This chapter presents complications that may occur with all forms of surgery on or around the eyelids. When a procedure carries known procedure-specific side-effects (such as complications, for instance, associated with eyebrow lift or Botox), those risks will be noted in the particular chapter detailing that operation.
Despite the comprehensive list that appears below, blepharoplasty is a relatively safe and effective operation when compared to many more widely invasive plastic and reconstructive surgical operations. The vast majority of patients who undergo cosmetic eyelid surgery are pleased with their results.
Slideshow: Complications After Eyelid Surgery
• Infection: Infection is a risk with any and all surgery, including surgery on or around the eyelids. Because of the eyelid's good blood circulation, however, elective surgery performed under sterile conditions seldom results in serious infection.
• Bleeding: Continued bleeding after blepharoplasty may require reopening of the eyelid wound and either cauterization of the bleeding vessel and/or evacuation of the clot ("hematoma"). The most common sites of bleeding are the fat pockets and the orbicularis muscle.
• Wound separation: The edges of the eyelid skin closure may separate, especially in the first day or two after suture removal. A small separation may close spontaneously or with the help of supporting tape. A larger separation may require suturing. Generally, treated wound separations have minimal permanent effect on the final result.
• Asymmetry: Eyelids that look good individually may not match as a pair, and such asymmetry introduced by surgery may be cosmetically disturbing . . .