Risks of Blepharoplasty Surgery (Eyelid Surgery Risks)

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What are the Risks of having blepharoplasty surgery (eyelid surgery)?

Risks of having blepharoplasty surgery depend on numerous factors. These include the training and skill of your operating Surgeon, the facility where your operation takes place, your lifestyle and substance use choices, and other health-related factors.

3 Types of Eyelid Surgery Risks – Aesthetic, Functional and Health

Type 1: Aesthetic Risks and Potential Complications after Eyelid Surgery

  • Some surgery risks for eyelid surgery are purely aesthetic in nature, such as scars or asymmetry.
  • All surgery has scars, and while eyelid surgery scars are often thin and hidden in the eyelid creases when the eyes are open, you MAY have more noticeable scars (results vary)
  • Cosmetic or aesthetic risks include uneven eyelids or eyelid area hollowing
  • Lower blepharoplasty also has the risk that too much tissues are removed, which leaves a “hollow” appearance.  Fat transfer or redistribution may assist.
  • Your Blepharoplasty (Eyelid) Surgeon will review these with you before you consent
  • Remember that asymmetry exists BEFORE surgery and will exist AFTER surgery as there is no such thing as perfection; however, some asymmetry can be corrected for through surgical means or cosmetic injections
  • Beware the risks of choosing a discount eyelid surgeon who lacks expertise in performing these procedures, because eyelid surgery requires very high-level skills to prevent major problems with appearance, eyesight and eyelid functions

Type 2: Functional Risks and Potential Complications after Eyelid Surgery

  • Other eyelid surgery risks from Blepharoplasty impact function of the eyes or eyelids (examples: blinking, eyesight, tear ducts).
  • If too much skin is removed, there is a heightened risk that patients will have problems closing their eyes fully, especially during sleep.
  • This complication can lead to dry eyes and frequent eye irritations and discomfort, along with the need to frequently use lubricating eye drops.
  • Lower blepharoplasty may also affect the muscles that align the eyes. This is very rare but may result in “double vision”. This may be correctable but is inconvenient and unpleasant.

Type 3: Surgery Complications or Anaesthetic Risks after Eyelid Surgery

  • Infection in blepharoplasty is rare because the eye and the area around it are very well supplied with blood by a network of very small vessels.
  • The high level of blood supply ensures that the body can supply the eyelid with everything it needs to fight infection and heal quickly. Nevertheless, infection is possible.
  • Stopping smoking well before the procedure greatly improves healing and reduces the risk of complications.
  • Experience, careful pre-operative making and a conservative approach all serve to help reduce risks including removing excess tissue, dry eye syndrome and other complications.
  • Because upper Blepharoplasty does not require a general anaesthetic the risk of general anaesthesia is removed, but there is local anaesthetic and allergies are possible.

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Last updated: 29/11/2019
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Dr Rohit Kumar - MBBS MMedSci FRACS (Plas)