Is Eyelid Surgery Risky?
Eyelid surgery or, to give it its medical name, blepharoplasty, is done to remove excess skin from above and/or below the eyelids. While there are many reasons this can occur, the most common is advancing age.
The skin around the eyes, in common with the rest of the body, becomes less firm over time. It loses elasticity and, when it comes to the eye area, can cause the skin to gather both above and below the eyes. This can cause excessive eye bags and droopy upper eyelids.
Many people choose to have eyelid surgery to remove this excess skin. It can be done for both aesthetic and medical reasons. Not only are sagging eyelids and bags typical signs of aging, but in severe cases, it can also reduce peripheral vision.
The process is generally safe. It’s often carried out in conjunction with other youthification processes, such as brow lifts or skin resurfacing. However, eyelid surgery is an invasive process so comes with an element of risk, albeit very small.
Eyelid Surgery: the risks and how to reduce them
- Eyelid surgery: the risks
- Eyelid surgery: post-op care for the fastest recovery
Eyelid surgery: the risks
Any medical intervention—be it an operation or taking medication—presents a risk. However, the key to great clinical treatment is to only intervene when that risk is low, and the benefits are very high.
This is often the case with eyelid surgery. For those who suffer from vision impairment due to excess skin encroaching on their peripheral vision, the advantages of eyelid surgery far outweigh the small risks involved. Those who’re keen on the treatment for aesthetic reasons may also consider the slight risk a small price to pay for the results that make them look younger.
The following details the possible risks of eyelid surgery:
- Infection: This is by far the greatest risk of any surgical procedure. However, today’s wonderful aseptic techniques in conjunction with exemplary post-op care can reduce this risk to virtually nil.
- Scarring: Again, very rare and only likely to occur if there’s a post-op infection or healing issue. The skill of the surgeon is also key to preventing scarring.
- Injury to the eye muscles: Because the procedure involves cutting into the sensitive area around the eye, there’s always a slight chance that a muscle will be affected.
- Eyelid issues, such as difficulty closing the eye/s: Should this happen, it would usually warrant a follow-up procedure.
- Dry or irritated eyes: This could be transient or go on for longer.
- Skin discoloration: The risk of this is low, but if it occurs could be temporary or permanent.
- Temporary or permanent blurring of vision or loss of sight: While this sounds extreme, it’s important to state that this risk is truly minimal. However, it must be mentioned. Your eye surgeon should talk through all of the potential risks before you consent to treatment.
Eyelid surgery: post-op care for the fastest recovery
As mentioned, the biggest risk of eyelid surgery is infection. That’s why you must follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions to the letter.
- Use ice packs on your eyes to reduce swelling.
- Wear sunglasses when outside
- Sleep with your head higher than your chest for the first few days. This assists with blood return and helps reduce any swelling
- Apply the prescribed eye ointment as advised. Ensure that you use aseptic techniques—washing your hands before and after application. You should also ensure that the tube or dropper isn’t allowed to touch the eye or anything else.
- Use OTC painkillers (acetaminophen) if needed
- Take aspirin or NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.). These increase the risk of bleeding. If you take prescribed blood thinners (apixaban, rivaroxaban, warfarin, etc.) your doctor will advise when you can recommence these.
- Take any herbal supplements that you haven’t advised your doctor about. Many of these also increase the risk of bleeding.
- Smoke—this impedes the healing process
- Rub your eyes
- Wear contact lenses
If you stick to the surgeon’s instructions, the risk of infection or other side effects is minimal. The procedure is low risk, and, for many, the advantages are immense.
Wondering if You’re Suitable for Eyelid Surgery? The West Boca Eye Center can Help
While the WBEC is a center of excellence for diseases of the eye, we can also provide advice and treatment for conditions, such as drooping eyelids that affect vision. While we don’t perform surgery for aesthetic reasons, we’re a one-stop location for anything that affects the quality of vision—and that includes drooping eyelids.
Whatever the reason for ophthalmic intervention, the West Boca Eye Center is the place to visit. From laser vision correction to cataract surgery, eye allergy and dry eye treatment, to general eye care for all ages, this academic-grade facility is the only eye clinic you’ll ever need.
Discover some of our specialties at https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/cataract-surgery/ and call our friendly team today to book a consultation.