Blepharoplasty, also called an eyelid lift, is a safe and effective plastic surgery that can improve the following conditions:
- Sagging or loose skin around the upper eyelids can affect vision
- Puffiness in the upper and lower lids caused by migrating fat deposits
- Bags under the eyes
- Drooping lower eyelids that exposes the white of the eye
Many people complain of sagging skin and eye bags as they age, and the delicate eye skin gets looser and stretches.
While Botox and dermal fillers can slightly improve sagging skin, only an eyelid lift offers a long-term solution to tired-looking eyes and eye bags.
If you are considering blepharoplasty to improve your appearance, continue reading to learn about the procedure’s potential risks.
Blepharoplasty Procedure Overview
An eyelid lift can be performed on the upper or lower eyelid. The surgeon makes an incision along the lid crease for an upper eyelid lift to remove loose and sagging skin.
Next, they remove extra fat, muscle, and skin, and close the incision. The scar is hidden in the natural fold of the upper lid and is practically invisible after it heals.
A lower eyelid lift may be needed if sagging skin exposes too much of the white of the eye, or if you have bags under the yes.
The lower lid lift requires an incision below the lower eyelashes or on the inside of your eyelid. The surgeon then removes or moves fat from the eye bags and removes extra skin.
They also may tighten the tendons and muscles controlling the lower lids if necessary.
Even the most successful eyelid surgery will require several weeks of recovery and healing. In the short term, expect these side effects from blepharoplasty:
- Mild to moderate pain: The most severe pain is in the first three or four days, but it will fade.
- Swelling and bruising around the upper and lower lids, which can last up to 14 days
- Tight eyelids
- Dry eyes
- Burning or itching eyes
Your eyes also may tire faster for a few weeks. These side effects are normal and should fade after three or four weeks.
However, talk to your doctor if you notice excessive swelling and bruising or severe pain.
What Can Go Wrong With Blepharoplasty
The results are usually excellent when a skilled plastic surgeon performs an eyelid lift. However, every surgery has a possibility of complications.
With blepharoplasty, the following are the most common issues:
Too Much Fat Is Taken Out
It’s possible the surgeon could remove too much fat from the upper or lower lids, resulting in a condition called ‘hallowing.’
This problem could make your eyes look startled or too awake instead of young and fresh. Fortunately, skilled, experienced surgeons almost avoid this issue.
You can usually avoid this problem by carefully reviewing before-and-after photos of previous patients. You want to see a natural-looking, alert result with your eyelid lift, not one that makes you look like you just were frightened by a scary movie.
Lower Lid Is In Wrong Position
Lower eyelid surgery must be exact for the best result. Mere millimeters make all the difference in how you look.
Less experienced surgeons may put the lower lid in the wrong position, making the eyes look different sizes. Or, you may look like you are squinting all the time.
Excessively Bruised Eyes
All patients react differently to surgery, and you may bruise more than others. But a highly skilled surgeon can often avoid some post-op bruising if they have a delicate approach.
However, an aggressive eyelid lift can leave a lot of residual bruising around the eyes and eyelids. Most bruising will heal after several weeks, but the less bruising, the better.
Before surgery, verify your surgeon has extensive experience with blepharoplasty to ensure you’ll have the best result with minimal bruising.
Eyes Are Asymmetrical
It can be disconcerting to have blepharoplasty finally, but your eyes don’t match after the procedure. This problem can happen if the tissues are too reactive to the surgical approach or if the eyes react differently to the healing process.
Fortunately, an asymmetrical result may be fixed with a revision procedure after you are fully healed. While you may want to have the issue addressed right away, it’s essential that the tissue around the eyes fully heal before attempting another procedure.
A skilled surgeon can often avoid this problem, but there is a degree of the unknown in how each eye will react to the eyelid lift.
You Cannot Close Your Eyes Entirely
Possibly the most significant risk of an eyelid lift is not being able to close your eyes thoroughly. This is a severe complication that can happen if the surgeon removes too much skin or places incisions in the wrong spot.
This is a frequent problem with inexpensive eyelid lifts done overseas, so use extreme caution before going this route.
When too much skin is taken out during surgery, it can be challenging to close the eyes. In addition, it is very challenging to repair after the skin is eliminated; it cannot be sewed back in place.
The eyelids have some of the thinnest and most delicate skin, so the surgeon should be conservative in the first procedure. If necessary, they can always do a follow-up procedure to remove more tissue.
Blepharoplasty is usually effective to address loose skin and eye bags on the upper and lower lids. Make sure you do your homework on the surgeon to ensure they are skilled professionals who can deliver fantastic results.
Request a Houston Blepharoplasty Consultation
Interested in blepharoplasty in Houston? Please set up a consultation with Dr. Ashley Steinberg today. She’ll talk to you about the benefits and risks of blepharoplasty.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery. (2021). Accessed at https://www.verywellhealth.com/eyelid-surgery-recovery-2709807
Blepharoplasty Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/blepharoplasty/about/pac-20385174
Eyelid Lift Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-eyelid-surgery