyes a final check today, and all I had to say to him and his staff was Thank you so much!' Back at work, people keep saying I look different and telling me I look five years younger! Neil asked me if I was please with the operation and I said, Yes - I've got a new look!' Eyes are the focal point of the face and, now the dark circles and puffiness are gone, I don't feel I look old or tired anymore. I am more confident now that I don't have to wear loads of concealer or spend money on expensive eye products any longer. It was absolutely worth every penny.Read more about eyebag removal procedures and our cosmetic surgery guide.Contact us today to book your free eyebag removal consultation with one of our highly qualified Nurses.