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Eyelid Surgery Risks and Safety

Eyelid Surgery Risks and Safety  | Atlanta Plastic Surgery | BuckheadEyelid surgery, clinically called blepharoplasty, is a relatively minor procedure performed by a cosmetic surgeon, which has a low rate of complications.

But the procedure is more sensitive because it involves the eyes, which are the most delicate external body organ. The eyelid area has thin and delicate skin and tissue, requiring careful surgical manipulation.

The surgeon will educate the patient about the potential risks and safest aspects of eyelid surgery at the time of pre-op consultation. The patient should make an independent decision after considering all aspects. Dedicated and percipient plastic surgeon Dr. Paul McCluskey provides blepharoplasty to patients in Atlanta, Buckhead, Georgia, and surrounding communities.


Major Complications

In case of eyelid surgery, severe complications may only occur in rare cases. Major complications in this procedure include hematoma, ectropian and retinal detachment. Accumulation of fluid under the skin in the incision sites may cause hematoma. If both upper and lower eyelid surgery procedures are performed together, along with another major cosmetic surgery such as facelift or brow lift, it will increase the risk.   

Temporary drain tubes may be placed after the surgery to reduce the risk of hematoma. Ectropian is a type of droopiness in the eyelid skin that will cause the inversion of the lower eyelid. If the patient suffers from this side effect after eyelid surgery, a corrective surgical procedure may have to be performed.

In rare circumstances, retinal detachment may occur. The condition will cause a separation between the retina and the outer layer of the eye. This condition may occur if the retina develops holes or tears. Retinal detachment will require additional surgery to repair the condition.


Other Risks

Some of the less invasive complications associated with eyelid surgery may include:

  • Infection
  • Excessive tearing
  • Poor reaction to anesthesia
  • Dry eyes
  • Stinging sensation in the eyes
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Appearance of whiteheads
  • Inability to keep the eyes closed during sleep
  • Blurry or double vision

No specific treatment is usually required as these side effects will clear up over a short period of time. But in a few cases, the complication may persist for several months or even become permanent in rare cases. Experienced plastic surgeon Dr. McCluskey receives patients from Atlanta, Buckhead, Georgia, and other cities and towns in this part of The Peach State for eyelid surgery.


Minor Side Effects

Post-Surgical Discomfort

In the first few days, the patient is likely to experience soreness, irritation and mild pain in the incision areas. As the effect of anesthesia wears off, the patient may feel some tightness and soreness in the eyelids. The surgeon may prescribe pain meds in the first few days to make the recovery more comfortable.



Minor redness and swelling is expected in the incision areas following eyelid surgery. The patient should follow the surgeon’s advice and use cold compresses or ice therapy in the first two to three days to reduce the swelling.



Some amount of scarring is inevitable in any surgery, but in case of blepharoplasty, the scars can be largely hidden in natural creases.

For more information on procedures and treatments offered by Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Paul McCluskey and the Plastic Surgery Institute of Atlanta, visit:

*Individual results will vary and no guarantee is stated or implied by any photo use or any statement on this web site.

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