Should chemosis be treated as soon as determined, or should I wait the four weeks before my surgeon wants to see me again?

I had bilateral upper and lower blepharoplasty 15 days ago. My left lower eyelid seems to be pulled away from the eyeball and my eye feels like there is something in it. It is also quite sensitive to wind, and even simply air. Both eyes and inner edges of lower lids appear red. The left eye has a jelly-like firm substance that appears to bulge over the lid a bit. My doc said I appear to be healing beautifully. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling after eyelid surgery

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Dear Clcrom

Thank you for the question on your eye swelling.

  • As you mentioned chemosis is fluid in between the cells of the white part of your eye that takes on some color that is just like bruising. 
  • The priority is to keep the eye lubricated and moist just as your surgeon has told you. 
  • Occasionally medicated ointments may be given to help with the process (steroid with or without an antibiotic)
  • Consider returning to your surgeon with your concerns or simply see your ophthalmologist/ optometrist to get a "clean bill of health for your eye"

Best Wishes

Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon

This requires active management.

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Chemises is a type of swelling associated with the eyelid surgery.  Dry eye also makes this worse and persistent.  Management is usually the use of artificial tears and ointment.  You surgeon may have no training in ophthalmology meaning that they lack even the basic equipment to examine the health of the eye surface.  Your general ophthalmologist can help here.  Without the active management, the chemises will take longer to resolve.  In addition, you are describing a left lower eyelid malposition after surgery which is called ectropion.  Sometime with patience these to resolve but it may also need surgical management.  Please ask your surgeon for help.  If they can't help you directly, ask for a referral to an oculofacial surgeon.

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

Normal response.

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hi greetings from the Uk! No chemosis is a normal response and just represents normally postoperative healing oedema collecting under the conjunctiva. Your eye may feel a bit gritty though as a result so it often feels more comfortable with some ocular lubricants. Rest assured it'll settle in time. Best Wishes


David Cheung, MBChB, Bsc(Hons), FRCOphth
Birmingham Oculoplastic Surgeon

Chemosis is treatable

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to help it resolve sooner than later... and if your lid is truly pulled away from your globe, you are not healing beautifully.  But your surgeon should have instructed you on maneuvers you could do to help this resolve sooner.  Talk to your surgeon and get his advice and recommendations and if needed, prescriptions.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Chemosis after blepharoplasty

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The answer depends on many factors including amount of chemosis, eyeball position, eyelid position, eye closure, etc. See an oculoplastic specialist. See following link.

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews


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Thank you for the question and chemists can and should be treated with appropriate eye drops.  So see your surgeon for a prescription 

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 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.