Dr. Sabreyah Al Saleh graduated from The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and she was trained in the UK, Edinburgh, and New York and she had to work there to complete her training before she came to Kuwait. She graduated from training in 2001. After that, she travelled a lot to get experience in her field. Originally she is an eye surgeon (ophthalmologist), after that she wanted a unique specialization so she decided to go for cosmetic surgery for the eyes. That means working from the eyebrows to the upper cheeks, including everything in between! After excelling in these surgeries, Dr. Sabreyah decided to train in plastic surgery that includes the whole face. She had a dream of having her own signature when it comes to surgery, and that dream was definitely achieved! We had a chance to talk to the Royale Hayat‘s queen of eyelid surgeries ourselves.
Why did you choose to be an oculoplastic surgeon? And why plastic surgery?
Honestly, I have always excelled as a general surgeon, from the very start of my career. After I got married and had children, I decided that pursuing this specialization would be less time-consuming keeping in line with what I love to do. However, my love had been for surgery since day one of studying medicine. I was lucky, I found myself loving this field of expertise. I started my career in 2003, which is when I started the first oculoplastic clinic in Kuwait and then went on to Dubai to be a visiting consultant.
At what age should patients usually opt for eye-lifts?
There is no particular age for the surgery, as long as there is a problem and this problem can be solved surgically, it can be performed. I deal with babies, young children, teenagers, and of course for cosmetics from 18 years to 80 years. In fact, the eyelid surgery can even be performed on a newborn, if needed, for instance some newborns have massive folds around their eyes making the opening and closing of the eye difficult.
Are there ways to prevent the area around the eye from aging?
You cannot prevent aging around the eye. I have my own concept about this and I’m known among my colleagues internationally when it comes to that. There is no cream in the world that would make you look younger, but it could camouflage a younger appearance. Aging depends on your genes and your lifestyle.
Nowadays, research is saying that face lifts can be replaced with less invasive procedures. What are your thoughts on that?
Yes, I do not recommend facelifts unless there are no other measures to achieve the desired results. If a patient has redundancy or any problems of that sort, then it can be fixed with fillers or fat transfers. I would only advise my patient to go with a facelift if I know I can’t fix the problem with non-surgical procedures.
What are the signs that people should look out for when identifying problems with the eye nerves and region?
There are a lot of problems associated with the eye region. You would know if something was wrong with your eye and you shouldn’t neglect it. Sudden change in vision is alarming, if the eye is swollen, or the patient is experiencing flashing lights or black spots then all these are red flags and the patient should seek the help of a doctor.
What is your advice for people before they opt to go for surgery?
In my career, I do at times get frustrated when I come across a patient in need of help due to the fact that a previous surgery, which should have been originally successful and easy to perfect, did not go so well with the patient in question. Beauty is often associated with the eye, and one should definitely opt for an expert who is extremely skilled and well-known in that particular procedure and that profession.
Words by Rawan Qabazard
About Dr. Sabreyah Al Saleh:
Position: Opthalmologist-Surgeon (Eyelid & Brow lift)
Department: Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery at Royale Hayat Hospital, Kuwait
Qualifications: MD, Fellow of Oculoplasty & Orbital Diseases (Ireland).