Bloodshot Eyes After Blepharoplasty Surgery

I had upper and lower Blepharoplasty 13 days ago. I went back to work after 10 days. I work on the computer, so I took my eye drops to work. The first two days were okay, however, when I came home today, I noticed that my eyes were bloodshot. I have never had bloodshot eyes in my life. Should I be worried? I realize that the computer is going to bring more blood flow but I did not expect this. I am starting to regret this surgery. I am sure it did not help that I had my little space heater on as well. I guess I am nervous due to all the cornea damage talk.

Doctor Answers 16

It can't be that cold in Charlotte

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Brown Eyed Girl,

I think you know the answer to your own question. It is very important to maintain moisturization of your cornea after blepharoplasty surgery. Your space heater and many hours in front of the computer (not blinking as frequently as you should be) are probably causing your eyes to dry out and become irritated. Turn off the heater and use your eyedrops more frequently. The irritation will subside. Good luck!

Blood shot eyes are harmless.

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To Brown Eyed Girl,

Hi. This looks terrible, but it is pretty common after eyelid surgery and it always goes away in a few weeks. It will not hurt your eyes and it does not mean damage to your corneas.

If you have PAIN in your eyes, that can be serious and you should see your surgeon right away.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Redness can be a sign of irritation

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Red eyes can be caused by many things including corneal irritation, allergies, corneal abrasion, reactions to medication, etc.

Blepharoplasty can alter your eyes ability to blink and change your bodies ability to clear debris and spread tear film over your eyes. If you had no redness after the surgery and are now having issues it may or may not be related to the surgery. The typical course for corneal irritation or inability for a patient to protect their eyes with the typical mechanism of the upper lid usually is an early one with patients having trouble in the first few days.

However, your symptoms can be a sign of something more serious and you should see your treating physician. He may prescribe different eye drops (perhaps ones with steroid in them) or if he is concerned he may refer you to an opthamologist.

I hope this helps.

Bloodshot Eyes Following Blepharoplasty

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It's not unusual for patients to have bloodshot eyes following blepharoplasty surgery. this can occur for a variety of reasons including allergies, corneal abrasion, infection, medication reactions and eye dryness. In most cases, post-operative redness resolves with conservative management.

Your history suggests that you've had significant eyelid drying from your space heater and from viewing your computer screen. Under these circumstances, it's important to make sure your eyes are adequately moisturized.

When these steps are taken, eyelid redness gradually resolves without consequences. If you're concerned about bloodshot eyes, it's appropriate to consult your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your concerns.

Nothing to be alarmed about

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Redness of the eyes may not be related to your surgery. Since you had no pain, it will probably resolve without treatment. If you felt irritation, then dryness would be high on the list of possibilities. If it does not resolve, follow up with your surgeon. Try refrigerating and using chilled artificial tears in the meantime.

Blood shot eyes after surgery

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There are several causes for this

1. Your eyes may be dry - artificial tears or lubricating drops will help

2. You may have developed an allergy to a medication that goes in the eye - stopping the medicine will help

Bloodshot eyes will resolve over time. I would keep lubricating them and see your surgeon in the next following week.

Chris Thiagarajah, MD
Denver Oculoplastic Surgeon

Delayed appearance of bloodshot eyes is common after blepharoplasty

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You should check with your doctor who performed the surgery to be certain that nothing is wrong.

However it is common for bloodshot eyes to occur as long as a week or so after blepharoplasty -- it most always seems to be a delayed phenomena and occurs in people who religiously use their moisturizing ointment post op. I do not think it indicates dry eye, but it is very important to keep the eye moist after blepharolasty by using the eye ointment your doctor prescribed.

I also do not think it is related to computer use. It happens in patients who are at home, with head elevated and resting after blepharoplasty.

In my experience it always resolves. If the white part of the eyes are swollen with fluid-called chemosis, a steroid eye drop can speed resolution but must be prescribed by the doctor who performed your surgery.

Dry eye and eyelid surgery

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Dear Brown Eyed Girl,

It's been awhile since you posted. However, what you are describing with eye irriation is presumably dry eye after eyelid surgery. Generally, we tell our patients that this can persist for 6 to 8 weeks.

It is a good idea for your surgeon to assess the ability of the eyes to produce tears and any evidence of a base line dry eye condition. This does not prevent people from having eyelid surgery, but it should guide the doctor in preparing the patient to know what to expect after surgery.

Swelling of the eyelid can worsen dry eye. Generally, when the eyes are so dry that the conjunctive is red and irritated, dry eye treatment should be aggressive. This treatment is best directed by an eye plastic surgeon or a general ophthalmologist, and when needed, a cornea specialist. It is my experience that when the eyes are this irritated there are also dry spots on the actual corneal surface.

Also, be aware that occasionally we find that patients who experience irritation after surgery and have been diligently using eye drops or ointment recommended by the doctor, can have an allergy to some of the ingredents in the products. Treatment early after surgery is supportive.

If the individual is using an ophthalmic product known to cause irritation, this is stopped. Even the best artificial tears only last about 40 minutes, so it is not uncommon to recommend artificial tear every one or two hours while awake. Non preserved tears are often preferred to reduce the risk of allergy to the preservative. At bed time the drops don't last long enough and bland ophthalmic oinment is prefered.

When the eyes do not close after blepharoplasty or the muscle of the upper eyelid closed to the lashes does not generate enough force (which occurs if the motor nerves to the muscle are damaged due to the surgery) more aggressive physical measures may be recommended. This can include taping the eye closed or an occlusive chamber. Generally, these measures are only recommended in extreme cases and should be guided by an eye plastic surgeon or general ophthalmologist.

Frequently, there are also eyelid margin conditions that can be optimized including treating inflammation along the eyelid margin such as blepharitis. The tear drainage system can be temporarily occluded when necessary.

The bottom line is that these symptoms should resolve 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Symptoms beyond that should be carefully assessed and this assessment will often be outside the scope of practice of a general plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon. Consequently, it may be necessary to consult with a fellowship trained eye plastic surgeon or your general ophthalmologist.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Redness after Blepharoplasty not unusual

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This is not at all unusual and is most likely related to the increased circulation to your eyes from the surgery.

It can be made worse if your eyes become dry so be sure to use ocular lubricants liberally during the first 3 weeks.

If your eyes become inflammed you may ask your physician for an Acular prescription, it is costly, but it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that can reduce the redness and irritation.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Keep calm

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Bloodshot eyes in and of themselves, do not always mean a problem. It could indicate dry eyes, early corneal irritation. Other things to look for include pain, scratchy feeling. If you do not have pain/discomfort, or visual disturbances, you probably suffering from dry eyes. This should pass as your eyelids start to function properly.

The key to getting better is to avoid things that dry the eye- overhead fans, space heaters, etc. Genteal eye drops work great. Patching the eyes at night is good. If your lower lids are drooping, you may need to tape them- your surgeon can help with this.

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.