Blepharoplasty is not very complex surgery but nevertheless the surgery is done in a very delicate part of the body. Like all surgery, there is always potential for complications. When done well the complications are very rare. However, one should note that blepharoplasty is an elective cosmetic procedure and one should be well aware of the potential complications. The possible complications of the surgery include:
Scarring: Sometimes the small incisions remain prominent and may fade but do not completely disappear
Keloids: These very unattractive skin lesions are common in dark skinned individuals and impossible to cure
Blurred vision: Blurring of the visions is usually transient and of minor consequence.
Dry eyes: For some reason, drying of the eyes is a very common complaint. IT is important to use tear drops to lubricate the eyes for a few weeks after surgery.
Ectropion: When the lower eyelid incision is wide and imprecise, rolling down of the lower eyelid can occur. This disturbing complication may require repeat surgery if the defect is moderate in nature
Bleeding. The eyelids are very vascular and trauma to the blood vessels can result in a dark blue eye. The blood collection in the eye lids may look frightening, but it usually resolves over a few weeks.
Wound break down: in some people the wound does not heal and breaks down. This is most common in smokers and in diabetics.
Infection. Infections are rare and the majority of infections are easily treated with antibiotics.
Fluid. Sometimes eye lid surgery is associated with fluid build up. Small amount of fluid slowly disappear but large quantities of fluid which cause puffiness of the eye may require drainage with a needle.
Some individuals complain that the eyelid feels numbness. This may be a transient feeling and recovers in 2-3 months.
Risks of anesthesia is always present
Failure of surgery: Sometimes despite a good technical procedure, the baggy eyes return.
Pain: Some individuals complain of excessive pain and for prolong periods
Skin discoloration. After surgery, it is recommended that one not expose the skin to the sun otherwise darkening of the skin incision will occur. Further, prior to surgery, tanning should be avoided for at least 4-6 weeks to avoid skin discolorations
Swelling: Swelling is a common feature of eyelid surgery but in most cases subsides over a few days. In some individuals the swelling persists for months
Suture irritation. Sometimes if the sutures are not cut short, they can irritate the eye and even cause pain
REDO surgery. There is always the chance that the surgery failed and a REDO is required
Blood clots: The risks of blood clots in the legs and migrating to the lungs are not unique to eyelid surgery but all surgeries. All surgeons take great precautions at preventing blood clots
Eye damage: In some very rare cases, the eye may be damaged during surgery and lead to loss of eyesight. Thus it is very essential that should you decide to undergo any type of surgery around the eye, the physician assesses your vision before surgery. You do not want the surgeon to later claim that you had bad vision before surgery.
Talk to your doctor about how these risks apply to you. Understanding what's involved in blepharoplasty and weighing the benefits and risks can help you decide if this procedure is a good option.
Unlike surgery elsewhere in the body, even minor eye complications can quickly disable you for sometime- so choose your surgeon well