You’ve probably heard a lot about eyelid surgery, from the double eyelid surgeries that have been all the rage in Korea to the eyelid surgeries we see in the West that help to reduce the appearance of aging and droopy eyelids. These surgeries are not completed by an optometrist; rather, a plastic surgeon will have the expertise needed to perform the procedure, medically known as blepharoplasty. We want to take a holistic approach to Winnipeg eye care, so we decided to give you more details on the surgery and its potential medical consequences.

There are many different types of blepharoplasty that may be performed; sometimes, there’s even a non-cosmetic reason for the procedure. Trichiasis, where the eyelashes point towards the eye, can be caused by a misshapen eyelid, and thus corrected by blepharoplasty. For cosmetic blepharoplasties, the procedure may be accompanied by other cosmetic procedures to change the overall aesthetic of the face. To better understand these changes, speak with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Every surgical procedure has potential consequences, and blepharoplasty is no exception. Surgeries that are done incorrectly can lead to any number of problems from bleeding and infection to damaged eye muscles; folks with particular medical histories may be at greater risk of harm from surgery than those with a clean bill of health. When considering a cosmetic procedure, a full analysis of the pros and cons should be considered; speak with your doctor about the overall risk (in percentages, if possible), versus the potential benefits. You should find a licensed cosmetic surgeon who has done several blepharoplasties; look at their work and make sure it suits what you’re looking for.

Once the surgery is completed, you can expect discomfort for a few days. This discomfort may include swelling, light sensitivity, double vision and watery eyes. To combat these things, your doctor may recommend you apply ice packs regularly to the eye, at first changing ice packs every hour, then using them a few times a day. You may take acetaminophen to alleviate pain, but most other analgesics can cause problems; speak to your doctor about what painkillers you can take. You’ll want to avoid strenuous activity, smoking, wearing contact lenses, and rubbing your eyes; when you go outside, you’ll want to make sure you wear sunglasses to reduce the impact of your light sensitivity. Your doctor will tell you the timeframe in which you can resume regular activity; discomfort in one form or another generally lasts about two weeks.

Anytime cosmetic surgery is being discussed, it’s worth evaluating why you want the surgery. When it’s for medical concerns, the risk/reward is often much easier to calculate; cosmetic concerns are more difficult. Are there any ways you can change the appearance of your eyes without surgery that would be to your satisfaction? While cosmetic surgery has gotten much safer over the years, the age old adage of “do no harm” means alternatives should always be considered.