Cosmetic eyelid surgery risks (blepharoplasty)

When a cosmetic eyelid surgery is performed by a qualified and knowledgeable surgeon complications are unusual and in the cases when they do occur they are seldom serious. However, as with all plastic surgeries there is a risk of complications occurring.

Additional to the general risks associated with plastic surgery described on the page about general risks there are specific risks for cosmetic eyelid surgery. These are described in greater detail below:

Temporary misty sight

During the first weeks patients that have undergone cosmetic eyelid surgery can be afflicted with temporary misty sight. This means that the patient cannot drive until the symptom has disappeared.

Considerable swelling

All patients that undergo a cosmetic eyelid surgery swell around the area of surgery. Although some patients are affected by increased swelling due to all the blood accumulated under the eyelids. This can in turn delay the healing and cause scar formation.

Scar formation

Normally the incisions heal nicely following cosmetic eyelid surgery but abnormal scar formation can occur in the eyelids as well as the deeper structures. Additional treatment may be needed in order to correct the scars. Small white spots/blisters can appear once the sutures have been removed – the surgeon can easily remove these with a fine needle.

You can learn more about scars and how to minimise them at the information page about surgical scars (coming soon).

Sagging lower eyelids (ectropion)

In more unusual cases cosmetic eye surgery can lead to the lower eyelid turning outwards, making them look pulled down. This is normally due to too much skin being removed during surgery and is why most surgeons are restrained when moving skin. Due to this surgical restraint many patients feel that the skin of the lower eyelids has not been tightened enough. This is however better than the opposite. Outward protruding lower eyelids are corrected with additional plastic surgery.

Difficulties closing the eyes when sleeping

Some patients experience difficulties closing the eyes when sleeping. Once again a complication which can be caused by too much skin being removed from the eyelids during surgery. This can also corrected with additional surgery.

Dry eyes

In some cases the eyes tear production can be affected by cosmetic eye surgery. The complication is unusual and difficult to predict. Due to this some patients that suffer from dry eyes are advised against cosmetic eye surgery.

Loss of eyelashes

In some cases the patient loses eyelashes from the lower eyelids in conjunction with cosmetic eye surgery. Normally these grow pack but the production of hair can sometimes be permanently affected.

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