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How can vision be affected after cosmetic eyelid surgery?

Arthur W. Perry, MD
Plastic Surgery
When you have cosmetic eyelid surgery (and 150,000 people did last year), the last thing you want to think about is your vision. But did you know that there is a 1 in 30,000 chance of permanent blindness after cosmetic eyelid lifts? And let me tell you, this statistic frightens surgeons just as much as it frightens patients.

Uncontrolled bleeding during or after surgery can cause blindness. If you have high blood pressure or are on blood thinners or aspirin, you're more likely to have bleeding. If you get nausea or even if you bend down after surgery, bleeding is more likely. Bend down now and you'll feel the blood to rush to your head - that's not good after any facial surgery.

Fortunately, this complication is so rare that most plastic surgeons have never seen it. But it does underscore that even so-called minor surgery is really not that minor, and it emphasizes the fact that only real plastic surgeons or properly trained ophthalmologists should be performing this delicate surgery.
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
After a blepharoplasty surgery, a serious post-operative complication of bleeding may lead to blindness. A hematoma that expands after eyelid surgery can lead to permanent vision loss if not immediately evacuated and hemostasis obtained. Pain in the periorbital area can lead be an immediate signal of bleeding that is an emergency. The surgeon must be immediately contacted, and surgery often performed. 

Most likely, the only vision problems you'll have after eyelid surgery will be due to temporary swelling. Even so, says cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Robert Grant, a pre-surgical visit to an ophthalmologist makes good vision sense. Watch the video to learn more.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.