Is Eyelid Surgery Safe? Possible Risks and Complications
Are you considering an eyelid lift, also called blepharoplasty? This popular procedure can repair droopy eyelids and involve taking extra skin, muscle, and excess fat.
As you age, the eyelids stretch, and muscles that support them weaken. This can cause your upper eyelids to sag, and the development of drooping eyelids. Another related problem is a sagging brow, which can be addressed with a brow lift.
You may be wondering is eyelid surgery safe? Before you have an eyelid lift, it’s wise to understand the procedure and its safety. Below is more information to help you make an informed decision.
Eyelid Surgery Overview
Before digging into the safety of upper eyelid surgery, it’s essential to understand the procedure. There are three kinds of eyelid surgery to consider, and which one is best for you depends on your situation and health. Your plastic surgeon may recommend one of these procedures:
- Upper eyelid: This upper eyelid procedure is usually used to improve loss of vision and eye appearance from aging and genetics. As we age, excess fat can develop and the skin of the upper eyelids can sag and cause problems with appearance and vision. The result is to give your eyes a more open and rounded appearance.
- Lower eyelid surgery: This type is done on the lower eyelids. This cosmetic surgery can remove sagging skin wrinkles on the lower eyelids, reduce bags on the lower eyelid and enhance appearance.
- Double eyelid: This type makes a crease in your upper lid, which creates an eye that looks larger and wider. It’s a popular procedure in parts of Asia.
Risk Factors Before Eyelid Surgery
For most patients, blepharoplasty eyelid surgery is safe if a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon performs it. Lower eyelid surgery rarely has problems or complications, still it is important to know the risks.
Before you undergo eyelid surgery on the upper or lower eyelid, it’s essential to review your plastic surgeon’s risks. The most common risk factors before having surgery involve pre-existing conditions; you should inform your doctor about these before the procedure to ensure your safety.
Some of the risk factors to understand before your surgery include having a detached retina, dry eyes, or glaucoma. Having these conditions can make having good results from blepharoplasty eyelid surgery more challenging.
Side Effects Of Eyelid Surgery
Most upper eyelid surgery patients have no severe side effects. However, you can expect to have the following to a small degree:
- Bruising: You can have bruising around the eyes for a few days after the surgery. Don’t worry; this is part of the healing process and will fade soon.
- Swelling: Expect your eyes and surrounding areas to have minor swelling for a few days or a week. This can make your eyes dry, but if you apply ice, you can reduce swelling.
- Scarring: During the surgery your plastic surgeon will remove excess skin. You can see the incisions after surgery, and they can take a year to heal completely. However, the scars of where the excess skin was removed are in the eyelid crease, so you may not be able to see them at all.
- Soreness: As the incisions heal, expect your eyelids to be sore or uncomfortable for a few days. If an over-the-counter pain drug doesn’t help, your surgeon can prescribe stronger medications.
The side effects below are unusual, but you could experience them temporarily:
- Numbness of the eyelid
- Blurred vision
- Pain in the eyelid
- Trouble closing the eyes
- Excessive eye dryness
- Double vision
Complications of Eyelid Surgery
Cosmetic eyelid surgery can cause medical or cosmetic complications in rare cases. However, most of these issues can be avoided if you choose a board-certified, experienced plastic surgeon.
Rare complications include:
- Eyelash loss, which is usually temporary
- Hematoma (bleeding under the skin), which require surgery for removal
- Vision changes, which is usually temporary
Remember that infection is possible with any surgical incision, but you can avoid them with antibiotics and good incision hygiene.
Also, it’s possible you could need follow-up surgery if you don’t like the results. Or your incisions might not heal as they should.
How To Reduce Side Effects and Complications
After upper or lower eyelid surgery, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of complications and severe side effects:
Your eyes will get tired faster for a few weeks, so it’s critical to rest when you feel this way. If you need to be on a computer all day, it’s wise to cut your hours for your initial recovery.
Also, your surgeon may recommend that you shouldn’t wear contact lenses for about two weeks after surgery.
Protect your upper and lower eyelids from wind and sun as you recover. You can wear dark sunglasses when you’re outside. Also, listen to what your surgeon says about using sunscreen after the procedure.
You do not need to cover your upper and lower eyelids during recovery, but you could go home after surgery with gauze over them temporarily.
Avoid straining, lifting, and bending over to pick up things for about four weeks. This can be challenging, but don’t cause sudden increases in blood pressure until your incisions heal.
Request an Eyelid Procedure Consultation
Considering eyelid lift surgery? Wondering how safe is eyelid surgery? Dr. Smita. R. Ramanadham can help you obtain the results you want with this popular and safe procedure. In your consultation at SR Plastic Surgery New Jersey, Dr. Ramanadham will go over your options, goals, and more to determine if you’re a good candidate for eyelid lift surgery.
You won’t regret your decision!
Eyelid Surgery Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/blepharoplasty/about/pac-20385174
Three Things You Should Know Before Getting An Eyelid Lift. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/three-things-you-should-know-before-getting-an-eyelid-lift
2016 Top Five Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures. (2016). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2016/top-five-cosmetic-plastic-surgery-procedures-2016.pdf