Dry, red, burning eyes are uncomfortable and they can even pose a possible health risk if not treated immediately. Dry eyes are one potential post-operative complication associated with blepharoplasty – specifically, lower eyelid surgery – where incisions are made in order to tighten the skin or remove excess fat or muscle.

Plastic surgeons suspect lower lid retraction or laxity as possible causes of post-op dry eyes. Other causes may include a loosening of scar tissue following eyelid surgery. Dry eyes can also occur as the unintended result of CO2 laser resurfacing in the eye area. Any cosmetic or surgical procedure that changes the shape or functional structure of the eyelids can result in dry eyes. The condition can worsen if the patient already has a problem with dry eyes.

Symptoms include dry, gritty eyes or teary, watery eyes as the body compensates for the loss of moisture in the eyes. Sufferers may also feel an extreme sensitivity to daylight or bright lights if the condition persists. Dry eyes, when they do occur after surgery, are often associated with other cosmetic facial procedures such as a brow lift or facelift.

Fortunately, post-surgical dry eyes are usually a temporary condition. The danger lies in the possibility of damage occurring to the cornea, known as corneal abrasion, which can adversely affect eyesight. Doctors recommend the use of eye lubricants, ophthalmic ointments, or eye drops to keep the eyes moist during the recovery period following blepharoplasty. These topical medicines will not only help you to see better but will help to ensure optimal results from your eyelid surgery.

Be sure to tell your plastic surgeon if you suffer from chronic dry eyes. It will help your doctor plan a surgical procedure with minimal risk of complications and help to guarantee a safer recovery period with an eye on superb results.

Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Contact The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery at 757.389.5850 for a personal consultation.