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What are the Dangers of Eyelid Surgery?

As with any surgery, eyelid surgery - or blepharoplasty - comes with a number of risks. You can minimise these risks by ensuring you work with a trusted and experienced cosmetic surgeon, and that you follow the correct healing procedure to facilitate the best chances of successful recovery. However, even then, you are not guaranteed to avoid all of the dangers that come with the surgery.

In the following guide, the experts at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors explain the various possible risks and complications of eyelid surgery, what to look out for if you are worried something may have gone wrong, and what you should do if it does.

What are the risks of eyelid surgery?

Eyelid surgery is a delicate plastic surgery procedure that requires a professional surgeon to perform correctly. This is because the eyelids are sensitive and the removal of any skin or fat around them could lead them to become unstable and weak. Eyelid surgery patients sometimes find that, following the surgery, their upper eyelid droops or their lower eyelid struggles to close properly. This can be due to damage to the muscles, or due to the changing in position of the eyelids, meaning they no longer line up properly.

If a patient's eyelids do not look how they want them to following the procedure the surgeon will likely recommend revisionary surgery, which may involve injections to return the skin to harder, more structurally-integral state, or realigning the eyelids.

Additionally, there are a number of possible side-effects and risks that may occur following eyelid surgery, including:

  • Visible scarring
  • Infection
  • Dry and irritated eyes
  • Functional difficulties, such as being unable to fully close the eyes
  • Damage to the eye muscles
  • Discolouration of the skin
  • Temporary or permanent vision loss
  • Ectropion – droopy or retracted lower eyelids

Infection is one of the most common risks to any surgery, and can have severe consequences, from leaving the affected area looking damaged and unaligned to causing strong pain. To avoid infection, your surgeon should inform you of how to follow the correct healing procedure.

What is medical negligence?

When you opt to undergo eyelid surgery, you place your trust in the surgeon and any other medical professionals involved in the process. In the UK, surgeons are held to a high standard by the law, which dictates what procedure they must follow when they perform any type of medical service. Failure to meet these standards is classed as medical negligence, which carries the risk of causing harm to you.

Medical negligence can be any of the following:

  • Performing the eyelid surgery procedure incorrectly or to a substandard standard
  • Failing to provide you with necessary information about your procedure or the healing process
  • Failing to provide you with adequate aftercare

Many people travel abroad for cosmetic procedures as they are generally more affordable. However, this lower cost also comes with less regulations, meaning you are at a higher risk of medical negligence when seeking a procedure outside of the UK.

Medical negligence is a real risk to patients of eyelid cosmetic surgery. To reduce your chances of being treated negligently by a surgeon, make sure to do your research - compare different surgeons, look for reviews and ask people you know about their experiences.

What is the healing process for eyelid surgery?

To ensure your eyelids have the best chance of healing with the result you desire, you should follow these key points:

  • Keep any dressings on your wounds until your surgeon says it is okay to remove them
  • Do not take baths or submerge your eyelids in water - instead, allow water from the shower to gently drain over your wounds and make sure to clear them of any soap. Your surgeon should inform you as to when this is safe to do
  • Avoid harsh sunlight that will dry out your skin
  • Protect your face from knocks and bumps
  • Do not rub your eyes
  • Avoid smoking and vaping

Your surgeon should guide you through the process of healing and call you back to the surgery a number of times throughout to assess your situation.

How can I tell if my eyelid surgery has gone wrong?

The most obvious signs that your eyelid surgery has gone wrong are infection or a noticeable aesthetic issue such as asymmetry of your eyelids, drooping or retraction of your eyelids, non-closure of your eyelids or obvious scarring. Your surgeon should be able to identify the issue, but if they do not and you are concerned, you should speak to an independent medical professional, such as your GP.

The signs of infection include:

  • Painful swelling that does not go down after ten days of your procedure
  • Yellow drainage from your wounds
  • Bleeding
  • Vision problems

What should I do if I believe my eyelid surgery has gone wrong?

The first thing you should do is speak to either your surgeon or your GP. Once you have sought medical help, you should consider making a compensation claim. To do so, speak to a professional solicitor, such as the blepharoplasty surgery experts at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors.

If you have suffered from your botched surgery, you may have to seek corrective or revisional surgery, or even mental health help. These can be expensive, and a compensation claim can help you to cover the costs.

To be eligible to make a compensation claim, you must be able to prove that your surgeon acted negligently and that you have suffered directly due to their actions, whether physically or financially. Making a successful claim will help you to cover any costs the procedure has caused you.

For more information about how Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors can help you, call us as soon as possible on 0808 159 3773 or fill out an online contact form and we will be in touch.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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