Risks/Complications: Surgical complications accompanying this procedure consist primarily of bleeding which may lead to swelling and tension of the eyelids. If a significant collection of blood forms, there may be pressure on the eyeball itself, which can lead to decreased vision or, in very rare instances, permanent vision loss. Should significant bleeding occur, a second operative procedure may be required to remove the sutures in the eyelid and evacuate the underlying blood collection. Discoloration and swelling are normal following this procedure and persist for a variable period of time, usually 1-3 weeks. In some instances, the blood pigment from the bruising may permanently discolor the lower eyelid skin causing a slight darkening of the skin. The incision in the eyelid usually heals very well and is nearly invisible after 6-12 months. In some patients there may be a thickening of the scar, lumpiness of the scar, small cysts within scar tissue, or a deformity of the eyelid secondary to scarring. Secondary surgical procedures such as skin grafts may be required to correct the lid deformity. In some patients there may be persistent dryness of the eyes due to interference with tear formation or drainage, corneal abrasions or irritation or eyelid deformity leading to incomplete eyelid closure. Eye muscle imbalance can also occur after eyelid surgery. Infection is quite rare, but should it occur, this might require outpatient or in-hospital antibiotic treatment. Even though the risks and complications cited above occur infrequently, they are the ones that are peculiar to the operation and /or of greatest concern. Any and all of the risks can result in additional surgery, time off work, hospitalization and expense to you.
The following is information regarding blepharoplasty surgery which is important to review, understand and discuss with family and friends.
Goals of Blepharoplasty: The purpose of Blepharoplasty surgery is to reduce excessive skin wrinkles, folds and “bags” in the upper and lower eyelid skin. This is intended to produce a less tired, more youthful appearance. In any given patient, these goals may only be partially met.
Limitations to the Procedure: This procedure will not recreate younger skin nor will it correct sagging brows, wrinkles lateral to the eyelids (crow’s feet), frown lines, or asymmetry between the two sides which was present prior to surgery. In addition, the surgery will not prevent future aging which will eventually cause a return of some or all of the preoperative symptoms.
Alternatives to the Procedure: The conditions noted above are a natural consequence of aging and without surgery will usually progress. In some patients, this can lead to a decrease in vision due to a mechanical obstruction of the eyelids. Some wrinkling of the upper and lower eyelids can be improved through procedures which “peel” the upper layers of the skin. This will not affect the underlying bags nor will it reduce the excessive overhanging skin. The upper eyelids and lower eyelids can be operated on simultaneously or in separate procedures. Generally, to avoid multiple anesthetics, the upper and lower eyelids are done simultaneously. This also tends to balance the aesthetic result following surgery. In some instances, eyelids surgery may be combined with other procedures such as face and forehead lifts, peels, etc.