Lower Eyelid Retraction Surgery - how permanent are results?

I was hyperthyroid before treatment (now HYPO). To treat PROTRUDING EYES, from age 18-22 (I'm now 22), I underwent 4 ORBITAL DECOMPRESSION surgeries, and 4 LOWER-LID RETRACTIONS. Unbeknownst to me, first 2 lid surgeries aimed for VERY temporary results (no graft used). I then had 3rd (apparently permanent) LOWER-LID retraction using GRAFT from upper-lid done 16 months ago, and the same surgery done on the other eye just 1 month ago. Will my lower eyelids begin to droop again overtime?

Doctor Answers 4

That's a really great question!

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Hi there. Greetings from the UK. What you've just asked is one of the most complicated questions regarding thyroid eye disease management. Indeed a recent review in OPRS goes into this into quite a lot of detail. The fact that there are so many different surgical techniques with different types of spacer graft is a direct reflection of how variable and unreliable this sort of surgery is. Best Wishes David


Birmingham Oculoplastic Surgeon

See oculoplastic surgeon for lower eyelid retraction evaluation

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This is a complicated specific problem you have that requires in person examination. There are various factors involved including eyeball position and eyelid position. See following link.

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Retraction Repair

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While each situation differs depending on the type of surgical repair and implant material used, in general, the eyelid position does tend to lower over time due to the effects of gravity and volume loss with aging, but this occurs over a long range of time (years rather than days or months).

Mahsa Sohrab, MD
New Haven Oculoplastic Surgeon

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It goes without saying your situation is very complicated.

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Generally if you are satisfied with the position of the lower eyelids, the situation should be stable given that your last surgery was 16 months ago.  If things do change over time, an answer from a surgeon posting on Realself will have very little bearing on your actual situation.  At that point, you would need in person consultations from folks like me who specialize in precisely this type of work.

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