Is it normal not to be able to cry after upper eye lid surgery?

I had upper eye lid surgery 9 months ago, ever since, I can not produce tears when I cry. I get a burning sensation when I cry, sneeze, etc but no tears in either eye. My doctor states that he cant explain it, and not likely come back as my eyes continue to heal. I'm concerned a nerve was nicked during surgery, and my ability to create tears when I cry may never come back. Is this normal? Is there a way to fix this? What direction do I go to get a second opinion? What type of Specialist?

Doctor Answers 4

Tear production should not be impacted by blepharoplasty

so you should get a second opinion with a copy of your operative report from the facility your procedure was done at and find out why this is happening to you.  If you had fatty upper lids and a lot of fat was removed, its possible some gland may have also been removed.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

No, its not normal..

This does sound like some form of damage to the lacrimal. This sits in the upper and outer eye socket and can sometimes bulge into the lid. I have seen occasional patients referred to me with this complication where the origin surgeon has not realised that the lacrimal gland is present and has excised part of it thinking it is a fat bulge in the upper lid. If you are getting pain or discomfort when crying, you could be developing a lacrimal gland cyst (Dacryops) if the drainage system has been damaged. You will definitely need to see an oculoplastic surgeon to assess this further.

Daniel Ezra, MD, FRCS
London Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Is it normal not to be able to cry after eyelid surgery

Thank you for posting your concerns. It is not normal to have absence of tear formation following blepharoplasty. It could be sign of damages lacrimal gland tissue. See an Oculoplastic Surgeon for comprehensive evaluation and guidance.  Good luck,

James R. Gordon, MD, FACS, FAAO
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 139 reviews

Not able to cry after upper eyelid surgery

It is not normal to be unable to cry after upper eyelid surgery.  Without knowing the details of your particular surgical procedure, it is difficult to know why this has occurred after your surgery.  There is a lacrimal gland above each eye and if these were damaged or removed, this could be the cause.  An experienced eyelid surgeon would normally be able to avoid removing or damaging these glands.  It is also possible there might be another unknown cause of your problem.  I would recommend seeing an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) to be evaluated.  

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.