Drooping Eyelid - Post-cataract Removal? (photo)

I am a 69-year old female. Last December I had cataract removal on my right eye (left eye was done in September). Since the second surgery, I have noticed a definite and progressively worsening drooping of the right eyelid. This drooping became noticeable within a week after the surgery. It is very noticeable and has begun to interfere with my vision. Is this a common occurrence? Repairable? Any input would be appreciated.

Doctor Answers 3

Levator dehiscence

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The high eyelid crease (distance from the eyelid margin to the upper eyelid crease) suggests a loosening of the muscle that elevates the eyelid (levator).  This is a common age-related occurrence, but trauma, including surgery, could accelerate the process.  This is easily repairable by an ophthalmologist or plastic surgeon, but may or may not be covered by your insurance.  

Chicago Ophthalmologist

Droopy Eyelid After Cataract Surgery

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It is known that a droopy eyelid can occur after ocular surgery (cataract, glaucoma, retina). This is known as ptosis.  The muscle that helps to elevate the eye becomes weakened.  This is considered to be a consequence of surgery not a complication of surgery.  It can be repaired by a commonly performed ptosis repair procedure.  If it is affecting your vision, testing can be done to confirm it (field of vision test).  The procedure is generally performed by an Oculoplastic surgeon-an Ophthalmologist with advance training in performing procedures on the eyelids and surrounding facial structures.  Insurance generally covers this procedure if they have supporting evidence (photos, field of vision results and clinical notes) that it is adversely affecting your vision.  I hope this review helps you and others in this situation.

Leslie M. Sims, MD (in memoriam)
Las Vegas Ophthalmologist

Drooping Eyelid After Cataract Surgery

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A drooping eyelid is an increasingly uncommon occurrence after cataract surgery, but it can still happen. The cause is, either damage to the muscle that supports the eyelid(this occurs when a suture is used to hold the eye steady during surgery.....very uncommon now) or occasionally the steroid drops used after surgery can cause a relaxation of this same muscle. The eyelid drooping as a result of steroid use typically resolves once the eyedrop is stopped. In either case, if your eyelid remains drooped like this, it can be repaired by a surgeon who specializes in this type of surgery. The repair of cataracts and the repair of eyelid droop(also called ptosis) are both very routine procedures.

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist

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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.