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How to Avoid Blepharoplasty Complications

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Blepharoplasty complications

Potential Complications after Eyelid Surgery and How to Prevent or Treat Them

Eyelid surgery is a cosmetic procedure that has gained significant popularity for its ability to rejuvenate the area around the eyes, making you look more rested and youthful. While the outcomes can be impressive, enhancing both appearance and vision, it’s important for potential candidates to understand not just the benefits but also the potential complications associated with this surgery. Being well-informed about these risks, how to prevent them, and the available treatments is essential for anyone considering this procedure. In this blog, Chester Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna will give you more details about how to avoid blepharoplasty complications.

What Is Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery is a delicate process designed to remove excess skin, eliminate bags under the eyes, and correct droopiness of the eyelids. The goal is to create a more alert and youthful appearance. This procedure can also improve peripheral vision for those whose eyelids obstruct their sight. Despite its aesthetic and functional benefits, like any surgical procedure, blepharoplasty comes with its set of potential complications.

The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis under local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia, depending on the complexity and your preference. Anca makes incisions along the natural lines of your eyelids, through which excess fat, skin, and muscle are removed or repositioned. The incisions are then closed with fine sutures, aiming to minimise visible scarring.

Reasons for Getting Eyelid Surgery

Patients opt for eyelid surgery for various reasons, ranging from cosmetic to functional. Some seek to correct the signs of ageing around their eyes, while others aim to improve their vision obstructed by drooping eyelids. Additionally, eyelid surgery can address asymmetry and provide a more refreshed and alert appearance.

It’s important to have a clear and realistic understanding of what eyelid surgery can achieve. While it can significantly improve the appearance of the eyes and, by extension, the overall facial aesthetic, it’s not a panacea for all ageing signs or unrelated cosmetic concerns. A thorough consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon such as Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna can help set realistic expectations, ensuring that the outcome aligns with your goals.

Common Complications of Eyelid Surgery

How to prevent blepharoplasty complications

Despite the high success rate of eyelid surgery, as with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. Awareness and understanding of these issues are crucial for anyone considering this procedure. Here are some complications that could occur after undergoing the procedure:

Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and swelling are the most common post-operative complications, usually peaking within the first week after surgery. While these symptoms are a normal part of the healing process, their severity can vary. Applying cold compresses and keeping the head elevated can help minimise swelling. Most swelling and bruising subside within two weeks, revealing the surgery’s results.

Infection

Though rare, infection is a potential risk after eyelid surgery. Signs of infection include increased pain, redness, and discharge from the incision sites. Preventive measures include following Anca’s post-operative care instructions meticulously, which may involve the use of antibiotic ointments or oral antibiotics.

Dry Eyes

Some patients may experience dry eyes following eyelid surgery, which can result from temporary changes in eyelid function and sensation. Lubricating eye drops and ointments can alleviate these symptoms, which usually resolve as the healing process progresses.

Scarring

Scarring is an inherent aspect of any surgical procedure. However, in the case of eyelid surgery, incisions are strategically placed in the natural creases of the eyelids or inside the lower eyelid to minimise visible scarring. Following post-operative care instructions and attending follow-up appointments are crucial for optimal scar healing.

Asymmetry

Post-operative asymmetry may occur due to differences in the healing process or pre-existing asymmetry that wasn’t fully corrected. While minor asymmetries often resolve as swelling decreases, significant concerns can be addressed with revision surgery.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Blepharoplasty Complications

How to treat blepharoplasty complications

Pre-surgery Steps to Minimise Risks

The journey to a successful eyelid surgery begins long before the actual procedure. Taking proactive steps can significantly minimise the risk of complications.

  • Choosing a Qualified Surgeon: The importance of selecting an experienced plastic surgeon who specialises in eyelid surgeries cannot be overstated. A qualified surgeon not only brings a wealth of experience but also a deep understanding of the anatomy of the eye, ensuring both the safety and the efficacy of the procedure. Researching potential surgeons, reviewing their before-and-after photos, and checking their credentials and patient reviews are important steps.
  • Discussing Medical History: A thorough discussion of your medical history with Anca is vital. This includes any previous eye conditions, surgeries, allergies, and medications you’re taking. Certain conditions, such as dry eye syndrome, thyroid eye diseases, or diabetes, can affect your surgery outcome and risk profile. Being upfront and honest with Anca allows her to tailor the surgery to your specific needs and possibly take extra precautions.
  • Pre-operative Assessment: Undergoing a comprehensive eye examination and possibly consulting with an ophthalmologist can provide a clearer picture of your eye health. This step is important for identifying any underlying conditions that could complicate the surgery or recovery process.

Post-surgery Care Tips to Reduce Blepharoplasty Complications

Here are some considerations for a smooth recovery and to minimise the risk of complications:

  • Follow Aftercare Instructions: Anca will provide detailed aftercare instructions, which may include how to care for your eyes, medications to take to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, and when to return for follow-up visits. These instructions are tailored to your specific situation and must be followed closely.
  • Attend Follow-Up Appointments: Post-operative appointments allow Anca to monitor your healing process and catch any potential complications early. These visits are crucial for ensuring that your recovery is on track and addressing any concerns you may have.
  • Eye Care: Proper eye care, including cleaning your eyelids gently and using prescribed eye drops or ointments, is essential. Avoid rubbing your eyes or wearing contact lenses until Anca gives you the go-ahead.
  • Protect Your Eyes: Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and wind is recommended. This protection helps prevent irritation and ensures a more comfortable healing process.
  • Rest and Recovery: Giving your body the time it needs to heal is important. Ensure you get plenty of rest, avoid strenuous activities, and keep your head elevated to reduce swelling.

