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Risks and Complications of Eyelid Surgery

Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery

Possible Risks & Complications

Possible risks and complications of eyelid surgery

No surgery is completely free of risks.  It is important that your learn about the risks and the benefits of eyelid surgery so that you can make the best choice for yourself.

Complications from blepharoplasty - if performed by a skilled and qualified plastic surgeon - are infrequent.  When complications do occur, they are usually minor.  You need to know what to expect after surgery so that you can keep your doctor informed about your progress.  If you know what to anticipate during your recovery, you will be in a better position to know whether or not you are having a normal recovery.

Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the instructions you receive from your plastic surgeon. Ask about any instruction you don't fully understand. Follow the instructions. If, for some reason, you are unable to follow a particular directive, make sure to tell your surgeon.

You will probably be given some information on what to expect in the days following your eyelid surgery.  If you notice anything unusual, call the office.

Some of the possible complications of blepharoplasty are:

  • Reaction to the anesthetic. (There is a full page of anesthesia information later in the eyelid surgery section.)
  • Infection is always a possibility with any surgery.  You may be given a preventative course of antibiotics by your surgeon. If you are, follow the directions and take them when you are supposed to.
  • Temporary swelling, particularly at the corners of your eyelids near the incision sites.
  • Temporary blurring of your vision, lasting from one to a a few days
  • Uneven healing rates, where one side heals faster than the other
  • Scars, which usually diminish over time.
  • Acne (small whiteheads) which your plastic surgeon can remove.

Other, potentially more serious complications are:

  • Difficulty closing your eyes. - This is usually temporary as the scars heal, but it can be permanent in some cases, leading to difficulty sleeping.  In this case, corrective surgery is sometimes needed.
  • Ectropion is a very rare complication which results in a downward pulling on the lower eyelids. Ectropion may require additional corrective surgery.

If you have any concerns about the way you are healing - especially if you think you are getting an infection - call your plastic surgeon's office right away. Don't wait until your next appointment if you have serious concerns. Finally, don't make the mistake of using an Internet site as a substitute for medical treatment.

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