Blepharoplasty is a unique operation that, when successful, can benefit the patient a lot. Usually, people suffering from droopy or sagging eyelids are recommended blepharoplasty. When people can’t keep their eyelids from opening completely, removing excess tissues from their upper eyelids is the only way to boost the patient’s vision. Blepharoplasty can be done to treat both the upper and lower eyelids. When performed as per strict surgical rules, this surgical process can make the patients’ eyes feel younger. Eyes also become more acute and sharp after successful blepharoplasties.
In most cases, the people who get blepharoplasty include –
• People suffering from baggy upper eyelids
• People who have excessive skin cells on their upper eyelids
• When droopy eyelids start restricting the patient’s peripheral vision
• Patients with excessive skin cells on their lower eyelids
• Baggy-eyed people
Medical surgeons recommend getting brow lifts or other skin resurfacing processes along with blepharoplasties. However, these complex medical procedures need to be carried out by the most experienced surgeons as the risk of complications is severe.
Why Blepharoplasties are So Complex
Medical surgeons who perform blepharoplasties have comprehensive knowledge about eyelids and orbital/periorbital anatomies. During blepharoplasties, surgeons have to subtly manipulate the tissues around the eyelid. Carelessness can cause complications.
Patients must receive analytical consultation before the operation from expert surgeons. The surgeon needs to have a clear idea of the patients’ expectations from the surgery. Based on this understanding, surgeons create the precise post and preoperative instructions for the patients.
Since technology is a crucial part of blepharoplasty procedures, all essential safety measures must be addressed both by the surgeons and the patients. If a patient isn’t compliant with the surgeon’s instructions, it can lead to functional and cosmetic damage to their eyes.
Hence, patients must understand the postoperative and preoperative complications. Listening to the surgeon is key to preventing these complications. The patient’s compliance is as important as the surgeon’s quality of work.
Assessing the Risks
Risks related to blepharoplasty procedures seem even worse when they’re not insured. Patients only receive insurance coverage if their existing eyelid condition causes vision-impairment. Blepharoplasties intended for cosmetic purposes are not insured. For instance, many people tone down their lower eyelids to add definition to their eyes. Hence, such purely cosmetic procedures do not qualify for health insurance. That’s why understanding the risks of getting blepharoplasty procedures is highly essential.
Common Risks Associated with Blepharoplasty Surgeries
• Infection near the eyelids
• Bleeding from the eyelids
• Irritation in the eyes after the operation
• Trouble in closing the eyes completely
• Visible blemishes
• Strain to nearby eye muscles
• Discoloration of the eyelids
• Suffering from blurry vision after the procedure
• In some extreme and rare cases, people have reported losing their eyesight
Given that all cosmetic surgeries generally come with risks like adverse reactions to anesthesia or the unexpected growth of blood clots, being extra-careful during blepharoplasties is extremely important. The last thing patients need is follow-up surgeries.
Before getting a blepharoplasty, patients must discuss the specific surgical risks that apply to them with their surgeons. They must only agree to get the surgery after carefully considering the potential advantages and hazards.
How to Avoid the Most Common Complications in Blepharoplasties
Before agreeing to go under the knife, patients must have detailed discussions with their plastic surgeons and ophthalmologists regarding –
• Medical Background – The patient’s history of past surgeries and any pre-existing conditions like itchy eyes, allergies, blood circulation issues, glaucoma, or other health problems.
• Diet – People who suffer from thyroid, diabetes, or other common diseases are usually on regular medications. Patients must disclose the list of medications they take in addition to disclosing whether they consume alcohol, tobacco products, or hard drugs.
Based on this information, the ophthalmologist will state whether or not getting eyelid surgery is suitable for the patient. If the answer’s yes, the patient should clarify what he or she expects after the surgery.
Before the blepharoplasty, patients are required to undergo –
• General health examinations
• Vision tests
• Precise eyelid photography sessions at the ophthalmologist’s chamber
• Completing these tests and processes is essential!
Avoiding Risks During the Surgery
The surgeons need to ensure that the patients are not allergic to the numbing medications injected into their eyelids. Patients may also receive additional IV medication to keep them relaxed during the surgery.
Surgeons first operate on the patient’s upper eyelids. If the upper eyelids keep drooping after excess skin has been removed, the surgeon may carry out a process call ptosis to give extra structure to the eyebrow muscles.
After the surgery, patients are left alone in the recovery room. They are monitored continuously for a couple of hours. Patients mustn’t feel too anxious about mild pain/ discomfort, swelling/bruising, temporary double vision, light sensitivity, watery eyes, or blurred vision. These symptoms (around the eyelids) are typical and temporary.
Surgeons recommend the use of dark shades to protect the eyelids from sunlight or wind exposure. To alleviate pain, eye-specialists recommend using ice packs on the eyes. Patients must keep applying ice packs gently to their eyelids and occasionally use eye drops or ointments (only if the surgeon prescribes them). People who wear contact lenses shouldn’t use them for a couple of weeks. Patients must avoid damage to the eyelids during sleeping by sleeping in a ‘face-up’ position.
What to Avoid?
During the recovery session, patients must avoid
• Rubbing their eyes
• Smoking to ensure the healing process is super-fast
• Intensive exercise or physical activities (heavy-lifting, jogging, etc.)
• Consuming Vitamin E, fish oil, and other food items that thin down the blood; consuming these could increase postoperative bruising and swelling.
• Blood-thinning medicines like warfarin, aspirin, ibuprofen, or similar herbal supplements
The frequent use of ice packs, arnica gel pads, and bromelain is recommended to deal with pain or itching. Once the stitches are removed (approximately one week after the surgery), patients must stick to their healthy eating and drinking habits.
Complications with cosmetic blepharoplasty are more common with lower lid blepharoplasty. However, patients who follow these useful guidelines will get away with a natural-looking result and perhaps minimal bruising or swelling.