What are the risks?
All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk. When eyelid surgery is performed by a qualified Plastic Surgeon complications are infrequent and usually minor. You can check that your surgeon is on the Specialist Register kept by the General Medical Council (telephone 020 7915 3638). All members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) are on the Register.
You can reduce the risks by closely following your surgeon's instructions both before and after surgery. You should tell him of any thyroid disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or eye disorder such as detached retina or glaucoma. It may be that he/she will wish you to be checked by an Ophthalmologist.
Occasionally a pool of blood can collect under the skin after the operation has finished (haematoma). This usually disperses spontaneously over 2 or 3 weeks bit it may need to be drained if it is large. Quite commonly the margin of the lower lid is slightly pulled away from the eye during the first day or two after surgery owing to swelling. This will settle on its own or with the help of suture strips or steri-strips. Very occasionally another operation is necessary.
Sometimes tiny white cysts can appear along the stitch line. They are nothing to be concerned about but can be pricked out with a needle. Blindness is an exceptionally rare complication.
What Are The Limitations?
It is important for you to understand that the only way the wrinkles which are in the skin which is cut away will be removed. We are only treating the eyelids within the bony margin of the orbit (eye sockets). Folds of skin extending onto the cheek (festoons) will not normally be improved. Wrinkles in the area of the crow's feet will remain and although the skin is much tighter it is still necessary to be able to open and close the eyes freely. The skin has less elasticity with age and for proper closure of the eye the upper eyelid will need to have surplus skin when it is open.
Descent of the eyebrow can be helped by endoscopic brow lift and en extension of this, the deep facelift, can be used not only to lift the eyebrow and the upper eyelid, but also to lift and open the outer angle of the eye.
Sometimes residual or recurrent wrinkles are suitable for treatment by chemical peeling or laser resurfacing. The operation has no effect at all on the dark colour of the lower eyelid.