Although eyelid ptosis is typically not harmful to the health of your eye, it can be detrimental to how you look and feel, so you may be considering blepharoplasty to restore a more youthful appearance. Yet, you may be wondering about the possibility of complications beyond the normal swelling and bruising associated with a surgical procedure.
Dr. Mehryar (Ray) Taban is a Los Angeles oculoplastic surgeon with the skill, training, and experience required to help you achieve your aesthetic and even medical goals. Dr. Taban and his staff at TabanMD understand that even a relatively innocuous procedure such as this can cause anxiety and concern, so it’s crucial to realize that there are aftercare tips and strategies that can shepherd you through the process for the youthful, attractive facial aesthetics that you’re hoping for.
What Can You Expect Following a Blepharoplasty?
While eyelid surgery is done on an outpatient basis, the recovery typically takes 2-4 weeks, often longer depending on the extent of the condition that warranted surgery in the first place. Stitches are usually removed within a week, though the following side effects may last a little longer:
- Excess tearing
- Light sensitivity
You can usually return to work within 10-14 days, but the swelling and bruising will likely persist. Learn more about blepharoplasty at WebMD.com.
Possible Blepharoplasty Complications Beyond Typical Side Effects
Blurriness and/or Double Vision
Because it’s eyelid surgery, your vision is likely to be temporarily affected. This means that you’ll likely experience some degree of blurriness and/or double vision. This is not uncommon and may last for several days, if not 1-2 weeks.
However, if it persists for several months or even weeks, then see the oculoplastic surgeon who performed the procedure to determine the reason.
Unexpected Eyelid Positioning
Unlike blurriness or double vision, abnormal eyelid positioning is usually nothing more than an aesthetics issue, yet it’s still unwanted. It is crucial to find a skilled oculoplastic surgeon who can provide the best possible results the first time. If you suffer from unwanted results after undergoing blepharoplasty, a revision procedure could be warranted, although not until you have fully healed from the initial surgery (usually at least 6 months afterward).
Resulting Infection and/or Poor Healing
Unfortunately, undergoing any surgical procedure carries risks of infection and/or improper healing, and blepharoplasty is no different. Symptoms of either, especially infection, include fever, redness/ irritation, eyelid discharge, and general eye tenderness.
Because eyelid surgery involves the manipulation of eye nerves to reposition the eyelid to its normal position, temporary eyelid numbness can ensue. Although the numbness is commonly temporary, if it lasts for more than a few months, then there could be a more serious issue.
Chronic Partially Closed Eyes
Depending on the reason that you undergo a blepharoplasty, excess eyelid skin is removed during the procedure. If too much is removed, you may be unable to close your eyelids completely after surgery. While this condition is not necessarily unexpected for a short time following surgery, it’s a serious issue if it persists for more than a week.
Useful Ways to Reduce the Risks of Complications
The aforementioned complications are unusual, but they can happen. To ensure that you have the best chance to avoid these issues, you should adhere to the following guidelines.
The Right Oculoplastic Surgeon
This is first and foremost. Since the eye and eyelid are among the most delicate parts of your body, choosing the right oculoplastic surgeon is most important. Nearly all the complications above can be mitigated by this simple act.
Finally, your oculoplastic surgeon should be board certified with a consistent track record of excellent results and impeccable safety records. Research and vet your eyelid surgeon carefully and don’t rush the decision.
During the first week after surgery, be sure to get plenty of rest. This is crucial in allowing the body’s own self-healing properties to work efficiently and optimally.
Avoid Strenuous Exertion
Avoid any type of exertion for the first 1-2 weeks, as that could put pressure on the surgical site, which is detrimental to healing at this stage. It’s strongly encouraged that you avoid activities that include the following:
Furthermore, avoid activities that could dry out your eyes, such as:
- Drinking excessive alcohol
- Wearing contacts
- Watching TV
- Using a computer
Sunglasses can protect your eyes from the sun or wind, as the irritation that they cause could damage your eyes after your eyelid surgery. Plus, sunglasses can help reduce eye fatigue.
Eye Drops, Compresses, and Analgesics
Your oculoplastic surgeon may recommend that you:
- Take analgesics for pain and discomfort
- Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling
- Apply ointment and/or eye drops to keep eyes lubricated
Contact Dr. Taban to Learn More
Make sure that you follow your doctor’s guidelines, as failing to do so can lead to serious complications. If you do follow them, after several weeks, you’ll begin to see eyes that look more youthful and refreshed.
Contact Dr. Taban and the oculoplastic surgery team at TabanMD for a consultation by contacting us online or calling our Beverly Hills or Santa Barbara locations.
Next, read Why Droopy Eyelid Surgery is About More Than Aesthetics