Q: I had a SMAS facelift earlier this year in February. I also had my eyelids done as well. I have several problems from this surgery. My eye opening is smaller than before and one of my lower eyelids is hanging down. In addition, you can not tell that I have had a facelift. It doesn’t look different or improved at all. The Dr. said he will not redo it. Will I have to get a complete facelift again? Do you do redos?
A: Anytime there is an outcome that does not meet a patient’s expectations, it is important to determine why. There are only two fundamental reasons; there has been a complication that mars an otherwise acceptable result or there has been a fundamental miscommunication between the doctor and the patient as to what to expect afterwards. Having one lower eyelid than hangs down or is pulled away from the eyeball after surgery is known as ectropion. That is a postoperative complication that can occur after a lower blepharoplasty. If it is a small amount of ectropion and it is not that far out from surgery, then time and patience are acceptable for now. But since it is four months after surgery and there is still some noticeable lower eyelid malposition compared to the other side, revisional lower eyelid surgery may be needed. Why you see no result from your facelift is another matter. That would be an unusual outcome given the nature of how a facelift is performed. I think you need to go back and discuss your results with your original plastic surgeon. Most likely what he said was that he would not revise or redo your surgery at just 4 months after surgery. A different answer may be forthcoming with more time and if your lower eyelid ectropion persists. Only after you have given the original surgeon ample opportunity to come to a mutually acceptable decision should you pursue an outside opinion for revisional surgery.
Dr. Barry Eppley