We’ve published a number of articles that discuss the latest trends in plastic surgery and how these procedures are not only becoming more mainstream but are no longer a shameful topic that one has to suffer through in secrecy praying that no one is the wiser.
It’s one thing to talk about a general trend of patients coming out of the plastic surgery closet and quite another to give a first hand account of a personal experience, so I thought I’d share my brush with plastic surgery.
In My Twenties
I was an actress and stand-up comedian. One day I was in my weekly meeting with my manager and she suddenly asked me, in a very matter of fact way, if I had a drinking problem.
Lots of Baggage
I was 22 and had bags under my eyes that were too much for even Louis Vuitton to carry. It looked like I was exhausted and routinely partied all night drinking and drugging. My manager was concerned that film directors would be hesitant to hire me to work on $50 million budget films (that was a lot of money 17 years ago) out of fear that I would not be able to make it to work in the morning. The truth was people always told me that I looked tired, so much so that I felt tired. My manager suggested that I consult a plastic surgeon to explore a lower lid procedure.
That night I discussed the possibility of having the surgery with my mother. She thought I was completely nuts – I was only 22 and she had never heard of such a thing! She suggested that I consult Yasmine Djerradine, founder of Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté in New York City. (Yes, I have known Yasmine for 17 years.) Yasmine suggested that I see an allergist. She felt that I was so young that surgery should only be considered as a last option.
Trip to The Allergist
I went to three sessions where I was poked and prodded with dust mites, mold and all types of god knows what. Bottom line: I was not allergic to any of it.
In tandem, I also had some microcurrent facial sessions that solely focused attention on my under eye area. While it delivered minor results the day of, it really didn’t make a dent.
I’ll Try Anything
I was so desperate, I started applying Preparation H (yes the hemorrhoid cream) under my eyes, after all, it shrinks tissue! Right?! And even began taking juniper berry supplements that rid the body of any natural water retention. Oh and did I mention that I also iced my under eye in the morning for 10 minutes prior to showering? Nothing worked. There was also not enough concealer on earth to hide my puffy lower lids.
Time For a Consultation
I returned for a visit to Yasmine and gave her a full report. She gave me a look that I was not prepared for. Alyssa, you should go for a consultation with Dr. David Hidalgo – he specializes in face and breast procedures and is pioneering a new method that requires no incisions or stitches, so you won’t have any scarring. Unlike most MDs, he also believes in homeopathic remedies and you won’t have any bruising.
My mother hesitantly agreed for me to go for a consultation…
Meet Dr. Hidalgo
I walked into the waiting room and was the youngest person by at least 20 years. The receptionist asked if I was looking for my mother. I was finally called in to meet Dr. Hidalgo. He asked me what he could do for me and I told him that I had serious bags under my eyes and that I was an actress and having a hard time booking jobs with all this baggage. The truth was I was just tired of people telling me how tired I looked. It was wearing on me mentally and physically.
Dr. Hidalgo told me that I had lipid deposits under my eyes and that it is a genetic disposition. In fact, I was a perfect candidate for the surgery. REALLY! I’m not too young? I was shocked. Will the fat cells come back? (maybe in 15 years on my rear end?) No, he said, in fact you will heal much faster because you are young and resilient and the longer you wait, the worse it will get. If you wait, the skin around the lower lid will stretch out and I’ll have to tighten and remodel that skin as well. It’s much like a liposuction, I make a small incision, above your lower lash line, stick a tiny vacuum in, suck out the lipid and voila (he didn’t really say voila.) No stitches, no scaring and he even had a private operating room – I could have the surgery on Friday, go home that day and be back to work on Monday.
My mother was floored but the rationale did make sense to both of us and she saw how much it meant to me. Acting or no acting career, the bags were getting in my way physically and now mentally.
Not only did Dr. Hidalgo have a kind demeanor but I was very impressed with his recommended pre surgery prep. Starting a week before the procedure I was to take Arnica Montana 30 ml (cute little sugar flavored pellets that dissolve under the tongue) and Bromelain 500 mg every day and continue it for two weeks after the surgery.
I grew up eating a macrobiotic diet and taking homeopathic remedies long before they were trendy and mainstream and was always mortified by the fact that this was the regimen my mother subjected my brother and I to. This prep felt familiar to me and in fact a little like home.
A Life Changing Difference
I went through with the procedure and have recommended Dr. Hidalgo to many friends and acquaintances over the years. 17 years later, I think I may still be the youngest patient to have had the surgery and my before and after pictures are still on the coffee table. (which I secretly take pride in) And, you would never know that I have had the procedure. Best of all, the effect that it has had on my self-esteem is remarkable.
Which Eye Cream Do You Recommend For the Bags Under My Eyes?
To this day when people ask what eye cream they should use to get rid of the bags under their eyes I am always a little sad to relay the news, but the truth is that there is no eye cream that will. Much of the time people have the same lipid deposits that I had to lesser or greater degrees (you can see my before and after pictures up top) and when I tell them my story, I can see the “oh no, I don’t have that issue” brewing in their eyes. In the society we live in where no one can be thin enough, the thought of having liposuction, even if it’s under your eyes, is a horrific thought. Concealer will only cover darkness under the eyes, but if you are not willing to carry those bags around forever, you just may need to go under the knife.
By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie