After Eyelid Surgery, What Are The Causes of Nocturnal Lagophthalmos?

I had my surgery 4 weeks ago. I'm having problems getting answers from my surgeon and I have made an appointment with another surgeon the beginning of December to get some guidance. One of the issues I'm having is nocturnal lagophthalmos. I can close my eyes shut during the day and can blink but my eyes pop open when I'm sleeping. What is causing this? Will this go away or is there something I can do to make this issue go away faster - i.e., exercises?

Doctor Answers 3

Lagophthalmos after upper blepharoplasty

It is a fine line between taking out too much skin and not taking enough.  Fortunately excessive tightness or lagophthalmos improves with time.  The worst thing is to do a revision too early.  I tell patients to wait at least 6 months.  In the meantime use ophthamic ointments or lubricants at bedtime to prevent drying.  People want instant results, but you also want results that last long term.  Be patient and listen to your surgeon.

Mobile Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Inability to close eyes after surgery

Lagophthalmos after eyelid surgery could be related to muscle (orbicularis) weakness and/or tightness in the eyelid (or lack of enough skin).  It may improve up to 6 months after surgery. You should consult your surgeon or obtain consult from an oculoplastic surgeon.

Dr Taban

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Lagopthalmos after upper lid rejuvenation

Lagopthalmos means that the upper lid 'lags' or will not close easily. Though you can close with firm effort, the tighness in the upper lid causes the lid to rise when closed gently when sleeping. The reason is too much skin removal from the upper lid. This may relax over time and taping may help prevent dryness at night. Ask your surgeon when you might begin to massage the lid.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.