When you’re a woman with an eyelid problem, the first thing you do is try surgery
In her 40s, Victoria has a narrow eyelid.
This can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep and sometimes even to see clearly.
In an attempt to find a solution, she went to see a plastic surgeon.
She was told to have her eyelid removed and put in a special eyelid brace to help her sleep.
She did not know how long she would have to go through it.
“It’s just been a nightmare,” she says.
“The doctors told me I had to do this, and they didn’t know what the consequences would be.
I was in a terrible position.”
The surgeon told Victoria the surgery would be six months away and she would need to be at home for a month.
“They said I would have no more than four months to get used to it, which is absolutely ridiculous,” she said.
“I thought: ‘This is a life-changing operation.'”
The surgery Victoria had to go to was a standard procedure for women with narrow eyelids.
It’s called an ocular lidocision, which involves removing the eyelid and putting a thin piece of plastic on it.
The plastic is attached to a special device that makes the eyelids bend to your eye.
But this doesn’t always work.
Victoria had a very narrow eyelide The plastic had to be attached to the eyelider and it had to bend over her left eye.
It was a very difficult procedure to do and she says it has taken a lot of mental strength to overcome.
“We had to think about the risks and what could happen, and I knew I could not take it on myself, not like I had done so many times before,” she told 7.30.
“But it was worth it, because I feel a lot better, I have had some of the best nights of my life.”
Dr David Meehan, a consultant plastic surgeon at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, says a wide eyelid can be treated successfully.
“When you have a narrow angle of the eye, the eyelashes are usually very, very tightly fitted together,” he said.
“There are a number of factors that affect the effectiveness of a wide-angle ocular eyelid, but generally they are a result of the angle of your eye, which varies from person to person.”
Dr Meeham said the surgery could have been more successful if Victoria had used a prosthetic eyelid or a more flexible silicone implant.
Victoria said she has no regrets about having surgery.
“If it had been done properly I would not have been able to have had it done,” she explained.
The surgery will be paid for out of Victoria’s health budget, which covers eye care, prescriptions and other costs.
Dr Meehoan says the surgery has helped Victoria, but is not a replacement for the treatment of narrow-angle eye conditions.
“[This] is not the way to go, but the procedure is an opportunity to get rid of some of those things that may have caused the problem, to hopefully make a much more efficient surgery that can help other people with narrow-eye problems, to get them to a more comfortable level of sleep,” he told 7:30.
She says the operation has made her happy.
“You can see in the photo [below], I’ve just been so happy,” she added.
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