[By Lynette Aung]
Reader/Writer Lynnette Aung is 53 years young, a working professional with a grown-up son currently pursuing his university degree.
You must be thinking that this woman must’ve gone bonkers. Why else would she be jumping for joy when caught in a situation that would kill plenty? Well, I did lose my Birkin bag but technically, it’s not the coveted Hermes arm candy sported by the rich and famous. You see ‘Birkin’ is the nickname given to the single sided eyebag of mine, and I finally lost it last week!
Strangely, unlike most eyebags which usually affect both sides, I’ve got one on the right but the left is perfectly normal; which served as a constant reminder on how much better I would look without one. For the past 3 years, I’ve been getting the problem fixed with regular Revitalift Eye with Dr. Chua Han Boon from the SW1 Clinic (formerly from The Sloane Clinic). This is a quick, fuss-free procedure that works remarkably well for mild cases, whereby small, divided amount of natural fillers are administered by microinjections to cleverly “camouflage” and improve on the appearance of eyebags. Unfortunately, as my Birkin worsened and grew from a ‘mini B25’ to a ‘B55 carry all’ over time, I find the results not as gratifying as before. When I voiced my observation to Dr. Chua, he too agreed and suggested a referral to his plastic surgery colleague, Dr. Tan Ying Chien for further assessment to explore available options on how best to treat it.
Set-up and managed by the exact same team of beauty specialists (doctors, nurses and therapists) formerly running The Sloane Clinic, a premium chain of aesthetics clinics operating in Singapore/Malaysia since 2003, the SW1 Clinic provides better and more comprehensive services, consolidated as one large medical hub offering medical aesthetics, plastic surgery and medical spa services all under one roof. As Dr. Tan happened to have an empty slot that day, I was able to see him on then and there, just a “consultation room” away— How convenient and time saving!
My unilateral “Birkin” eyebag affecting only my right side and visible from all angles
My consultation with Dr. Tan was smooth and went extremely well as he had access to my records and prior knowledge of my case even before I stepped into his room. After a detailed examination, I was told that surgery is really the way to go. Given the fact that I lead a fairly healthy lifestyle void of vices such as smoking, surgical correction would probably last me a good 10 to 12 years.
Basically, there are 2 main ways of performing eyebag surgery or lower blepharoplasty —1) the ‘scarless’ method limited to younger patients with good skin tone and no excess skin, and 2) the ‘open’ method dealing with eyebags with excess overlying skin or for those who would benefit from a simultaneous mini-cheek lift. I should certainly take into account that with age, the lower eyelid skin might become really loose and post-surgery, there’s a higher risk of developing ectropion, a condition in which the lower eyelid drops downwards and turn outwards. By the time Dr. Tan showed me some before/after comparison shots of cases he did, I was completely sold!
Eyebags are a fairly common aging change in the lower eyelids which in most part are caused by an outwards bulging of the fat pads behind the lower lids. The scarless method takes about 45 minutes while the open method that I underwent took about 2 hours. I did not need to go under GA (general anaesthesia) as both procedures can be performed with the patient under light sedation. The incision was made from the inside with no visible scars on the outside, and Dr. Tan took extra care to approach the removal of fats in a conservative manner as excessive removal of lower lid fat pads can result in an undesirable hollowed-out appearance that make blepharoplasty patients look tired or even ill! He also excised off some extra skin to ensure tighter and better cosmetics outcome of the overlying undereye skin after my Birkin is removed.
Conservative removal of undereye fat pad
I was absolutely thrilled when I caught sight of my own reflection post-surgery. My Birkin was completely gone! Although it wasn’t evident then, I was told to expect some degree of swelling and bruising with an anticipated downtime of a week or so. I was instructed to apply cold compress (with ice-packs) for the first 3 days and subsequently warm ones (boiled rice) to aid the healing. I was also prescribed with antibiotic ointment and eye drop.Below are some selfies documenting my post-op recovery and you can tell that it wasn’t really bad. The degree of swelling was acceptable and the bruising was nothing a tad of good concealer cannot cover.
For anyone thinking of having eyebags surgery done, I would say go for it. It is only going to worsen with time and the quality of the undereye skin is crucial to success and waiting too long to get them done might compromise on the outcome of the surgery. Eyebags are certainly excess baggage you can do without, and once they’re gone, you’ll realized how they’ve aged you previously!
If you too have excess baggage under your eyes that you wish to “unclaimed”, Dr. Tan Ying Chien formerly from the Novena Plastic Surgery Centre of The Sloane Clinic is currently heading the Plastic Surgery wing of the SW1 Clinic and can be reached here for his professional advice on how best to do it!