After Botox Injection in my Frown One Eye Lid is Swollen and Droopy. Can I File a Law Suit?

Doctor Answers 9

After Botox Injection in my Frown One Eye Lid is Swollen and Droopy. Can I File a Law Suit?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Well, yes, sure you can, but let me state a few things: 1. Botox is temporary, and by the time you end up in court, the issue will be resolved. So because there isn't anything permanent, your case won't hold. 2. All cosmetic procedures have some "risk" to them, and "poor cosmetic outcome or undesired cosmetic outcome" isn't covered by malpractice, so again, you don't get anything. While we have a philosophy in this country that if we don't like something, then someone should "pay", this doesn't hold up for many things, including procedures like Botox where ptosis is an outcome that occurs in 2-5% of those injected. Does it suck? Yes. Is it worth going to court over? No. Because it's temporary and it will resolve. You can get eyedrops that will help, but you can also just give it time.

Botox Lawsuit

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Yes, you can certainly file a lawsuit. One of the major flaws of our judicial system is that anybody can file a lawsuit about anything without risk to their own financial interests. Unlike the legal system in every other Western country,  the United States does not employ a "loser's pay" philosophy. 

While my tenure in law school was a mere ten days, I know enough to tell you that you are highly unlikely to win such a case. By the time your case came to trial, your problem would have corrected itself. 

You would be better off by expending your energies to have the situation corrected. What you developed was eyelid ptosis. This usually takes place about 48 hours after injections, but can occur as late as two weeks. Most often the defect lasts 2-6 weeks, depending on the dosage hitting the levator palpebrae muscle. Eyedrops can correct the problem. Iopidine ( cute name since IOP stands for Intraocular pressure; Apraclonidine) Naphcon-A (naphazoline) or Mydfrin (phenylephrine) can all be used..not at the same time. 

These drops stimulate Muller's muscle and this will elevate the droopy eyelid. Usually, 2 drops , 2-3 times a day until the ptosis corrects itself on its own.

Incidentally, during the infancy of Botox injections, we were told that eyelid ptosis was due to the fact that a certain percentage of the population lacked a pseudomembrane which protected the eyelid. However, now it seems that the reason for eyelid ptosis was poor injection technique. Studies at the time, with expert injectors, showed an eyelid ptosis rate of 5.4%. Now, the rate is considered to be roughly 3%, which some studies as low as 1%. 

 This accents the fact that 100's of patients a week develop this problem (among millions of Botox injections world-wide)...its lack of rarity would not bode well in court.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

After Botox Injection in my Frown One Eye Lid is Swollen and Droopy. Can I File a Law Suit?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your main concern is likely how long this will last and what you can do in the meantime. The answer is that your injector (assuming they are a physician) can prescribe drops that will help elevate the drooping eyelid. The drooping typically lasts a few weeks and will resolve completely when the Botox effect in your levator muscle "wears off."

Prior to consulting your lawyer, I'd recommend returning to your doctor. They can give you specific advice about this issue and prescribe medication to help in the meantime. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Weber Facial Plastic Surgery

American is a great place, you can file a lawsuit for any reason.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

We are not hear to give you legal advise.  One does assume certain risks in having a treatment.  It is very likely that in your consent, you were advised that these types of issues can occur following a botox treatment.  Even in the studies perform my leading clinicians on the safety of botox, side effects like this were reported to occur in 2-5% of cases.  It is my personal opinion that side effects will occur in a small percentage of cases even in the best of hands and that it does not necessarily mean that the doctor committed malpractice. 

You need to decide for yourself if this temporary inconvenience, a risk you accepted in having the service, is so grievous that you are willing to bog yourself down in the legal process.  Ultimately that is a matter for you to decide.

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

Eyelid ptosis after Botox

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

What you are describing is a well know complication from Botox called eyelid ptosis or drooping of the brow over the lid. I would return to your doctor to discuss this and ask about an eyedrop that can be used to improve the problem. Once the Botox wears off, the droopiness will go away.

Tracy Katz, MD
Houston Dermatologic Surgeon

Botox in Frown lines with Eyelid Ptosis

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Although this is complication does not occur often (less than 5%) it is typically the result of poor injection technique.  The condition is temporary and may be corrected by a prescription eye drop until the Botox wears off and your eyelid returns completely to normal.  I would recommend returning to your physician who injected you to discuss your concerns rather than an attorney.  

Best Regards,

Jacque P. LeBeau, MD


Jacque P. LeBeau, MD
Pensacola Facial Plastic Surgeon

Eyelid droop with Botox

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Sorry to hear about your predicament. What type of injector did you see? If you did not see a board certified core physician such as a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, eye doc, or ENT doc, might I suggest you see one for your future injections. There is a lot of anatomy that is important to understand when injecting botox. That being said, even in the best of hands, there is always a small chance of this happening. I would recommend you return to your injector so they can evaluate you. If they are not aware of your droop, there is no way for them to help you. 

Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Droopy Eyelid After Botox

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I would advise that you follow up with the treating provider or get a 2nd opinion from a board certified dermatologist in San Diego to examine you in person.

Kimberly Butterwick, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

After Botox Injection...Eyelid droop...Can I File a Law Suit?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Yes. However, it would be a waste of your time and expense considering the product will likely wear off very quickly, and you probably signed a consent that you understood the potential side effects.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 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.