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Risks & Side Effects of Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

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Potential risks and side effects of a Blepharoplasty are comparatively rare, as long as the work is carried out by an experienced and registered medical specialist.  However, as with all surgical procedures carried out under a general anaesthetic, and requiring a convalescent period, it is worth considering the following:

  • Although every care should be taken to perform the procedure to achieve a natural result, there may be scarring.  The extent of this, and the healing time, will vary from individual to individual.
  • Bruising and swelling are normal after a Blepharoplasty.  However, it is vitally important to follow your consultant’s instructions on post-operative care, such as keeping the head elevated and avoiding prolonged bending or lifting for at least 10 days after the operation.  Excessive or unnecessary stress on the stitches could result in bleeding or delays in skin and tissue recovery.
  • You may experience dryness, itchiness or sensitivity in your eyes for the first few weeks after the Blepharoplasty.  This should clear as the incisions heal, and can be eased by eye-solutions provided as part of your after-care.

These are fairly common and often minor side-effects.  However, the skin around the eyes is extremely fragile, as are the eyes themselves, and although more serious complications are rare, to make an informed decision you should be aware of the possibility of the following:

  • Bleeding beneath the skin or behind the eye.  Either can be serious and potentially life-threatening, so if you experience any excessive pain or have any concerns whatsoever about unusual or worrying symptoms, you must contact your doctor immediately.
  • Rarely there can be damage to the eye itself; this will usually be as a result of an underlying condition such as glaucoma, or lifestyle choices such as smoking (something your surgeon may well advise you to cease prior to the operation, and certainly during the immediate recovery period).  High risk factors should be identified through consultation with your surgeon prior to agreeing to any kind of surgical procedure.
  • In instances where the result is unsatisfactory, or for some reason is cosmetically or aesthetically uneven, further surgery may be needed.

It is essential to be honest in the consultation process to ensure that such severe risks are avoided.  In giving your medical history, be as comprehensive as you can.  Your consultant should be able to advise you as to whether you are suited to this procedure or if there may be a better alternative for your individual needs.

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