I had an upper and lower bletharoplasty and an SOOF suspension five years ago. I was unfortunately left with nerve/muscle damage. Although there is no negative outward appearance, I suffer from constant painful burning, tingling and pulling sensations on and around my eyelids, lower forehead and cheek bones. Also, my eyes tear constantly. Is this a serious condition and what can I do to correct the problem and relieve the pain?
How to Help Nerve Damage After a Bletharoplasty and SOOF Suspension?
Doctor Answers 5
The discomfort and eye tearing needs to be looked at by an ophthalmologist. You will need to follow-up with a Facial Cosmetic Surgery too.
Tearing after lid rejuvenation
Nerve damage is very uncommon after blepharoplasty and the pain and burning has no simple explanation. It is hard to expect that any nerve damage will improve after five years, however the tearing should be looked into by your opthalmologist.
Your symptoms may be related to dry eye.
A lot of the sensations your are describing may well be due to dry eye. If your surgeon was not an oculoplastic surgeon, then they lack the training, skills, experienced and specialized equipment needed to diagnosis dryness on the eye surface. Unfortunately nerve damage to the orbicularis oculi muscle affects the ability of the eyelids to move tears on the surface of the eyes. Interestingly the dry eye can cause a lot of referred discomfort that may localize to the eyelids rather than the eye itself. You need to have a detailed oculoplastic assessment by an oculoplastic surgeon. He or she will be able to assess your symptoms and the basis for the symptoms. More often than not, the type of symptoms you are describing will be related to dryness that was make worse by scaring and motor nerve dysfunction. There are a number of effective ways of treating these issues. The American Society for Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery maintains a geographic directory on their website which can help you find a well qualified oculoplastic surgeon in your area.
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Tearing needs to be evaluated
The symptoms you are describing [burning, pulling, tingling on eyelids and cheek] should have resolved a few months after surgery. If its 5 years later and you are still suffering these symptoms, then evaluation and treatment by a pain specialist may be in order. There are some nerve modulating agents [gabapentin, for example] that may be helpful.
Your tearing problem, however needs to be evaluated by an oculoplastic surgeon. There are many reasons why patients can have tearing, such as cornea problems and tear duct or tear "pump" problems. An Oculoplastics surgeon specializes in this area and may be able to offer you a solution.
If you decide to explore this further, I would recommend consultation with an ASOPRS trained Oculoplastics surgeon. You can find one close to you on the ASOPRS dot org website.