What are the Risks of Eyelid Surgery?

In the hands of an experienced surgeon, eyelid plastic surgery is a relatively minor procedure which can be performed under local anesthesia as outpatient surgery.

On their part, the patient should dedicatedly follow the preparation and recovery period instructions given by the surgeon to minimize the risks of complications.

Eyes are a very delicate area of the body, and undergoing any surgical procedure in this region should be a well-considered decision. The surgeon will explain the various potential risks associated with blepharoplasty to the patient during the pre-op consultation process. Following pre and post-op care instructions can ensure a safe and quick recovery for the patient.

Focused board certified plastic surgeon Roger Tsai, MD provides eyelid surgery to patients in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA , and other cities and neighborhoods in this part of the nation.

Major Complications

During or after blepharoplasty, the patient may potentially experience three types of serious complications. These are ectropian, hematoma, and retinal detachment. Only in rare cases do these complications occur.

However, the patient should have complete clarity about them. Ectropian refers to a drooping effect that causes inversion in the lower eyelids. This condition can be addressed with a revision procedure.

A hematoma is the accumulation of excess fluid in the incision site beneath the skin. In case the eyelid lift cosmetic surgery is undertaken with another procedure such as facelift, brow lift, or another facial surgery, the hematoma risk involved may be higher.

The surgeon may place small drain tubes beneath the skin in the incision areas to eliminate excess fluid and reduce hematoma risks. In rare circumstances, a retinal detachment may occur if the retina detaches from the outer eye layers.

Tears or holes in the retina can lead to this condition. The treatment of retinal detachment may require additional surgery.

Minor Complications

Some patients may experience one or more of the below-mentioned complications:

  • Infection
  • Adverse response to anesthesia
  • Excessive tearing
  • Appearance of whiteheads following suture removal
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Difficulty shutting the eyes while sleeping
  • Dry eyes
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Blurred or double vision

Most of the time, these complications resolve on their own. However, the patient may have to undergo treatment if the issue persists or leads to major discomfort.

Side Effects

Pain, Discomfort, and Irritation

The patient may experience soreness and slight irritation in the incision areas during the initial postoperative phase. The patient may feel pain or tightness in the lids as the anesthesia effect wears off. The surgeon may prescribe pain drugs for the initial week following the blepharoplasty.


Some level of swelling is expected in the initial week after the blepharoplasty. The patient can use ice therapy or cold compresses in the initial two or three days to manage the inflammation. In addition, the patient should keep their head in an elevated position for the first few days.


Scarring is minimal in most eyelid lift surgery cases. If the surgeon makes an incision within the lower lid, the scars will not be noticeable from outside.

Compassionate cosmetic surgeon Roger Tsai, MD receives patients from West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA, and nearby areas in The Golden State for eyelid surgery.

For more information on cosmetic plastic surgery procedures and treatments by Beverly Hills board certified plastic surgeon, Roger Tsai, MD please click here or call us at 310.276.1190. Taking patients from Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Orange County, Southern California and other surrounding cities.

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