Lower eyelid surgery is one of the most rewarding of all facial plastic surgery procedures. It can completely change the tired look of a person and improve their whole appearance by rejuvenating the face and taking years off. Eyelid surgeons can remove bags, dark circles and reverse the worn-out look of aged eyelids. However, lower eyelid surgery is arguably one of the most complicated, fraught with the risk of complications. It is the one operation that can have spectacular results or unwanted complications for a patient.
Lower eyelid retraction and scarring
The most feared complication of lower eyelid cosmetic surgery is postoperative retraction and scarring of the eyelids. When the surgeon removes too much skin from the eyelids or does not restore the tone of the eyelid during surgery, retraction and scarring can follow. The excess pull will create a vector that will pull the skin of the eyelids away from the eye and down toward the cheeks. This, in turn, exposes the eyeball and the pink lining of the eyelid.
The consequences are twofold. First, the eye will be exposed to air and will dry out, causing severe dry eye symptoms such as foreign body sensation, pain, tearing, and constant irritation. Second, this complication takes a significant toll on the patient’s emotional and psychological well-being since they opted for the operation to improve their appearance, not worsen it.
Treatment of complications of lower eyelid surgery
When the lower eyelids are pulling away from the eye, and the scar is very noticeable, the problem must be approached in one of the following ways. If there is a shortage of skin, then it must be restored to the eyelid using a skin graft taken from the area around the ear. This procedure will return the eyelid to its normal position and will protect the surface of the eye. The downside to using this approach is that the skin graft will be visible, and its aesthetic result is not great. The other option for treating lower eyelid complication is to perform a midface lift, an operation in which skin is recruited from the cheek. This technique avoids the harvesting of a skin graft and produces an elegant aesthetic result.
Consult an oculoplastic surgeon
Complications from lower eyelid blepharoplasty should be managed by an eyelid surgeon with experience in these types of complications. Oculoplastic surgeons have the training and experience essential for helping patients recover normal eyelid function and attaining an excellent aesthetic result.