When is blepharoplasty surgery contra-indicated, unadvisable, or highly risky?
Patients who have a “negative vector,” are prone to complications after lower lid surgery. Although the phrase was coined by a well-meaning, and no doubt intelligent surgeon, the term vector is grossly inappropriate, as would be noted in a review of any high-school physics text. It is intended to signify that the eyeball protrudes further than the part of the cheek-bone that supports it. This, in turn provides no support for the incised lower lid, and carries a significant risk of lower lid droop (ectropion and/or scleral show), with its attendant troubles of dry-eye, or wet-eye, or corneal irritation, or scarring, not to mention a poor cosmetic result.
Preoperative dry eye, and absence of the protective Bell’s reflex, ectropion, entropion, scleral show, exophthalmos, whether associated with thyroid disease, or Graves’ all predispose the blepharoplasty patient to significant post-operative complications. Lower lid work carried out in high-risk individuals should include a complete disclosure of the possible problems, solutions, and pre-emptive and intra-operative preventive steps to minimize the risks. This may mean tightening of the lower lid, involving more invasive means combined with primary support of the septum with a substance like alloderm.
Factors Influencing the Suitability of Blepharoplasty
Blepharoplasty, a cosmetic surgery procedure aimed at rejuvenating the eyelids, can be highly beneficial for individuals seeking a more youthful appearance. However, it is crucial to understand that there are situations where the risks associated with blepharoplasty outweigh its potential benefits. Several factors influence the suitability of undergoing this procedure.
Medical Conditions and Pre-existing Eye Conditions
Certain medical conditions and pre-existing eye conditions may contraindicate or make blepharoplasty unadvisable. Individuals with uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular diseases may be at higher risk during surgery. Additionally, individuals with glaucoma, dry eye syndrome, or other serious eye conditions should consult with their ophthalmologist before considering blepharoplasty.
Blepharoplasty and Smoking
Smoking has been associated with an increased risk of complications in various surgical procedures, including blepharoplasty. Smoking can impair blood circulation, delay wound healing, and increase the risk of infection. Therefore, it is highly recommended to quit smoking or refrain from smoking for a significant period before and after the surgery to minimize risks and optimize the healing process.
Unrealistic Expectations and Psychological Readiness
It is crucial for individuals considering blepharoplasty to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the procedure. Blepharoplasty can enhance eyelid appearance but not change facial features or halt aging. Additionally, individuals should be psychologically prepared for the surgery, understanding the potential risks, recovery period, and the commitment required for post-operative care.
Consultation with a Qualified Plastic Surgeon
To determine the suitability of blepharoplasty, it is essential to consult with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. During the consultation, the surgeon will assess your medical history, needs, and goals. They will also discuss the risks and complications of the procedure. They will provide personalized recommendations based on your unique circumstances.
In conclusion, blepharoplasty can be a safe and effective procedure for eyelid rejuvenation. However, certain situations make it risky or not recommended. Factors such as underlying medical conditions, pre-existing eye conditions, smoking habits, unrealistic expectations, and psychological readiness should be carefully considered. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon is crucial to determine the suitability of blepharoplasty and make an informed decision.
Check out our gallery of before and after images for blepharoplasty here.