Overall rating Answered my questions Made me feel confident Staff professionalism Overall waiting time After care follow-up
[Note: $4.2k covers op day and post-op follow-up visits]
I was born with fleshy and uneven monolids (left eye prominently smaller than right) and have been reliant on all sorts of double eye-lid tapes, glues and contraptions since about 7 years ago (when I was 22; I’m now 29) to achieve the appearance of double-eyelids. However, I wanted to go for a more permanent solution as I was growing tired of using them, and hence opted for surgery. Apart from reading positive reviews on Dr Tay while doing my own self-directed ‘research’ on the internet, a good friend of mine also happened to get her lids done there, and recommended him to me. She had done the suture method, and her eyes looked really good. Moved, I decided to pick up the phone and book an appointment for myself.
*Pre-op consult price depends on duration and complexity of the consult, and it is anywhere from $160 to $200 (at time of review).
I didn’t have to wait super long for an appointment, which was a pleasant surprise since I’d assumed that I’d have had to wait for several months. I secured an appointment 3 weeks from my call, much faster than I’d expected.
The clinic is located in Novena Medical Centre, and it wasn’t hard to locate. On arrival, I was very impressed with the ambience of the clinic – it welcoming and tidy, the lighting was soft, unlike the jarring lights you’d see in most neighboring clinics. It also had a posh/luxurious feel to it, very well maintained. There were magazines available for perusal, as well as advertisement pamphlets for the available treatments and products. I arrived 10 minutes prior to my scheduled time, and shortly after I registered, I got to see Dr Tay. There were a few other patients/customers around, yet what I liked about the experience was that I didn’t feel scrutinized for being there; everyone mostly kept to themselves, and it gave a sense of privacy and anonymity, which I appreciated. The staff was very professional as well; they were friendly, warm and not intimidating at all (as clinic nurses/receptionists are mostly known to be).
Dr Tay seemed really down-to-earth for someone of his recognition and achievement, a stark contrast to how plastic surgeons have been stereotyped to be. He listened patiently as I detailed my concerns, following which; he began discussing available options, while listing the pros and cons. I was suspicious that I had mild ptosis on my left eye, considering how much smaller it was than my right, and he held that in view.
As my mind was already made up that I wanted to go for a lasting and permanent solution, I decided to opt for the incision method. He reaffirmed by decision, as there was a risk that the sutures wouldn’t hold up against my fleshy lids.
I was then led to his procedural room (just adjacent to the consult office), where he did some preliminary measurements, as well as used a crease-tool to emulate the expected end results. He followed-up regarding the concern I had about ptosis after measuring the aperture, and I was relieved to know that it wasn’t a case of true ptosis. As my left eye was more ‘puffy’ than my right, it was agreed that some fatty tissue would be removed from my left eye as well. (You can see what I mean from the attached photo.) Also, I was glad that I didn’t have to do an epicanthoplasty, which is not uncommonly done together with blepharoplasty to improve the overall appearance of the eyes.
After the consult ended, I then booked my surgery date with the front desk. They then briefed me about pre-op preparations, and I was also given an instruction sheet to take home with me.
I was advised to arrive an hour earlier for pre-op preparation, as well as do the surgical sketching on both my eyelids. Dr Tay was extremely patient while doing this; I felt reassured as he meticulously measured the space between markings.
Also, what gave me a positive experience was how attentive the clinic nurses were. They were highly professional as they prepared the room for the operation, and gave clear instructions on what to expect, and what to do (eg. don’t open your eyes), so on and so forth. I felt that I was in safe hands. The whole procedure was uncomplicated and took less than an hour to complete. As it was only local sedation, I was roused upon the end of the procedure and led to a cosy recovery room where an ice pack was placed around my eye area, presumably to prevent swelling. Antibiotic ointment was prescribed as an aftercare measure.
Amazingly, there was little to no pain, even though this was supposed to be the more invasive method of the two. There was some pressure felt, and definitely some soreness thereafter, but it is the type of pain you could easily ignore and even forget. For a better idea of my pain threshold, I have to take Panadol for period cramps but during this entire op/post-op period, I took zero painkillers lol.
Post-op Visit 1 (6 to 7 days after)
Post-op day 6/7 is the standard time for removal of stitches. It was done swiftly and uneventfully by one of the clinic nurses. It didn’t hurt; there was slight stinging as the stitches were cut, but no pain. With the removal of the stitches, I could see the faint line where the incision was made – it was clean, neat and precise. I was advised to continue with the antibiotic regimen and to come back 2 weeks later for review.
Post-op Visit 2 (2 weeks after Visit 1)
At this visit. Dr Tay reviewed the post-op incision and assured me that the wound was healing well. At this stage, most swelling had already gone down, and the tapered crease was starting to look more natural. The post-op site was still slightly bumpy and inflamed, but it’s part of the natural healing process. Dr Tay briefed me on issues such as avoiding pulling at the skin/rubbing eyes, etc. Most activity could be resumed – such as sports, wearing of contact lenses, light makeup etc.
Anti-scarring ointment was also prescribed to help with wound healing as the tissue remodels itself internally.
I have another pending visit scheduled Post-op Visit (1 month after Visit 2) and will update this space when the visit is actualized if there is anything important which I feel I have to add.
I like how the visits are spaced, and how thorough the review at each visit was. Admittedly, I did not do much ‘shopping’ before settling on Dr Tay, so I’m unable to comment regarding the pricing relative to other surgeons. However, I feel that it was definitely money well-spent and would recommend him to anyone looking for a reliable and skilled plastic surgeon, especially for the eye area.