The Virginia Institute for Surgical Arts Blog

Eyelid Surgery Risks and Safety | Chantilly | Arlington | ManassasThe incidence of serious complications in eyelid surgery is very low, but some degree of risk is always inherent to the procedure. In any case, eyes are the most sensitive external area of the body, and any surgery related to the eyes should only be performed by someone with expertise in facial surgeries.

To ensure safe and predictable outcomes, the patient should cooperate and diligently follow the surgeon’s pre- and post-surgical instructions.

Dr. Trang Vo-Nguyen (Dr. V) is a board certified facial plastic surgeon providing eyelid surgery and various other procedures for the breast, body and face. Patients in Chantilly, Northern Virginia, Loudoun County, Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier, Arlington, Middleburg, Leesburg, Manassas, Warrenton, and surrounding locations have an opportunity to receive eyelid surgery from Dr. V.

Severe Complications

Major complications will only occur in the rarest of circumstances. They may include hematoma, ectropian, and retinal detachment. Ectropian refers to a droopy effect that causes the lower eyelid to become inverted. This condition may have to be corrected with a revision surgery.

Fluid collection under the skin in the incision areas or hematoma may occur in case of eyelid surgery. This risk increases if both upper and lower eyelid surgery are performed together in conjunction with additional procedures such as facelift or brow lift. Temporary drain tubes may be placed in the incision areas for a few days to minimize this risk.

Retinal detachment may occur in extremely rare cases. In this situation, the retina gets separated from the outer layers of the eye. Holes or tears in the retina may lead to this occurrence. This condition can be corrected with additional surgery performed by an experienced plastic surgeon.

Other Risks

Some of the less serious complications that may occur following eyelid surgery will include:

  • Infection
  • Excessive tearing
  • Poor reaction to anesthesia
  • Dry eyes
  • Burning of the eyes
  • Visible scarring
  • Formation of whiteheads after suture removal
  • Difficulty in keeping the eyes closed while sleeping
  • Blurred or double vision

These conditions will usually clear up on their own in a few days, and are in any case easily treatable. However, in rare situations, a complication may become permanent. Dr. V receives patients from Chantilly, Northern Virginia, Loudoun County, Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier, Arlington, Middleburg, Leesburg, Manassas, Warrenton, and nearby areas for eyelid surgery.  

Common Side Effects

Post-surgical Discomfort

Irritation, soreness and mild pain may occur in the first few days after eyelid surgery. As the effect of anesthesia wears off, the treated eyelids will feel tight and sore. Pain medications will be prescribed by the surgeon to keep the patient comfortable.


Some degree of swelling and mild redness will occur in the incision areas following eyelid surgery. Ice therapy or cold compresses can be applied in the first two or three days to mitigate swelling.


A little scarring is unavoidable, but an experienced surgeon will ensure that the scars are well-concealed. The scars will become more inconspicuous with the passage of time.

For more infomation please contact Dr. V. Dr. Trang Thuy Vo-Nguyen, known to her patients as “Dr. V,” is a board certified facial plastic surgeon providing the latest surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures in Northern Virginia, Leesburg, Loudoun, Fairfax, Warrenton, Fauquier, Arlington, Manassas, Middleburg, Prince William, and other areas.

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