Treatment Options for Blepharoplasty Complications

Despite taking all preventive measures, complications can still occur. Knowing how to recognise these complications and the available treatment options is essential:

  • Medications for Infection: If an infection is suspected, Anca may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or oral antibiotics. Start these medications as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the infection.
  • Corrective Surgery for Asymmetry: In cases where asymmetry is significant and does not resolve on its own, corrective surgery might be necessary. This decision is typically made several months after the initial surgery, allowing time for complete healing and swelling to subside.
  • Treatment for Dry Eyes: For patients experiencing dry eyes, lubricating eye drops or ointments are often prescribed. In more severe cases, temporary or permanent tear duct plugs may be recommended.
  • Managing Bruising and Swelling: While bruising and swelling are normal parts of the healing process, treatments such as cold compresses, gentle massage, and certain medications can alleviate these symptoms.
  • Scar Management: Scars improve over time but can be managed with silicone gel sheets, scar creams, and, in some cases, laser treatments to improve their appearance.

When to Contact Anca or Seek Medical Attention

Here are some signs that you might need medical attention:

  • Increased Pain or Discomfort: While some pain is expected, a sudden increase in pain could indicate an infection or other complications.
  • Signs of Infection: Redness, swelling, warmth, or discharge at the incision sites are signs of infection that require immediate attention.
  • Vision Changes: Any sudden changes in vision post-surgery should be addressed immediately, as they could indicate a more serious issue.
  • Unusual Symptoms: Any symptoms that deviate significantly from the expected recovery process, such as severe swelling or bruising, should prompt a call to Anca.

FAQs about Blepharoplasty Complications

FAQs

Can blepharoplasty lead to changes in eye shape?

  • Yes, in some cases, patients may notice a change in the shape of their eyes after blepharoplasty. This can occur due to the removal of too much skin or improper healing, leading to an altered eyelid contour. However, experienced surgeons take careful measures to preserve the natural eye shape, and any significant changes are rare. If changes in eye shape do occur, they can often be corrected with revision surgery.

How long does it typically take for vision to normalise after eyelid surgery?

  • It’s common for patients to experience blurry vision for a few days to a week following eyelid surgery, primarily due to swelling, the use of ointments, and temporary changes in the eye’s surface. Vision usually begins to clear up as the swelling decreases and the eye heals, usually within a week or two. However, if blurred vision persists beyond this period, it’s important to consult with Anca or an ophthalmologist.

Is it normal to experience numbness around the eyes after blepharoplasty?

  • Yes, it’s normal to experience some degree of numbness or reduced sensation around the incision sites after eyelid surgery. This occurs because the surgical process can temporarily affect the sensory nerves in the skin. In most cases, this numbness is temporary and sensation gradually returns over weeks to months as the nerves recover.

Can blepharoplasty affect my ability to close my eyes?

  • In rare cases, patients may experience difficulty fully closing their eyes after blepharoplasty, a condition known as lagophthalmos. This usually occurs when too much skin has been removed from the upper eyelids. Most instances of lagophthalmos are temporary and improve as the healing process progresses. However, persistent cases may require medical attention or corrective procedures to ensure proper eye closure and protection.

What should I do if I notice a lump or bump on my eyelid after surgery?

  • It’s not uncommon for patients to notice small lumps or bumps on their eyelids as they heal from blepharoplasty. These can be caused by several factors, including sutures, localised swelling, or scar tissue formation. In many cases, these lumps are temporary and resolve on their own as the healing process continues. Gentle massage (if approved by Anca) can help expedite their resolution. However, if a lump persists or is accompanied by pain or other symptoms, it’s important to consult Anca for evaluation and possible treatment.

Further Reading about Blepharoplasty with Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna

Medical References about Blepharoplasty Complications

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About Anca Breahna – Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Cheshire Cosmetic Surgery

Ms Anca Breahna, PhD, MSc, FEBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast) is a highly regarded Consultant Plastic Surgeon specialising in the field of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery.

Anca performs a wide range of Hand Surgery & Skin Surgery and Aesthetic Breast, Body and Face Surgery,

Anca Breahna - Female Plastic Surgeon in Chester UK

As one of the very few female Plastic Surgeons in the region, she is able to offer that unique female perspective, with empathy, attention to detail and personalised care. It is Anca’s true dedication and commitment to her field, that sets her aside from her peers. Her extensive surgical training means that you are in safe hands. She is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

Anca Breahna’s surgical training has mainly been undertaken within the United Kingdom. She began a rigorous training programme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1999, after achieving her medical degree from the University of Bucharest. Miss Breahna attained her PhD degree at the same university in 2007 for her medical research. She then relocated to the UK and has worked Internationally to further extend her qualifications and training.

The team at Cheshire Cosmetic Surgery looks forward to meeting you and will treat you with respect, consideration, and empathy.

Your Next Steps

Do your Research

  • Please read our website pages and blogs to learn more about your intended procedure.
  • All Surgery has risks and potential complications. Please read more about the risks of your surgery.

Get a Medical Referral before your consultation at Cheshire Cosmetic Surgery

  • A Referral from your Doctor is not essential, however it is recommended to have one

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Anca – Car parking is usually available on-site
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly read all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

  • Please call to find out more about availability, pricing and medical payment plans
  • Request more information about the procedure – call us or email us

How to Book your Consultation with Anca Breahna – Plastic Surgeon

  • You can book your consultation with Anca by paying the £150 cosmetic consultation fee when you make your appointment. This fee covers further consultations about the same concern.

Contact Anca’s Team

Call Claire or Joedy on 03332 244111 to arrange your consultation or email us for more information.

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