Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure used to improve the appearance of the eyelids. You can have the procedure done for functional or cosmetic purposes on both the upper and lower lids. Sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids, and bags under the eyes are the results of excess fat accumulating above or below the eyelids as we age due to the stretching of our eyelids and weakening of the muscles that support them.
Blepharoplasty aims to rectify these issues, providing a rejuvenated appearance that makes the eyes look more rested and alert. Due to this, it is becoming more and more well-liked among those who want to look young. But as with any surgical procedure, it is critical to be aware of any possible risks. One risk associated with blepharoplasty is the possibility of post-operative infection.
Early Signs of Infection After Blepharoplasty
Infections after blepharoplasty, while uncommon, can occur. Recognizing the early signs of an infection is crucial as it can help reduce complications and expedite recovery. Here are some signs you should be aware of:
Although some degree of discomfort is common after surgery, increasing or excruciating pain should not be disregarded. If, in spite of taking prescribed painkillers, your pain does not go better over time or becomes intolerable, this may be a sign of an infection.
Redness and Swelling
Post-operative redness and swelling are expected after blepharoplasty, but these symptoms should gradually subside over time. If you notice that the redness or swelling is worsening, especially after a few days, or is concentrated in one area, it may be a sign of an infection.
An infected area often feels warm or hot to the touch. If the skin around your eyes feels unusually warm compared to other areas on your face, this could suggest an infection.
The presence of pus or a discharge from the surgical site is a clear sign of infection. In addition to being yellow, green, or white, the discharge occasionally has an unpleasant odor.
A fever or chills may be signs that an infection is being fought off by your body. If you’re feeling unusually cold or hot, or if you’re experiencing sweats or shivers, it’s advisable to check your temperature.
Unusual Eyelid Appearance
If your eyelids look very different from each other, or there is a dramatic change in their appearance, such as increased droopiness or asymmetry, this could potentially signal an infection.
Difficulty focusing, blurry vision, or increased light sensitivity can be signs of a serious infection that requires immediate medical attention.
General Ill Feeling or Fatigue
If you feel generally unwell, extremely tired, or have a loss of appetite, these could be systemic signs of an infection.
If you notice these early signs of infection after blepharoplasty, it’s crucial to act promptly. Do not try to treat these symptoms on your own or ignore them in hopes that they will go away. Instead, get in touch with your surgeon or healthcare professional right away. They are able to assess your symptoms and administer the proper care, which might involve using antibiotics or other interventions. A faster recovery and less severe consequences can be guaranteed by treating an infection as soon as it is discovered.
Post-Operative Care to Prevent Infections
Proper care after blepharoplasty is crucial in preventing infections and ensuring a smooth recovery. Here are some more detailed tips:
Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions
This is the most important step. Based on your unique situation, your surgeon will provide you personalized instructions. This can entail applying eye drops or ointments, taking prescription drugs, and showing up for all follow-up appointments. Make sure you comprehend these instructions, and if you have any questions, do not be afraid to ask them.
Keep the Area Clean
It’s essential to prevent any bacteria from infecting the surgical site. Avoid touching your eyes unless necessary, and always wash your hands thoroughly before applying medication or cleaning the area. To prevent irritation, pat dry with a fresh towel.
Rest and Protect Your Eyes
Your eyes will need time to heal. Get plenty of sleep, and try to avoid activities that could strain your eyes, like reading, watching TV, or using electronic devices for the first few days. Your eyes can be shielded from wind, sun, and dust by wearing sunglasses.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Alcohol and tobacco use both raise the possibility of problems and slow down the healing process. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, reducing the blood flow to the surgical site, which can delay healing and increase the risk of infection. Because alcohol thins blood, it makes severe bleeding and bruises more likely.
Stay Hydrated and Maintain a Healthy Diet
Good nutrition is key to healing. Consuming a well-balanced diet high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can strengthen your immune system and hasten the healing process. Staying hydrated helps maintain healthy skin and aids in the body’s natural healing processes.
Avoid Strenuous Activities
For at least a week after surgery, refrain from heavy lifting, bending over, or any strenuous activities that could raise your blood pressure and lead to bleeding.
Use Cold Compresses
Using cold compresses on your eyes can help ease any discomfort and minimize swelling. To protect your skin, make sure you wrap the compress in a soft, clean cloth.
Sleep with Your Head Elevated
This may aid in healing and swollen reduction. When you are sleeping or relaxing, raise your head with a couple of pillows.
Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
Scratching or rubbing your eyes might aggravate the surgical site and raise the possibility of infection.
Making the Right Decisions for Your Eyelid Health
In conclusion, blepharoplasty is a popular procedure that can significantly enhance your appearance and potentially improve vision. However, it’s important to understand that it is a surgical procedure, and like any operation, it comes with potential risks, including infection.
Seeking advice from a trained and experienced surgeon or healthcare professional is essential before deciding on blepharoplasty. They can provide you with detailed information about the procedure, its benefits and risks, and whether you are a suitable candidate. They will also walk you through the process of getting ready for surgery and recovering from it.
It is crucial that you adhere to the post-operative care instructions after the procedure. This includes taking prescribed medications, keeping the area clean, protecting your eyes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and attending all follow-up visits. Each of these steps plays a vital role in minimizing the risk of complications, like infections, and ensuring a successful recovery.
Never forget that your health and wellbeing should come first. By making informed decisions and taking the necessary precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of blepharoplasty while minimizing potential risks. Blepharoplasty is more than just an aesthetic improvement; it’s a commitment to attentive care and a healthier future for your eyes.