Lid Lifter

In-office procedure eliminates tired, droopy-looking eyes.

Angela van den Ham is an early riser. Always has been. Since she was a little girl growing up and working on her family’s horse and cattle ranch outside of Ottawa, Canada, she has made a habit of starting her day long before the crack of dawn.And for a while, at least, it looked like it.

Angela van den Ham turned to Dr. Tenenbaum to perform the surgery that relieved her of the tired, droopy eyes.

Eyelid surgery has given Angela the lively, spirited look that matches her personality and lifestyle.

Angela, 43, has the energy of an untamed mustang. She also has a zest for life and her fast-growing pet grooming business that is virtually unmatched. As she moved into her 40s, however, she often looked to others as if she needed a good long nap.

“I get up each morning, excited and eager to conquer the world, grow my
business and have a fantastic day and life, but because of my genetics, I’ve always felt like my eyes looked tired because there was excess skin over them,” Angela reveals.

“That’s something my father and my mother have both had to deal with as well. They’re both very active, healthy people, but as far as aging goes they’ve always looked much older than they really are. I recently felt that was beginning to happen to me.

“People who know me, know that I’m a super-energetic and happy person, but the face that was looking back at them looked tired, with tired, droopy eyes, and I just got frustrated hearing that word tired all the time.”

Not only did the problem leave Angela frustrated, it left her concerned about her business. Her worry was that clients might fear she was either too exhausted or not enthused about taking care of their pets.

“No one wants to go to someone who looks exhausted all the time,” Angela confides. “It’s not a warm feeling. Someone in my position should look energetic and refreshed, not as if they’re being burdened, so I decided I needed to do something.”

Angela began her search for a specialist who could alleviate her problem by scouring the internet for cosmetic surgeons in her area. It wasn’t long after she began her search, though, that the doctor she needed found her.

“He’s actually a client of mine,” Angela says of Noel S. Tenenbaum, MD. “He brought his beautiful cat to me a while back to be groomed, and one day we got to talking about this problem that I have and I really liked his approach.

“I never got the feeling that he was trying to sell me something or push me into it. In fact, he was saying just the opposite, he didn’t think I was at the point yet where I needed to have surgery. He actually tried to talk me out of it.

“He said, I think you’re being too hard on yourself and that maybe in a couple of years you might need this, so I pretty much had to insist. He finally said, OK, I’ll do it, and I can promise you it will look great and you’ll be very happy with the results.”

Eliminate the Excess

The surgery in which excess skin is removed from either the upper or lower eyelid is called blepharoplasty, and it can be performed on both eyes in about an hour under local anesthesia right in the doctor’s office, Dr. Tenenbaum explains.

The procedure is usually done for cosmetic reasons, but in severe cases, particularly with much older patients, it is done to improve vision. In all cases, Dr. Tenenbaum begins the process by marking out the excess skin or fat pads he intends to remove.

“Some patients will take a mild oral sedative such as Xanax or Valium ahead of time just to relax them a little bit, and once we’ve marked out the areas where we’re going to be removing the excess, we’ll apply a local anesthetic,” the doctor adds.

“After we’ve applied the anesthetic, we’ll wait for a few minutes to allow it to become fully effective, and then the excess skin in the upper eyelids and any kind of fat that’s excessive underneath the skin is removed and cauterized.

“We then suture the incisions, and after the upper eyelid’s done, the lower eyelids are done in a similar fashion. In both cases, there’s a tiny little incision that only leaves a really fine delicate scar.”

Angela was having cosmetic surgery performed on her for the first time when she had her eyes done. As a result, she opted to have her upper eyelids done first and then waited to see the results before scheduling an appointment for the lower lids.

That’s typical of patients having their first procedure, Dr. Tenenbaum says.

“Anybody that’s doing cosmetic surgery on their face for the first time is a little bit nervous and anxious, and they’ve no doubt heard different reports and stories that suggest it can be a horrific experience,” Dr. Tenenbaum notes.

“That’s why some people will dip their toe in the water and try one procedure, while other people will go full steam ahead with everything all at once. It
varies. There’s never any pressure from me to go one way or the other.”

Blepharoplasty is just one of a growing number of minimally- or non-
invasive short-recovery procedures that Dr. Tenenbaum does in his office while the patient is awake that leads to incredible results, which is how Angela describes her outcome.

Perfectly Precise

“There was no pain, and while there was some swelling and bruising, it was very minimal, nothing that stopped me from working or interfered with my life in any way,” Angela reports. “And the sutures were perfect.

“I’ve sewn sutures before on dogs and it’s not easy, but his were tiny and perfectly spaced. He really took the time to do it right, and the precision of the work that he did was phenomenal. It wasn’t hurry up, get it done, I’ll see you in a week.

“He really took the time to do it right, and the precision of the work that he did was phenomenal.” – Angela

“You can tell he really prides himself on doing beautiful work, and I was
absolutely thrilled with the results. No one really knows I’ve had this done, but as far as people asking me all the time, Are you tired? Are you OK? it’s definitely stopped that.”

It didn’t stop Angela’s visits to Dr. Tenenbaum. She returned to have her lower eyelids done a few weeks later and has since seen him to have some excess fat removed from her neck and chin and for breast augmentation.

“Having the chin and neck lift was a huge leap of faith for me, but after seeing what Dr. Tenebaum did for my eyes, I have such complete faith in him that I would trust him to do anything,” Angela raves.

“I’ve received nothing but complements about the work I’ve had done. I have a lot of friends that have plastic surgeons, and we’ve discussed the industry a lot and there’s no doubt in my mind that the quality of Dr. Tenenbaum’s work sets him apart from all the rest.”

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