Eyelid Surgery Revision Possible with Chemosis Present?

I had eyelid surgery 5 months ago. It went bad and now I need to have it redone. My new plastic surgeon told me that I have chemosis in one of my eyes. I am supposed to have my new surgery soon to repair what my other surgeon messed up on. I want to know, can it be redone even though I have chemosis? Or will that worsen the problem?

Doctor Answers 14

Allow chemosis to subside prior to revision eyelid surgery

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The chemosis from the first surgery will probably get worse after the second surgery. It is a good idea to have the chemosis subsided prior to embarking on any revision eyelid surgery, unless the second surgery itself will completely alleviate the problem.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Best to wait until chemosis has resolved before eyelid surgery revision

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If there is residual chemosis from previous blepharoplasty (usually the lower lids) then it is best to wait until chemosis has resolved. If the chemosis has not resolved after a long period of time, then this issue should be addressed prior to additional eyelid surgery. The cause of long-standing chemosis should be addressed. Chemosis is usually caused by lymphatic drainage obstruction. In certain situations, it is possible to improve the chemosis with judicious revision of the lower lids.

Chemosis unusual months after eyelid surgery

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It is rather unusual for chemosis to persist for months after blepharoplasty. Chemosis is swelling of the conjunctiva, the clear layer that covers the white of your eye. Chemosis is not uncommon immediately after eyelid surgery and may last for several days. Often it is minor and hardly noticeable. If chemosis is persisting for months after surgery, then I would advocate against further eyelid surgery at this point. Instead, I would investigate the cause of your persistent chemosis. Chemosis is often a nonspecific sign of eye irritation. Other causes include allergy and infection.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Chemosis should be treated first before revision.

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Ideally, you should have the chemosis treated before any revision. However, your eyelid problem may be causing the chemosis and therefore need to be treated first. I would suggest seeing a plastic surgeon well experienced in revision eyelid surgery or one who has oculoplastic surgery training. Sorry to hear about your problem and good luck.

Dean Fardo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Eyelid Revision

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Chemosis 5 months out is very unusual. You did not state what your problem is but I would guess it would have to do with your lower eyelid and likely lid retraction or ectropian.

You need to be seen by an oculoplastic surgeon who deals with these particular issue. If this is not addressed appropriately, this may be a very problematic issue for a long time to come.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Prolonged Chemosis after Blepharoplasty

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Even in the worst of circumstances, it is very unusual to have chemosis still five months after blepharoplasty. There are really only two reasons for this. First is failure to treat it. Second, and most likely, is that there is an anatomic problem causing the continued chemosis. If it is the latter, then the only way to correct it is by correcting the problem causing it. This usually requires surgery. However, before undergoing any further surgery, talk with your surgeon about exactly what he/she plans to correct and how he plans to do it. Also, ask how much experience he has had in correcting these problems. Frequently, scar pulling the lid down laterally is the cause of the problem. This may require a graft to lift the lid back to a normal position. The eyelid is a very unforgiving structure. If you are not careful, the extra scar from the additional surgery can make the problem worse.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Eyelid revision with chemosis?

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IF you actually have chemosis, which would be rare 5 months after your surgery, there is something wrong and needs to be diagnosed. The only reason to do a revision now would be if it were to address in part why you still have chemosis. Otherwise, you should wait until there is no longer any swelling.

It sounds like you have a complax problem so make SURE your new doctor is extremely experienced in complex eyeild situations or you might go from bad to worse after the next surgery.

Chemosis after eyelid surgery

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Chemosis after eyelid surgery is certainly a distressing problem for both the patient and the surgeon. I would fist suggest consulting with an ophthalmologist so that you are maximally treated in order to help the chemosis resolve. It is possible that the poor surgical result you are referring to is responsible for your current problem and until the structure and shape of your eye is corrected the chemosis may not resolve. Once again, I would discuss this with your surgeon and ophthalmologist.

Philip S. Schoenfeld, MD, FACS
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Chemosis and surgery

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The definitive answer depends on the problem for which you require revision. In some cases, ectropion or eyelid drooping may be contributing to the problem and a permanent or temporary correction of this problem could be warranted before complete resolution of chemosis. You should sek consultation with a plastic surgeon or opthalmic plastic surgeon with specific experience with this problem.

Stanley G. Poulos, MD
Greenbrae Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Wait for Chemosis to Go Away Before Revision

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The risk of prolonged chemosis after revision surgery is real. You should wait till all of the chemosis is resolved. Also, make sure you are seeing an ophthalmologist to ensure there is no other eye condition that could be making your chemosis stay longer.

Doing surgery one month after complete resolution of chemosis would be prudent.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.