Every plastic surgery has some level of risk, but there are plenty of ways to cut that risk. For example, working with a board certified surgeon who has experience with the particular procedure is one sure-fire way to slash your risk for complications. Another way is to understand your body’s quirks and any potential issues it might have with a procedure.
While there is a general risk of complications from surgery, others have their own set of potential complications. For example, eyelidsurgery can lead to a number of issues with the eyes, both in terms of function and appearance. Discuss any potential concerns you have with your surgeon to reduce your risk to almost zero.
Eyes That Look Hollow
A common component of eyelid surgery is removing fat that has collected under the eyes, and thus to reduce the appearance of under-eye bags. While removing that fat can benefit and improve the appearance of many patients, it can have the opposite effect in other patients. There are a few ways to avoid the hollow eyed look after surgery.
One way is for the surgeon to recognize that a patient is at risk for hollow looking eyes if too much fat is removed. In that case, the surgeon will typically rethink the way he or she performs the surgery. Instead of removing the extra fat from the under eye area, for example, he or she might move the fat to another area under the eyes, reducing the size of the bags, but leaving the patient with a bright, non-hollow look.
If the surgery has already been performed and you find that your eyes look more sunken or hollow than you’d like, you have the option of undergoing an additional procedure to correct them. One option is fatgrafting, which involves taking fat from one area of the body and injecting it into the under eye area. Your surgeon can evaluate the results of your previous eyelid surgery and let you know if fat grafting is a suitable option.
Eyes That Are Dry
One of the more common complications after eyelid surgery is dryness in the eyes. Usually, a plastic surgeon will recommend using eye drops or artificial tears after the procedure to keep the eyes lubricated. Your eyes might feel dry after the surgery because you are less able to blink while the doctor is operating on your eyelids. Having dry eyes before the surgery also increases your risk of dryness afterwards. If you suffer from dry eyes, that is something to mention to your surgeon during your consultation. He or she might recommend postponing the surgery or might slightly adjust the way it is performed.
The degree of dryness experienced by patients after the surgery varies. Your dry eyes might last for a few days and be easily relieved with the eye drops. Some have dryness that persists for months or years after the surgery.
In some cases, eyelid surgery is performed to help improve your vision. If you have heavy upper eyelids, the lids can hang down so much that they make it difficult to see. But, vision problems can also be an unwanted complication after surgery. You might experience blurry vision after the procedure due to swelling in the eye area or because of dry eyes. More permanent vision changes can occur due to slight changes in your cornea after the surgery. The eye drops or gel your surgeon prescribed to you might also make your vision blurry for after you use them.
If your vision problems persist for some time after the procedure or if you develop problems later on after not having any, it’s a good idea to see an eye doctor. An ophthalmologist can examine your eyes and note if there are any particular problems with them, such as changes in pressure, corneal changes or other issues.
Eyes That are Discolored
Discoloration in the eye area, but not in the irises themselves, can occur after your surgery for a few reasons. The area around your eyes might be red immediately after the procedure and for some time after that, as the skin heals. The redness occurs because of an increase in blood flow to the area.
That redness should usually diminish over time, as your eyes heal. Some activities can slow down the process or increase the risk that the redness will be permanent. For example, exercising or any strenuous activity that raises your blood pressure can increase redness.
Other activities can also increase your risk for discoloration in the area around your eyes. Exposure to the sun right after surgery puts you at risk for permanent discoloration, for example. Your surgeon will most likely recommend staying out of the sun completely for a few days or weeks after surgery and using a sunscreen when you do go out again after that.
Generally, the complications and risks from eyelid surgery can be prevented or made manageable by following your surgeon’s advice and by choosing the right surgeon.
Contact Us and Book a Consultation If You Have Any Questions or Concerns
Please contact a patient care coordinator by phone at 281-484-0088 if you would like to schedule a confidential consultation during which Dr. Vitenas will go over your complete medical history, take the time to understand your goals, and answer all of your questions. Computer imaging will be used to help you visualize your own personal results. Dr. Vitenas will discuss reasonable and expected outcomes, and explain the details of the procedure including the technique, the recovery, the risks, the costs, and financing options.
Our office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also email us anytime, and one of our patient coordinators will get back to you.
Dr. Paul Vitenas, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S. of the Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery and the Fine Art of Natural Cosmetic Surgery is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and founder of Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery. He has practiced in the Houston area since 1990, and has been named one of Houston’s Top Doctors and America’s Top Plastic Surgeons. He’s also been awarded Houston’s Most Compassionate Doctor and a Top Doctor for Women.