Blepharoplasty is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. This procedure, performed on the upper or lower eyelids, has such a profound effect that it can bring new energy to the entire face. That is if all goes well.
The fact is, any surgical procedure that is performed has inherent risks. Every plastic surgeon who has practiced has experienced undesirable outcomes or some type of surgical complication. With experience, this rate decreases significantly. When performed by a well-trained, experienced plastic and reconstructive surgeon, eyelid rejuvenation can achieve outstanding results with little risk of untoward outcomes. To complete their training, an oculofacial plastic surgeon spends 3 to 5 years focusing exclusively on the eyes, eyelids, and periocular region. This is not to say that risks do not exist but that they are rare. This is especially relevant as it pertains to the risk of unsatisfactory results.
Blepharoplasty Complications: What Are They?
We periodically see patients who are unhappy with the results achieved with blepharoplasty. Revision surgery is possible in most cases after a thorough consultation and examination are performed. Common blepharoplasty complications include:
- Inability to close the eyes completely. This complication is related to aggressive skin excision.
- Retraction (pulling down) of the lower eyelid. This is related to aggressive skin excision.
- Ectropion. When too much skin is removed, the lower eyelid may pull away from the eyeball.
- Sunken appearance, caused by the excessive removal of fat.
- Failure to correct weakness in the levator muscle of the upper eyelid.
The complications that occur when too much tissue is excised during blepharoplasty do not relate only to the cosmetic outcome of surgery. If the eyelids cannot close properly or pull away from the eye, irritation, dryness, and excessive tearing may result. Revision blepharoplasty, then, must be carefully planned and carried out in a manner that revolves around the understanding of the problem. A facial plastic surgeon with additional training in oculoplastic surgery should be able to identify the cause of the unsatisfactory outcome and design revision to correct not only the sub-optimal surgical result but also the problem that may not have been accurately addressed in the original procedure.