What is Chemosis?

I was reading an eyelid surgery review on realself today where somebody kept talking about having chemosis. What is that

Doctor Answers 15

Chemosis and Eyelid surgery

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Chemosis is irritation and prolonged edema of the white part of the eye. The condition is often times seen following eyelid surgery. The condition can occur with or without globe protection and lubrication during eyelid surgery and fortunately, although distressing when present, is temporary in nature. Topical steroid ointment may be necessary for prolonged chemosis after blepharoplasty.

Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Chemosis is inflammation of the white of the eye

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Chemosis is related to an irritaion of the surface of the white of the eye. It can occur initially after eyelid surgery. It can be due to dryness of the eyes or irritation that can happen after surgery. It makes it look like there is liquid or mucous along the white of the eye. It can take a few weeks time to completely go away. Sometimes a vicous cycle can start where the swelling of the eye prevents the eyelids from closing well which leads to dryness of the eye and more chimosis and on and on. Usually it is treated with lots of eyedrops or ointment both during the day and at night. It is treatable and always goes away with time and treatment.

Robert B. Pollack, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Chemosis Following Blepharoplasty

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Chemosis is a severe form of swelling that occasionally occurs following blepharoplasty surgery. This swelling typically involves the conjunctiva and sclera. It has the appearance of blistering with associated pinkish discoloration.

In most cases, it resolves in one to two weeks following surgery. It tends to respond nicely to steroid drops. When this situation arises, it's important to contact your plastic surgeon as soon as possible. Your surgeon should be able to outline a treatment plan that results in resolution of this problem.

Chemosis After Blepharoplasty

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Chemosis is the swelling of the white part of your eyeball that surrounds the pupil (dark part in the center). It usually happens to a mild degree after lower eyelid surgery and resolves within a few weeks. It can however last for months in some cases. In my opinion it is related to the extensive dissection and trauma of surgery. A find technique with minimal dissection can minimize the chances of chemosis.


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

Chemosis can follow blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery

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Swelling of the eye itself occurs following Blepharoplasty. In some cases the swelling leads to irritation of the sclera and or conjunctiva of the eye. This swelling can create more dryness or irritation of the eye and more swelling. It can takes weeks to resolve and often will require lubricants, steroids, patching and occasionally a small procedure.

Charles Perry, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Chemosis afer eyelid surgery

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Chemosis is a condition where the white of the eye has become irritated and inflamed and appears as a bubble or moist blister. This can result after a lower lid rejuvenation if swelling or tightness in the lid after surgery causes the lid to pull away from the eye, or a response to sutures used, The best prevention is moisture and soaks as the lower lid heals, drops to prevent dryness, and ointment at night to keep the eye moist. Chemosis is not seen very often after lid surgery, though knowing about it ahead, and how to treat it can be reassuring.

Best of luck.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Chemosis is swelling localized to the white of the eye

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Chemosis refers to swelling of the conjunctiva which is the covering that lines the eyelid and drapes over the front of the eye. The conjunctiva that we see is clear and the tissues underneath it are white. There can be a number of reasons that the conjunctiva swells so chemosis does not tell one anything about the cause of the swelling. However, following surgery, the eyelids swell and yes the conjunctiva can and does also swell.

Normally after surgery, the swelling of the conjunctiva (chemosis) is minimal. However, in some individuals the chemosis can be much more of a significant issue. This includes following lateral canthal procedures, and procedures in individuals with dry eye after surgery. Typically time and ocular lubrication with artificial tears and ointment are the appropriate treatment.

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


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It is swelling and or inflammatory exudate below the sclera of the eye. It may resolve spotaneously, with topical steroids, or a small procedure. It happens occasionally.

Chemosis can occur after lower eyelid surgery

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Chemosis is generally a temporary condition of prolonged edema or swelling of the lower eye after lower blepharoplasty or lower eyelid surgery. Typically, the conjunctiva or white part of the eye swells and looks blistery and red much like pink eye. The condition usually resolves in two to four weeks and is often treated with steroids and steroid eye drops. I hope this information helps.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Chemosis after Blepharoplasty

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Chemosis is swelling in the conjunctiva (the lining over the white part of the eye). This occurs from any irritation of the eye lining, but most frequently occurs after lower blepharoplasty to some extent in about 20% of patients. It frequently resolves on its own, but occasionally has to be treated, usually with some steroid drops. It does not hurt or cause any other problem other than, perhaps, increasing the feeling of dry eye.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

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.