After Eye Lift and Brow Lift Eyes Do Not Close All the Way, Is This Permanent?

I had an eye lift on my upper and lower eyelids and a brow lift four weeks ago. I still have some sensitivity to bright lights but my main concern is my eyes still do not close all the way. How long does it take for my eyes to finally close completley? It is making me worried they will never close all the way.

Doctor Answers 7

Unable to Close Eye after Eyelid Surgery and Brow Lift

One month is generally still early after plastic surgery. Skin and tissue are still swollen and still haven't had time to "settle". Typically, short term difficulty in closing the eyes resolves with time. However, it's very important to keep the eye moist, well lubricated, and protected during this time. Lubricating eye drops or ointment may be required.

Any issues must be discussed with the plastic surgeon. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can he/she help determine appropriate options for you. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki


Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

After Eye Lift and Brow Lift Eyes Do Not Close All the Way, Is This Permanent?

 Having the upper eyelid open a couple on mm's is typical the first postop day or so after combining a Brow Lift with upper eyelid surgery.  The eyes should close during the first week postop.  If they don't you might want to discuss this with the plastic and cosmetic surgeon that did your Brow Lift and Upper Eyelid Surgery.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

It is normal

It is normal for the eyelids not to close for weeks or months after eyelid surgery.  I would give it at least 6 months.

Andre Aboolian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Expectations after eyelid surgery

It is not uncommon at all for eyelids not to close completely after eyelid surgery, especially when combined with a browlift.  This is called "lagophthalmos," after lagomorphs (rabbits), who sleep with their eyes open.  Your surgeon likely performed a thorough procedure to achieve for you the best possible long term result.  The trade off for this is some temporary disruption of the neuromuscular mechanism of eyelid closure, disruption of complex eyelid glandular secretion, eyelid swelling, and stiffness of the lids.  Most important during this interval is protection of the conjunctiva and cornea from drying.  There are multiple glandular secretions from the eyelids, and their function normally drops off significantly after age 35-40.  Eyedrops and perhaps ointment at night may be necessary.  Sometimes, additional adjunctives are indicated.  Follow up with your surgeon closely, and inform him or her if the eyes are feeling irritated.  You should NOT need consultation with an oculoplastic surgeon unless your plastic surgeon refers you, or unless you are having progressive difficulty that you don't believe your primary surgeon is addressing adequately.  Lagophthalmos typically resolves by two to three months post-operatively.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Incomplete eye closure

eye protectiion is the most important element to a smooth eyelid/brow recovery. after surgery with swelling and trauma nothing 'works right'.  it is important to keep the cornea well lubricated.  drops and ointment as well as a moisture 'tent' can make the difference. take a piece of plastic wrap and cover your eyes at night.  this will keep the ointment in your eyes and your eyes feeling refreshed in the am. not high tech but very effective.  be patient. good luck. Dr.Cabrera

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

INcomplete Eyelid Closure After Blepharoplasties and Browlift

When skin is removed from the eyelids and the brows are lifted, it would not be rare that there is a negative effect on complete eyelid closure. All three of these procedures work against lid closure. While seen in some patients with these procedures, the incomplete lid closure is temporary and usually resolves within weeks to a month or two. You want to be sure that you eyes are not drying out and you are using protective eye ointments/drops until better lid closure develops. If in doubt, consult an ophthalmologist. This should be a problem that goes away as the eyelids and brow tissues relax with time.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Eyelid closure after surgery

The healing process can take up to 6 months so there is still time. However, the answer also depends on exactly why your eyes are not closing and to what extent.  Talk to your surgeon or get consult from an oculoplastic surgeon.

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 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.