Eyelid Surgery Side Effect: Dry Eye
By David Passaretti, MD on December 14, 2016
If you are considering blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, Dr. David Passaretti wants you to understand all the side effects that may accompany the procedure. Blepharoplasty is effective at eliminating puffy or sagging skin around the eyes by removing excess skin from the upper or lower eyelids. One of the most common eyelid surgery side effects is dry eye. At our Fairfield County, CT office, Dr. Passaretti can assess your risk of developing dry eye after surgery.
Why Does Eyelid Surgery Cause Dry Eye?
More than 27 percent of all patients who undergo eyelid surgery experience dry eye. One reason you may experience dry eye following blepharoplasty is that the procedure temporarily inhibits your ability to blink as you normally would. This prevents your tear film from properly coating your cornea, resulting in dry eyes.
In some cases, the composition of your tear film may actually change after blepharoplasty, which can also cause symptoms of dry eye. In most cases, the side effects of dry eye are temporary and not serious. The best way to reduce the risk of serious, long-term effects is to properly screen patients prior to surgery.
Who Is at Greatest Risk for Developing Dry Eye after Blepharoplasty?
Before proceeding with treatment, Dr. Passaretti will carefully assess your risk factors that could result in severe dry eye symptoms following surgery. In general, women going through menopause or those just starting new birth control may be at a heightened risk for dry eye due to changes in hormone levels.
Additionally, if you have struggled with dry eye symptoms in the past or with wearing contact lenses, you are more likely to suffer from dry eye complications following surgery. Patients with the greatest risk of developing dry eye after blepharoplasty are those who choose to have surgery on both the upper and lower eyelids.
Controlling Dry Eye Symptoms
As a temporary side effect of eyelid surgery, dry eye is easily controlled with over-the-counter eye drops like artificial tears and ointments. For patients who experience symptoms that last longer than six to eight weeks, they should contact Dr. Passaretti to discuss additional options for relief. He may recommend temporary contact lenses to help increase moisture on the eyes or another alternative. In most cases, Dr. Passaretti’s skill and expertise significantly reduces the risk of long-term dry eye complications for our patients.
Learn More about Eyelid Surgery and Dry Eye
If you are considering eyelid surgery to eliminate sagging skin and enhance your appearance, contact our office to discuss the benefits and potential risks of this procedure. Dr. Passaretti focuses on thoroughly educating our patients about the procedure and the risk of complications and side effects like dry eye so they can make an informed decision. He will also conduct a thorough screening process to assess your risk. If he thinks the procedure could cause long-term complications for you, he may recommend an alternative treatment option, such as BOTOX® cosmetic or a laser treatment.
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