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I am unhappy with my eyelid surgery. What are my options?

Published onAugust 6, 2012

Eyelid surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic procedure today. It has the potential to provide extremely positive results that rejuvenate your appearance and make both an aesthetic and functional difference. Eyelid surgery can be very technical. Your surgeon may also be surprised by the disappointing outcome of your surgery. If you have had eyelid surgery in the past, such as an upper blepharoplasty or Asian eyelid surgery, but are dissatisfied with your results, help is available.

First, allow your eyelid surgery to heal. The initial healing after surgery can be a time of uncertainty. Recovery takes you out of your normal schedule and routine. Friends and family can make inappropriate comments that lead to second guessing and uncertainty. Please recognize that family members may be right but they are not eyelid experts. Surgical results that initially look rough because of swelling and bruising, often settle down and look remarkably better with time to heal. There are rare, immediate eye health concern, and these should prompt immediate attention from your surgeon. These included increasing pain, swelling, redness, and bruising, or changes in vision. When these occur in hours or days after eyelid surgery they can represent vision threatening issues such as bleeding behind the eye or infection. Immediate care by your surgeon is essential. If you are having this type of an issue and your surgeon is not immediately available, it is advisable to be seen in an emergency room where the emergency care of an ophthalmologist or plastic surgeon can be arranged.

Another set of urgent post-operative issues include difficulty opening or closing the eyelids, double vision, or other restrictions in eye or eyelid movement. Right after surgery, local anesthesia can account for some of these types of issues, but after 24 hours, the presence of this type of an issue, suggests a mechanical problem created by the surgery. In some cases, these issues require urgent surgical exploration. In all cases, you should be seen by your surgeon to assess what is going on. Recognize that non-eyelid surgery specialists often perform eyelid surgery. These surgeons lack the ability, skill, training, and equipment to properly examine your eye. Eye pain and light sensitivity can be caused by a corneal abrasion, corneal ulcer, or intraocular inflammation. Without a slit lamp and the necessary training, your surgeon cannot diagnosis these issues. Immediate consultation with an oculoplastic surgeon or general ophthalmologist may be necessary.

Once you get about a week out from surgery, the issues tend to be related to eyelid shape, surgical symmetry, visible scars, and eyelid malposition. Generally, these types of issues get better with time. However, problems that can persist are evident even this early after surgery. It can be difficult to determine which issues will settle down and resolve on their own to your personal satisfaction. It is important to discuss your concerns with your surgeon. Surgeons will sometimes attempt to minimize your concerns. This may be appropriate. It often comes down to a level of trust. If you feel like your trust and confidence in your surgeon is being abused, that is a significant warning sign. Patients are not often wrong. If you have a concern, your surgeon should also be able to see it and explain to you why or why it is not a concern, and what will need to be done about it. It may be as simple as “we will watch this.” When your feelings are not validated or your feel you are not being told the truth, there is often a break-down in the doctor-patient relationship. This is when a second opinion can be helpful.

It you have healed and surgery is in the past, this does not mean you have no options. A detailed personal consultation can establish precisely what is causing your issues and how best to correct the problems. This type of work requires considerable maturity and experience. It is often necessary to have unique solutions tailored to you personal situation. A cookie-cutter approach is not going to do it. Dr. Steinsapir takes the necessary time to define your problems and the best approach needed to help you achieve your goals.

Dr. Steinsapir provides attentive, comprehensive care to ensure you achieve the results you desire, and he always designs your care on an individual basis, making himself available to answer all your questions so you can feel confident both before and after treatment. He can take over your post-operative care if necessary or coordinate with your surgeon to provide input and suggestions to help speed your recovery. To learn more about fixing eyelid surgery, please call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steinsapir.

About Dr. Steinsapir

Dr. Steinsapir is a board certified eye surgeon and fellowship-trained in oculoplastic surgery and cosmetic surgery in Los Angeles where he specializes in balanced facial cosmetic surgery for natural results, with an emphasis on minimally invasive techniques, fast recovery time, and leadership in medical technology. Dr. Steinsapir has a private practice and also serves as an Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Contact us today to learn how Dr. Steinsapir’s experience and training make him an expert in cosmetic surgery, which can be a vital part of your evidence-based treatment plan.

Services described may be “off-label” and lack FDA approval. This article is informational and does not constitute an advertisement for off-label treatment. No services should be provided without a good faith examination by a licensed physician or surgeon and an informed consent with a discussion of risks, benefits, alternatives, and the likelihood of treatment success. Only you and your treating physician or surgeon can determine if a treatment is right for you.

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