Numbness Eyelid Surgery?

How long after undergoing eyelid surgery should numbness around the eyes reside?

Doctor Answers (7)

Numbness eyelid surgery?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Numbness is temporary

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Numbness around the eyelid area is an expected temporary outcome after undergoing blepharoplasty. The sensation does return in a few weeks.

Janet Turkle, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Everyone is little different

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Having gone through a blepharoplasty procedure myself I can testify about the numbness personally.  I found it was temporary and once it went away it didn't come back.  It was really three to four weeks before I had full feeling in all four lids.

This is typical for my patients as well.  A few of them take longer, more like six weeks.  Rarely will numbness in the eyelids last longer than that.

Did it bother me?  No, since I don't wear makeup.  But my female patients tell me that it was strange putting their eyeliner on when they couldn't feel it and even stranger taking it off later.  But thankfully it all comes back eventually.

Phillip C. Haeck, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

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Numbness after Eyelid Surgery?

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Thank you for the question.

Numbness may persist for several months after any type of facial surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
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Numbness after eyelid surgery

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I would say that 50% of it should subside after 6 weeks, but there can be some residual areas that might take  6 months on occasion.  Every patient is different though.

Julio Garcia, MD
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Numb Eyelids After Surgery

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During eyelid surgery, it is common for the small branches of sensory nerves to be cut. These nerve endings regenerate, usually after 3 - 6 months.  Most likely, your numbness will resolve in time.

Michael McCracken, MD
Lone Tree Oculoplastic Surgeon
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Numbness after eyelid surgery

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One could have numbness for three months after eyelid surgery, but it should not be severe, and really mostly noticeable when touching th eeyelid directly.

Robert Schwarcz, MD
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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.