Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Filming Asian eyelid surgery

I'm doing a story on Asian eyelid surgery. It's a cosmetic surgery that's commonly performed in northeast Asia, especially in South Korea. It makes the eye opening bigger and adds a crease to the eyelid. (If you or someone you know has had it done and would be willing to talk about it with me, please get in touch ASAP!)

I went to film a surgery performed by Dr. Edmund Kwan. I donned my scrubs and joined the team in the operating room in Kwan's Upper East Side office. He does a few such surgeries a week, so he seemed quite relaxed.

I, on the other hand, was in full-on freakout mode. I got about four minutes past the first cut before I started feeling light-headed. I'm not particularly sensitive about this stuff, but the smell of the topical anesthetic and the sight of the fatty tissue in the eyelid bobbing around was too much for me.

Soon the room was swirling, and luckily I was able to set the camera on the tripod before fleeing for a breather. I forced myself to return a couple minutes later, and the anesthesiologist gave me a caramel and a chair so that I make it through the remaining half hour.

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