Eye Opener

Eyelid surgery improves vision, restores vitality.

Vacationers probably won’t get the best deal on a stay at TradeWinds Island Resorts on beautiful St. Pete Beach without the help of Karen Lumpkin. Karen is the tour and travel sales manager at TradeWinds, a Tampa Bay area treasure.

Eyelid surgery improves vision, restores vitality

Blepharoplasty has Karen looking and feeling more energetic

“I mostly work with wholesale travel,” Karen explains. “I contract with wholesale tour operators to sell packages that include hotel rooms at the TradeWinds that they then package to include airfare and maybe a car.”

Karen’s job helps people have the best vacation possible, and for quite a while, she was feeling as if she needed a break herself. Those feelings, she says, stemmed from the fact that for so long, she looked as if she needed a vacation.

“I felt tired because I looked tired,” Karen says. “I’d look at myself in the mirror and think, You look so drained.  I didn’t look the way I felt all because I had droopy eyelids. They were so bad that it literally made me feel fatigued.

“I think part of the problem was that I actually had trouble keeping my eyes open to get the light in that I needed. My whole field of vision was impaired to the point where if I just pulled my eyebrows up a little bit, I was amazed at how much better I could see.”

Karen’s concern prompted her to ask her optometrist for advice. He recommended she visit The Eye Institute of West Florida and see Jasmine Mohadjer, MD, a fellowship-trained, board-certified ophthalmologist who specializes in the artistry of cosmetic and reconstructive oculofacial plastic surgery.

Definitive Diagnosis

As one of the few members of an elite group of oculoplastic surgeons focusing exclusively on the area around the eyes, Dr. Mohadjer treats patients with a variety of issues, including periocular skin cancers, tearing problems and an array of eyelid abnormalities.

“After my ophthalmology training, I spent an additional two years training solely in plastic reconstructive surgery around the eye,’’ notes
Dr. Mohadjer. “I’m very specialized, and I understand the eye very well, which is really important when you’re dealing with issues or complications involving the area around the eyes.

“The eyes are the focal point of our face. Like that old phrase says, they’re the window to our soul, and when they start looking aged, people notice because people tend to look at the eyes before anything else.

“And that was the problem Karen was having. She came to me with concerns about her upper and lower eyelids. Not only could she not see well, but she was concerned about the appearance of her eyes and face – the skin texture and tone. Thankfully, we have this nice straightforward procedure called blepharoplasty that takes care of that and makes a tremendous difference.” 

A distinguished lecturer and nationally recognized author of numerous research articles, Dr. Mohadjer began her care for Karen the way she does with all patients, by having Karen undergo a comprehensive vision examination. Dr. Mohadjer then performed a visual field test where Karen’s peripheral vision was measured.

The latter test revealed that Karen was losing more than 50 percent of her superior vision as a result of the hooding of her eyelids. Another test showed the hooding was the result of a buildup of excess skin, not loose muscle.

Dr. Mohadjer discussed all the repair options available with Karen, who opted to have surgery to repair both the upper and lower lids of both eyes in one sitting to help her see better and look better. Karen also had a laser skin resurfacing procedure to improve the skin of the face and eyelids.

Less Is More

“Both surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis and are generally done with IV sedation, meaning the patient is sleeping but breathing on their own throughout the surgery,” Dr. Mohadjer informs. “Afterward, they wake up pretty quickly.

Eyelid surgery improves vision, restores vitality

Before & After Blepharoplasty

“With the upper eyelid surgery, we first measure and mark how much skin can safely be removed. The incision is made in the crease of the lid so that when your eyes are open, the place where the incision is made is not noticeable. In this area, the incision hides and heals well.

“The other thing we do is to make sure that no matter how much skin we remove from the eyelids, we leave enough so the patient can blink and close their eyes naturally to maintain the health of their eyes.

Lower lid surgery is approached from the inside of the eyelid, where excess fat is thinned, and/or repositioned into the hollow areas underneath the eyelid. Any excess skin that is present is then removed through an incision beneath the eyelashes, that also heals and hides well.

Dr. Mohadjer needed a little more than an hour to complete the four combined surgeries, as well as a laser to resurface the skin and improve the texture and tone, and Karen needed a couple of weeks to heal from the procedures. Karen reports that the healing process was painless and the results have been splendid.

“I’ve had a lot of people say to me, You look different, but I don’t know why, which is a great thing,” Karen exudes. “I’m so much more confident now that I no longer have that tired look that I used to have, and I don’t have that tired feeling anymore.

“I deal with the public all the time in my job and I feel as if I am doing a much better job now of representing my company, because I look and actually feel so much better. The other thing that is so great is that I see so much better now.

“That part has literally been life-changing for me. My field of vision is so much bigger. I have so much more light coming in that my vision is far better and far clearer than before. And it was like that immediately.

“That’s why I really could not be more pleased with the results, because the surgery itself was not painful at all, and my incisions have healed up so nicely that you can’t even see them.

“I’m thrilled with the outcome, and I’ve already recommended Dr. Mohadjer to a number of people. She’s very professional and really knows what she’s doing. She’s so positive, and she does great work.”

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