Extremely Sore Gritty Eyes After General Anesthetic?

Previously I had cheek implants and during the recovery period the pain I had in my eyes was excruciating. It felt as if both my eyes had been scratched badly and that needles had been pushed into my eyes and it also felt as if grit was stuck underneath my eyelids. I'm concerned because tomorrow I am due to have the implants removed and I'll undergo further general anesthesia.Is this normal and are there any precautions I can take? Can the surgeon do anything different to avoid these complications?

Doctor Answers 4

Sore eyes after cheek surgery

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Your symptoms suggest corneal dryness after surgery and possible corneal abrasion.

The cornea is the sensitive clear lining over our eyes. I suggest -

  • remind your surgeon and anesthesiologist  of the severe eye pain last time
  • your surgeon can use eye shields and eye lubricant to minimize corneal irritation
  • After surgery, to lubricate the ye, use over the counter preservative free eye gel (e.g. Genteel) at night
  • And over the counter preservative free natural tears 2 drops every 2 hours while awake 
  • Call your surgeon at once if your eye hurts - well before it is excruciating.
  • If your surgeon doesn't have the answer, consult a Board Certified Ophthalmologist to evaluate you.

Hope this helps!

Gritty eyes after plastic surgery

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Dear winterwolf,

  • This can happen during surgery no matter how many precautions we take, and thankfully it is rare
  • You should bring this up to your surgeon so he/she can recommend treatment

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Eye problems after anesthesia can usually be prevented

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Make sure to discuss this with the anesthesiologist and your facial plastic surgeon preoperatively. It sounds like you you had some degree of corneal abrasion after your previous surgery.  This can usually be prevented by using eye ointment, taping the eyes shut, and by taking care when working around the closed eyes.  If this does happen again after this surgery, make sure you mention it to your surgeon as you may need to get it checked out my your eye doctor.

Michael Bowman, MD
Roanoke Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sore eyes after general anesthesia

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I'm not sure what may have been done during your first surgery to protect your eyes, but normally some ointment can be placed in them and they can be taped closed during the surgery to keep them moist.  Usually, the anesthesiologist would be the person doing this, so I would mention your prior eye problem to the anesthesiologist for your upcoming procedure to remove your implants.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.