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BLEPHAROPLASTY 101

Chapter 28 - 1
Risks and Complications of
Blepharoplasty: Introduction 
liquid brow and eye lift   blepharoplasty complications


complications happen

"It's not the surgeon who takes the chance; it's the patient."
-- Gail Walby


Despite what you may read or hear from friends or even medical personnel, complications following eyelid surgery, while uncommon, are not "one-in-a-million" events.

attention
Never Fully Predictable

Surgery is a lot like life, and so there is always a risk of something going wrong. Different people vary in their responses to any given operation, doctors vary in their preferences and experiences, and "Lady Luck" may be kinder to you on some days than others.


It is important to understand that even the finest of eyelid surgeons will have some patients who suffer from unexpected bad outcomes. There is an old saying that goes something like this: "The only surgeon who doesn't experience complications is the surgeon who doesn't do much surgery."

One of the most helpful things you can do if the unexpected does happen is to try your best to maintain a good working relationship with your surgeon. Hopefully, you did your homework before you selected your eyelid surgeon, and now is the time when such preparation can pay off. If you trusted your surgeon enough to do your blepharoplasty, trust him or her to work through any unforeseen problems. Assigning "blame" will get you nowhere.

All eyelid surgeons are trained to deal with the most common complications. If a complication is unusual or beyond your surgeon's abilities, a reputable doctor will not hesitate to refer you to a practitioner with a higher level of expertise. Listen to your doctor and always follow his or her advice. Don't panic and start running office to office; your level of confusion will quickly escalate. Remember that your doctor wants your result to be right just as much as you do.

If, for some reason, you do lose faith in your doctor (or you are the sort of person who has to cover every base), there is nothing wrong with requesting referral to another eyelid surgeon. While you may elect to seek a second opinion "behind your doctor's back", without good medical records and physician-to-physician communication, you may not be advancing your cause.

Take heart in the realization that most blepharoplasty complications can be helped at least partially. If fact, some disappear by doing little more than waiting, so don't jump the gun. While additional surgery may sometimes be required, some such corrective procedures are relatively minor (although some, alas, can be very extensive).

Next: Physical Risks & Complications
of Blepharoplasty


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Frank Meronk, Jr., M.D.
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