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  • Chris Thiagarajah MD

What to do if you are unhappy with your cosmetic eyelid surgery



If you are reading this article, two things have most likely happened. First, you have had cosmetic eyelid surgery in Denver. Second, you are dissatisfied with the surgery for some reason or the other. Most patients who undergo cosmetic eyelid surgery like blepharoplasty are very happy with their surgery. Some patients are not. Hopefully you had your eyelid lift surgery with an ASOPRS certified oculoplastics surgeon but maybe you did not.

There are a number of reasons for patient dissatisfaction with cosmetic eyelid surgery:

  1. Not satisfied with the improvement

  2. Unsatisfied with the eyelid crease

  3. Felt it was not aggressive enough

  4. Felt it was too aggressive

  5. The eyelid is pulled down

  6. Feels the eyelid shape/appearance has changed

  7. Eyelids not closing

Whatever the reason for your unhappiness with your surgery, there are several good news. First, whatever the issue is, it is usually fixable. Second most issues that patients are concerned about usually get better as things heal. Here are a few tips that can help patients in Denver who are unhappy with their eyelid surgery.

If it is in the first six weeks after the surgery, you need to chill out

The eyelids after surgery often take a while to heal. Though patients return to work in 2 weeks, the eyelids are not completely healed for a year. That being said, any problem of the surgery (eyelid crease position, lid retraction, eyelid shape change, eyelids not closing etc.) will resolve over 6-8 weeks (on average). If it is the first couple weeks after surgery or couple days, it is important to relax and let the eyelids heal over the six week period. Things are going to be ok most likely. In our practice, my partner Jerry Popham and I see a lot of second opinions after eyelid surgery…a lot. Part of our practice is revision eyelid surgery but the good news is that most patients who are unhappy in the first two weeks usually get self resolution of their problem within 3 months. Often the problem just gets better. The eyelids close better. The crease of the eyelid relaxes back to the normal position. The lid retraction improves. It would be largely unwise to perform any adjustment on a patient this early after surgery for something that will get better on its own. There are exceptions however. If the eyelid retraction or inability to close the eyes are terrible sometimes something must be done to protect the eye as it heals. Hopefull you had your surgery performed by an ASOPRS eyelid specialist (there are a few of us in Colorado) so someone is watching the safety of the eye. All in all, during this period most dissatisfied patients get self resolution of their problem without needing intervention. Wait it out as hard as it can be.

Go back and talk to your surgeon

If you are unhappy with your surgery, go back to your surgeon. That person is most familiar with your anatomy, how your tissue reacts and what happened during the surgery. Also, they will know the best next steps. A couple hints when going back to speak with your surgeon.

  1. Try to be specific with what is wrong (ie “I don’t like that the eyelid crease is high) as opposed to “I don’t like how my eyelid looks”)

  2. Be patient with your surgeon. They want to help you and make you happy. Give them a chance to fix the problem or reassure you during the healing process.

If there is something that should be done, your surgeon with usually solve the problem if something is needed (or reassure you if there isn’t.

Get a second opinion

There is no harm to get a second opinion. Often surgeons encourage patients to get a second opinion if they want the patient to be reassured by another doctor. I myself have encouraged patients to get a second opinion when I feel the surgery was great or I want a second set of eyes to look at the patient. Luckily for me there is another ASOPSR oculoplastic surgeon in my practice so Dr Popham and I can get second opinions pretty easily. Otherwise if there is a gap between your doctor and yourself, a second opinion may be able to make you feel better about the surgery or have something fixed if needed. There are a couple things you should bring with your appointment for the second opinion for eyelid surgery:

Your “before” photos

Your operative notes

An open mind

There are three things that may happen when a patient comes for a second opinion after eyelid surgery in my office

  1. You will be scheduled for revision surgery

  2. You are asked to give it some time

  3. You are reassured that nothing is wrong

It is important to keep an open mind that the second doctor (usually myself or my partner Jerry Popham) wants the best for you. We do not want to do unnecessary surgery on a patient and sometimes waiting is all that is needed. Secondly, we do not want to cause an eyelid complication from performing a procedure that will not deliver what you want or make things worse. By looking at the photos and operative report, it is possible for us to make an assessment what the best next steps are for you.

Hopefully this article can help patients guide things for themselves when they are unhappy with their eyelid surgery in Denver.


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