What Can I Expect From Eyelid Skin Grafting?

One told me that i may need a skin grafting for my upper eyelid ..because it's not closing after the doctor cut too much ? so my Q is what is skin grafting ? and THANK YOU :))))

Doctor Answers 7

Eyelid Skin Grafting

A skin graft is harvested from another part of the body to supplement or augment areas where there is not enough skin. But this may not be the best option for you. It sometimes takes several months to determine if too much skin has been removed and unless there are complications relating to exposure, such as inflammation, dry eyes, or drying of the cornea it may be beneficial to wait and use night time lubricants if required. A definitive answer cannot be given without an detailed examination. Because you have concerns I would strongly recommend you have a secondary consultation with a board certified plastic or oculoplastic surgeon with experience in treating complications following this type of surgery.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Eyelid skin graft

If the lower or upper eyelid doesn't have enough skin (either because of previous surgery or significant sun-damage), that will prevent you from closing your eyes and blinking. The treatment would to add additional necessary skin.  That would be a skin graft, harvested from another part of your body/face (e.g. behind the ears). See an oculoplastic surgeon.

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

What Can I Expect From Eyelid Skin Grafting?

Before you have skin grafts to your upper eyelids, get another opinion fron an Oculoplastic surgeon.  It most often is not the best answer.  Skin grafts may not look great afterwards.  Good luck.

Sam Goldberger, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

I would strongly urge you to get additional opinions before having a skin graft put into the upper eyelid.

Skin grafts are harvested from other parts of the body to supplement or augment areas where there is not enough skin.  Unfortunately skin graft in the eyelid look very unaesthetic.  That is because the skin graft is generally not a perfect color match for the area into which it is placed.

The most likely reason you can not full close the eyelid is not lack of skin.  The most likely cause is lack of muscle function.  Both skin and muscle are generally removed at the time of eyelid surgery.  This can result in damage to the motor nerves that help close the eyelid.  It would be awful to have a skin graft to the eyelid on discover that the eyelid still does not properly close.  

Generally we go to great length not to place skin grafts into the eyelid.  This is why the vertical midface lift and hard palate graft reconstruction for lower eyelid were developed.  If prior eyelid surgery compromised both the upper and the lower eyelid, sometimes by repairing just the lower eyelid, the chronic corneal exposure is sufficiently improved that eye comfort and appearance is restored.  You can study my website to learn more about these techniques (lidlift dot org).

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

What Can I Expect From Eyelid Skin Grafting?

I'm very sorry to hear you had such a serious problem from a relatively simple cosmetic procedure. I certainly hope you are not going back to the same surgeon. I have to tell you I have never seen the problem you have except in patients that were injured or had a malignancy. The good news is the results can be very natural looking. A small bit of skin is usually taken from the back of the ear and sewn into an opening made in the upper lid to give it more length. If you have any extra skin in the other upper or lower eyelids, that is another area for the graft to be taken from. And did I say, don't let the original doctor help you any more.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

How to manage complications of eyelid surgery

When performed well the risk of serious complications after eyelid surgery is very low.  However, when they do arise appropriate management is extremely important.  As long as the eye''s health is not compromised by the eyelid position, it is best to wait until the wounds have fully healed and scars have matured before making decisions about additional surgery.  It is always best to try and preserve/restore eyelid aesthetics as well as function.  While skin grafting is rarely required, it should be considered an option of last resort.  I would strongly recommend obtaining opinions from other surgeons before proceeding with eyelid skin grafting.

Brian Biesman, MD
Nashville Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Skin grafting of upper eyelid

A skin graft applied to the upper eyelid is harvested from the other eyelid or from other areas of the face.  It takes about a week for it to take to be successful.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.