Prolapsed lacrimal gland repositioning surgery - should I still be able to feel the gland when I touch where it was? (Photo)

Recent surgery to reposition prolapsed lacrimal gland. Dr said she would tuck the gland back behind my brow bone and suture it to hold it in place. It has been 5 days since the surgery and still have a bit of swelling, but beneath the skin I feel/see a lump that seems to be the gland. Shouldn't the gland be tucked away where I can't feel it, or would swelling cause it to be visible/touchable for a while? The lump is just south of the brow bone, and part of it feels like it is on top of the bone

Doctor Answers 4

Prolapsed Lacrimal Gland

The short answer to your questions is simple. When you are fully healed, the gland should be recessed underneath the brow bone and you shouldn't be able to feel it. Scar tissue will form around the gland and help to suspend it like a sling. Allow 2-3 weeks for the swelling, bleeding and inflammation to subside. At this point in time it is not reasonable to trust what you are feeling. Give the healing process adequate time and share your concerns with your doctor. Failure is unlikely.

Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Lacrimal gland repositioning

The gland is repositioned into the orbit, just underneath the bone.  You may be able to feel the head of the gland now, but as the swelling resolves, you should not be able to feel anything.  Wait for the swelling to resolve and then re-evaluate.

Chad Zatezalo, MD
Rockville Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Prolapsed lacrimal gland

When the gland is repositioned it should be up under the bone and will not be felt anymore.  If you feel something firm, it could be the gland has fallen again, or it could be some deep bruising/swelling.  Give it a little more time to see how it looks after the swelling goes down.

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Too early for a result

It is far too early in the postoperative timeframe to determine your outcome.  First, the eyelid skin is the thinnest on your body.  Thus, any trauma including surgery will induce diffuse swelling that is palpable and visible for weeks to months after surgery.  In addition, when tissues are moved or removed from the body, the space they once occupied can accumulate fluid as well.  This will resolve with time.  Finally, the dissection and suspension process may lead to a mass effect from sutures, scar tissue, etc, they you may be feeling as firmness.  Be patient and optimistic and discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

Christian L. Stallworth, MD
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.