Ptosis surgery risks and complications
What are the main risks and complications?
When having surgery, it is important to be aware of any risks and complications that can occur. Your surgeon will discuss these with you during your consultation. In addition, we have prepared this ptosis surgery risks and complications page to help highlight the main risks. After your consultation, we recommend a two-week "cooling off" period. This will give you time to think about the risks and benefits and decide if surgery is right for you.
Eyelid bruising and swelling
The eyelids can become sore, bruised or swollen. A degree of this is normal after an operation and will resolve over the following days and weeks.
Following the surgery, the eyes can become dry and sore and it can be difficult to close the eye fully. You may develop some blurring of your vision as a result. If you are suffering from this, you can ask your surgeon to prescribe you some eye drops. These eye drops, known as artificial tears, help lubricate the eye and stop it from becoming dry. This normally resolved within 1 month.
The eyelid is lined by a thin layer, known as the conjunctiva. After surgery, this layer can become swollen. Your eyes may feel irritated and it can be difficult to open the eyes fully. Generally, chemosis resolves within a few weeks.
Infection is a risk that can happen with any surgical procedure. In the unlikely case that you are affected, it will become apparent over the first two or three weeks when things are not settling down as expected. Antibiotics treat minor infections. You should contact your surgeon if you are concerned that you have an infection. Signs of infection include:
- Temperature over 38 degrees celsius
- Redness at the incision site that is spreading
- Yellow pus-like or foul-smelling fluid from the incision
- Increased pain or discomfort that is not relieved by painkillers
Sudden bleeding around the eyeball can push the eyeball forward, causing reduced vision and pain. Although this is very rare, it is serious and requires urgent treatment as it can lead to vision loss.
Following surgery, you may notice that your eyelid is too high. Massage and gentle traction can resolve this issue. However, in some cases, further surgery is needed.
Loss of vision
Catastrophic loss of vision is a rare complication of ptosis surgery. It often occurs due to sudden bleeding around the eye, creating pressure on the back of the eye. This pressure can become severe enough to cut the blood supply to the eye itself. Symptoms include intense pain, double vision and a sudden bulging forward of the eye. You should seek immediate medical attention if you notice these symptoms.
Ptosis of the opposite eye
After surgery, you may notice the eyelid of the non-operated eye beginning to droop. This can occur as your brain gets used to the new position of the corrected eyelid. Despite drooping only being apparent in one eye, both eyes can become affected.
As with any procedure, there is always the risk that you may not be happy with the aesthetic results. Therefore, we always advise patients to choose their surgeon carefully and make sure they are aware of your expectations.
During and after any anaesthetic and surgical procedure there are general risks which include airway problems, blood loss, cardiac arrest, scarring, allergic reactions and blood clots. Every effort will be taken to reduce these risks and the likelihood of any of them happening will be discussed during your initial consultation.
In summary, this page provides an overview of the main ptosis surgery risks and complications. For more information, speak to your surgeon or a Medbelle Patient Care Adviser.