Blepharoplasty, also called an eyelid lift, is a plastic surgery procedure that removes excess skin, fat, and the muscle above and below the eyes. As we age, the skin and other tissue in these areas can relax and loosen, which may give a tired, older appearance.
In extreme cases, excess loose skin in the upper eyelids can obscure peripheral vision. But an eyelid lift can remove this extra tissue and give the eyes a wider and younger appearance.
Signs that you may need blepharoplasty include:
- Drooping and sagging eyelids
- Bags under the eyes that don’t improve with a whole night’s sleep
- Fat deposits under the eyes
- Eyelid wrinkles and excessive skin on the lower lids
- Difficulty seeing because of skin around the upper eyes
- A desire to look younger and more awake with wider eyes
However, blepharoplasty is a complex procedure that can cause issues if it isn’t performed correctly. Below is more information for your consideration.
Blepharoplasty Procedure Overview
If you have blepharoplasty on the upper and lower lids, the surgeon typically begins with the upper lids. They cut along the eyelid fold, take out a small amount of muscle, skin, and fat, and then close the incisions.
They make the incision under the lower lashes on your lower lids, either in the crease or inside the lid. Extra tissue and fat are removed, and excess fat under the eye is redistributed to reduce the baggy appearance.
Patients with eyelid skin drooping near the pupils may need ptosis that increases the strength of the eyelid muscles.
Most Common Blepharoplasty Surgical Problems
It’s important to understand that eyelid surgery might look simple, but it isn’t. It’s complex and near the eyes, so several things can go wrong if the surgeon isn’t skilled and experienced. That’s why it’s critical to do your homework when choosing a surgeon.
Excessive Fat Removed
Removing fat from the upper and lower lids is usually one of the goals of the procedure. But there can be too much of a good thing.
Taking out too much fat, called hallowing, can make the eyes look too open, giving you a startled look. That probably isn’t how you want to appear after blepharoplasty.
You can help to skirt this problem by talking to your surgeon beforehand about the results you want. Also, request before and after photos from previous eyelid surgeries.
Improper surgical techniques don’t necessarily cause this problem. Everyone responds differently to plastic surgery, and you may bruise more than other patients. However, a highly-skilled plastic surgeon can often reduce bruising with refined techniques.
On the other hand, a more aggressive surgeon could cause more bruising around the eyes and eyelids. Fortunately, most bruising heals with enough time. But there could be differences in how the eyes look, or you may need longer to recover.
It’s essential to select a surgeon with proven experience and plenty of surgical finesse with eyelid surgeries. As noted earlier, it’s helpful to see before and after pictures of previous patients so you get an idea of the surgeon’s abilities.
So, you decided to have blepharoplasty, but the eyes don’t look the same after healing. Asymmetrical eyes or eyelids are a common issue with this procedure.
It may be from the eyelid tissues being too excited by the procedure. Or, your eyes may change in different ways in response to the surgery.
The surgeon can address asymmetry with revision surgery after you have fully healed. Some asymmetry can be avoided, but remember it’s hard to say how different sides of the face will heal after the same procedure.
Improper Lower Lid Position
Lower eyelid surgery is delicate and millimeters, and sometimes less makes a big difference in how you appear. Improperly positioning the lower eyelid is a common surgical mistake that can make the eyes two different sizes.
Revision surgery can address the issue after healing for a few months.
Can’t Close The Eyes
This is a rare complication, but it’s highly problematic. Not fully closing the eyelids happens if too much skin is removed or incisions are in the wrong spots.
Some patients go overseas for inexpensive eyelid surgery, which can result. If too much skin is taken out, closing the eyes is difficult.
This is difficult to repair after the skin is taken out. The eyelid skin is the thinnest and most delicate on the body. That’s why highly skilled surgeons are conservative in removing eyelid skin.
If not enough was removed, they can go back in revision surgery and trim a bit more.
Other issues can occur from eyelid surgery, regardless of the surgeon’s skill. However, most of the side effects below are temporary and resolve after a few days.
- Excessive bleeding or infection
- Dry eyes
- Eye muscle impairment
- Discolored skin
- Revision surgery required
- Temporary blurry vision
There also is a small risk that you could have an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Therefore, the surgeon will consult with you before the procedure to learn your medical history, including allergies to medications and anesthetics.
Blepharoplasty is a popular and effective surgery with excellent results for most patients. If you have concerns about what could go wrong, talk to the surgeon before scheduling the procedure.
Request A Blepharoplasty Consultation
Thinking about blepharoplasty in Beverly Hills? Dr. Nicholas Lahar is pleased to provide plastic surgery procedures to his Beverly Hills patients. He will discuss your aesthetic goals during your consultation and help you decide if you are a good candidate for this procedure.
Blepharoplasty Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/blepharoplasty/about/pac-20385174
Eyelid Surgery Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/eyelid-surgery/procedure