Is this swelling normal?

Carlos Wolf, MD
Article by
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon


Q: I had upper and lower lid surgery two weeks ago and am generally happy. I did not have too much bruising and I had very little pain. But I am worried that my lower eyelid appears to be hanging down a little bit and that there is some swelling inside my eye. Is that normal? Should I worry? And is there anything I should be doing now?

A: I am glad you have had such a nice experience. I find that eyelid surgery is one of my patients' most satisfying procedure. Patients rarely complain of pain and are usually happy with their results.

The problem you are describing may be one of a few things. Your doctor might have taken too much eyelid skin and your eyelid is being pulled down, causing a malposition, which may go away with time or additional surgery. The fact that you describe some swelling inside your eye speaks of a droopy eyelid. You probably have a condition know as chemosis.

Chemosis is a swelling of the outer layer of the eyeball, which pushes out the lower lid. As the swelling resolves so does the pulled-down look of your eyelid. I see this type of swelling infrequently and in no predictable form. The problem does not represent ``something'' your doctor did or did not do -- it just happens.

The good news is that in my experience the swelling always goes away. The long-term results of your surgery are not affected by the swelling. You just have to wait a little longer to get the results you want.