Discover the 4 risks of eyelid surgery and find out if it can affect your eyesight.


Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Helena Antoniadou - Consultant Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon

If you are considering whether to undergo blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery, a detailed understanding of the relevant risks and potential complications is needed to make a well-informed decision. Getting older can take its toll on your appearance, particularly to the skin around the eyes which can become loose and wrinkled, start to sag, and make the eyes look tired, adding years to the face. This can negatively impact your self-esteem and even cause you to avoid social situations, if you are feeling like this then read on to find out how we can help.

What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty, also known as eye bag removal or eyelid surgery, helps to restore youthfulness to the face and despite the name, this procedure helps to improve the appearance of the overall eye area.

During the consultation period with your surgeon, you will discuss your specific concerns and ideal outcomes. This period provides an opportunity for your surgeon to clarify your individual preferences to avoid any disappointment, and iron out any unrealistic expectations. This reduces the risk of appearing “overdone” or “overcorrected” which varies between individuals.

In the same way as any other surgical procedure, blepharoplasty is associated with some degree of risk and it is important that patients understand this before deciding to undergo treatment.

blepharoplasty surgery performed by Ms Helena Antoniadou
blepharoplasty surgery performed by Ms Helena Antoniadou

What are the possible complications of eyelid surgery?

The surgical complications of eyelid surgery range from those that are minor to more severe, we will discuss a number of each in the next section of this article. To be clear, we understand that the perceived impact of any given complication will vary between clients, so your surgeon will discuss the likelihood of any complications in your personal circumstances.

Complications: the expected side effects, to the severe and uncommon

  • Bruising – When the skin and underlying tissues are disrupted, there is bleeding that leads to bruising in all patients undergoing eyelid surgery. This is expected and your aftercare plan will include steps to reduce this.
  • Swelling and temporarily altered sensation – Both are a consequence of disrupting the skin, underlying fat, muscle and nerve tissue. For a few weeks post-surgery, some patients might experience temporary irritation and sensitivity to the eyes and altered tear production, but this will usually settle down without the need for further action.
  • Infection – Wound infection following eyelid surgery is rare, occurring in as few as 0.2% of cases1. Although if you were to sustain an infection, your surgeon and clinical team will be on hand to prescribe antibiotics and provide any necessary management.
  • Overcorrection – Improper preoperative planning or insufficient surgical experience and training can rarely result in the removal of too much excess skin.

Our surgeons complete extensive preoperative assessment processes, operate in the highest-quality clinical environments and have an unrivalled wealth of surgical training and experience, these are all factors that minimise the likelihood of surgical complications for the benefit of their patients. It is essential that when considering aesthetic surgery you select a reputable and regulated provider with appropriate experience and expertise in the relevant procedure.

At The Harley Medical Group, you will have the opportunity to view a gallery of before and after images from previous clients who have agreed to share the results of eyelid surgery procedures performed by your chosen surgeon.

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Will my eyesight be affected?

Given the site of surgery in blepharoplasty, there is a small risk of damage to the eye and subsequent visual disturbance. This is extremely rare, with a study in the Journal of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery finding that permanent vision loss occurred in 1 in 10,000 procedures2.

Interested in undergoing this procedure with us? Find out more about blepharoplasty at The Harley Medical Group. 

Want to read more about this procedure? Ultimate Guide to Blepharoplasty Surgery


  1. Carter SR, Stewart JM, Khan J, Archer KF, Holds JB, Seiff SR, Dailey RA. Infection after blepharoplasty with and without carbon dioxide laser resurfacing. Ophthalmology.
  2. Hass AN Penne RB Stefanyszyn MA Flanagan JC. Incidence of postblepharoplasty orbital hemorrhage and associated visual loss. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2004.
Posted December 20, 2022
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