Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Eyelid Surgeries Can Lead To Temporary Dry Eye Symptoms For Some


In my experience, any potential side effects, whether from surgery or a medication, can often be more easily tolerated if you know in advance what the potential complications may be. Not only will it avoid an unpleasant surprise, but you may have the opportunity to identify it quickly and get practical advice on how to handle them.

Eyelid Surgery is known
as blepharoplasty
An article which appeared in the October 15, 2012 Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery addressed the fact that following eyelid surgeries many patients experience "dry eye" symptoms.

Dry eye is definitely an irritating thing to develop. I've had it myself, and not from eyelid surgery. It can be extremely uncomfortable.

Some follow up studies show that as many as one fourth of men and women who have blepharoplasty (eyelid) procedures experience some degree of dry eye following their procedure.

Dry eye symptoms can include:
  • stinging or burning of the eye
  • scratchy sensation in eye
  • a sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in the eye
  • feeling like someone is "blowing through a straw" in your eye
  • excessive "tearing"
  • production of mucus in or around your eyes
Symptoms can range from mild to persistent, but not everyone develops these symptoms and there is no definitive test to determine who will and who will not develop symptoms. That said, it seems that some may be more prone to experiencing dry eye with or without eyelid surgery. Women who are menopausal, just starting hormone replacement therapy or going on birth control for the first time, and men or women who have had difficulty wearing contact lenses may be more at risk.
One of the surprising findings of a study which was performed by a Minnesota facial plastic surgeon on 892 patients over a ten year period, was that dry eye was more common in those patients who had both upper and lower lids done at the same time. It also seemed to indicate that the more aggressive the surgical techniques were, the greater risk of dry eye. Disruption of the "blink", which causes the eye surface to lose some of the lubrication provided by one's blink response, seems to be one of the most probable causes.
The good news is that dry eye is fairly easy to treat. Often, symptoms can be helped with eye drops or ointments. It is not usually an indicator of something bad happening, and should not be cause for alarm. If you develop dry eye following an eyelid lift, make sure you discuss it with your physician at your post-op visit. He/she will be able to help advise you on the best treatment for the type of symptoms you're experiencing.
Eyelid lifts average of $3,000 to $4,000 in the San Antonio area, depending on whether you get two lids or all four lids done. According to the  American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, eyelid lifts were the second most popular type of facial plastic surgery after rhinoplasty (nose jobs) in 2011.  Board Certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Robert Young says, "Eyelid surgery is an excellent way to create a more youthful appearance for men and women at the age where they are starting to notice more wrinkles and loose skin around the eyes. It can shave years off one's appearance. Most patients are extremely happy after their eyelid lift procedures. We've always had women request eyelid lifts as they age, but we've seen a noticeable increase in the number of men wanting eyelid lifts in recent years. It's a relatively easy procedure that produces real results."

Should you be overly concerned about dry eye if you're thinking of an eyelid lift? Probably not. But, it is something to know could develop, and if it does, that there are effective treatments for a problem which is usually very short term.

What do you think? Have you ever considered eyelid lift to refresh your face?

Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, October 2012
WebMD - Dry Eyes: Causes and Treatments