MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - May 9, 2013) - According to a recent study lead by Minneapolis facial plastic surgeon Dr. Jess Prischmann, over 25% of eyelid surgery patients experience post-operative symptoms of dry eye, including excessive watering or irritation. Additionally, the study found that the majority of patients suffer from dry eye without ever mentioning their symptoms unless prompted by their doctor. While dry eye symptoms appear to be common following eyelid surgery, Dr. Prischmann notes that there are steps a surgeon can and should take during the assessment and postsurgical care processes to minimize prolonged cases of dry eye.
At her Minneapolis facial plastic surgery practice, Prischmann Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Prischmann performs eyelid surgery (otherwise known as blepharoplasty) on a regular basis. She says her patients commonly seek eyelid surgery to remove excess or loose skin around the eyes, reduce puffiness, and achieve a more youthful appearance. While dry eye symptoms do occur on occasion, Dr. Prischmann notes in an interview with Reuters Health: "It's not a complication that should alarm people." In fact, she says many dry eye symptoms can be easily treated with eye drops or prescription ointments after surgery.
In regard to why dry eye occurs on occasion, the Minneapolis facial plastic surgeon tells Reuters Health: "When you have surgery on the eyelids, your blink mechanism is disrupted temporarily, and when you can't blink you can't spread that tear film over your cornea." Additionally, she notes that one's tear film may change during a blepharoplasty procedure to cause dry eye symptoms. Ultimately, she says many of these instances can be avoided if surgeons take the time to thoroughly evaluate candidacy for eyelid surgery prior to surgery.
Despite the number of dry eye cases recorded in her study, Dr. Prischmann highlights that many patients experience minimal or no symptoms at all, and most patients are very happy with their results. She stresses that this recent research should not discourage potential patients from undergoing eyelid surgery, but instead raise awareness that there are steps an experienced surgeon can take to minimize the likelihood of dry eye. Dr. Prischmann adds that a skilled and qualified surgeon will be able to tell when a patient has a particularly high risk of acquiring dry eye and deem that patient an unsuitable candidate for the procedure.
About Jess Prischmann, MD
Dr. Jess Prischmann is a graduate of Boston University and earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Otolaryngology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery with world-renowned facial plastic surgeon Stephen W. Perkins, MD. She is the recipient of the Zumbro Valley Medical Society Community Service Award and has co-hosted a syndicated weekly radio show titled "Medical Edge Weekend." Dr. Prischmann is available for interview upon request.