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Eyelid Surgery

The 5 Biggest Fears of Eyelid Surgery Patients

older woman smiling

How do you think you might feel the night before eyelid surgery?  Excited?  A little nervous?  Or as some people put it, “terrified?”

While some patients eagerly anticipate eyelid surgery, others schedule blepharoplasty then let the worrying begin.  After all, the eyes are very important human features and the skin that surrounds them is delicate.  A complication could possibly result in a pretty serious problem.  It is not at all unusual for men and women to feel at least somewhat anxious about the procedure.

Here are the top fears eyelid surgery patients have, along with discussion of the actual potential for these problems to occur.

  • I won’t be able to close my eyes.  Scientists, researchers and surgeons agree that it’s rare for a patient to be unable to completely close his or her eyes after surgery.  When it does happen, this complication is almost always temporary.  Unfortunately, the few cases where the upper or lower lids are unable to fully come together permanently have been highly sensationalized.
  • My surgeon might damage my eyes.  Cases in which a fully trained, experienced board certified plastic or oculoplastic surgeon damages a patients’ eyes are not unheard of, but they are extremely rare.
  • My eyes might look uneven after surgery.  Occasionally a patient feels his or her eyes are not symmetrical after surgery.  When this happens, it is often the case that the eyes were not perfect mirrors of each other prior to surgery.  It’s a good idea to evaluate your features objectively along with your plastic surgeon before your procedure.
  • I will have persistent dry eyes.  It is common to feel your eyes are dryer than usual after surgery; this is why eye drops are recommended as a healing tool.  Dry eyes usually resolve themselves in several days to a few weeks.
  • I won’t like my results.  When a patient selects their surgeon carefully, the top reason they may not be satisfied after blepharoplasty is miscommunication.  Be sure to have a detailed conversation about the exact surgical plan that’s right for you—vague statements about your goals such as “I want to look less tired” are not enough.  Also ensure that you understand your surgeon’s policy on revisions.  Many times a little fine-tuning is all that’s needed.

When you choose a board certified plastic surgeon or oculoplastic surgeon who is skilled at performing eyelid surgery, the chances of experiencing a complication are extremely low.  But they are not zero.  The best advice we can give to help you minimize risks associated with blepharoplasty are:

Choose your plastic or oculoplastic surgeon with great care.  Make sure he or she is board certified in the appropriate field and determine that they have plenty of experience performing eyelid surgery successfully.  You can also check with your state’s medical board to see if any complaints have been filed against the doctor and otherwise scour the Internet for information.

Use your consultation time wisely.  Ask pointed questions about your surgeon’s blepharoplasty experience, including how many eyelid procedures he or she performs each year.  Find out about complication rates and ask what precautions the surgeon takes to ensure risks are minimized.

After performing your research and having a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon, if you are not completely comfortable you should go see another one or two.  Consider it part of your investment in looking great and seeing well.

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February 5, 2014
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