Three Months Post Upper Blepharoplasty I Still Experience Numbness. Will This Improve?

My upper eyelid surgery turned out visually great! I have concern with numbness of the actual eyelid itself. It is mostly evident when applying mascara. Will the "numb" feeling improve or is it a permanent end result of the procedure?

Doctor Answers 10

Three months post upper blepharoplasty I still experience numbness. Will this improve?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

The numbness can be permanent.

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Sensory nerves and motor nerves are cut in the process of performing a blepharoplasty.  The sensory nerves often but not aways recover and seem to regrow.  This process can take many months.  However, after about 6 months, if sensation has not recovered then the it is less likely that this sensation will return.  Motor nerve injuries are even less likely to recover.  Generally over time, patchy sensation loss is less bothersome to most people.

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

Numbness after eyelid surgery -- it will (almost) certainly improve

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  I believe that full sensation returns in almost all cases but may take up to 12 to 18 months after surgery for this to occur.  Of course there are no guarantees but I think the odds are greatly in your favor that the numb feeling will go away with time.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Three Months Post Upper Blepharoplasty I Still Experience Numbness. Will This Improve?

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The numbness associated with incison line should improve with time. Generally, the healing of most wounds take approximately 6-9 months.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Numbness Post Bleph

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Most patients typically experience varying degrees of numbness following upper eyelid blepharoplasty. With time, your post-op numbness will decrease and you will regain full sensation.  Most of
my patients note the return to normal sensation between 2-3 months
following  upper eyelid blepharoplasty.

William P. Mack, MD, PA
Tampa Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Numbness 3 months after upper eyelid surgery

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The numbness should come back and really should anytime now.  The cutaneous sensory nerves that are cut, during the upper eyelid surgery, all reconnect bringing normal sensation back to the area.  This typically occurs within several months post-op.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Numbness post blepharoplasty

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Numbness following any skin surgeries at the level of the scar and around it is quite normal. Such numbness may last up to 6 - 8 months. Following Blepharoplasty it is normal to have a numb area between the incision and the eyelashes margins, it will resolve around 6-8 months. 

Henri P. Gaboriau, MD, FACS
Massena Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Eyelid numbness after Blepharoplasty is almost always temporary but can take months to resolve

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Small sensory (feeling) nerves are damaged during skin removal with Upper Blepharoplasty. This causes numbness of the eyelid.

Numbness of the eyelid after Blepharoplasty is nearly always temporary but may take months to resolve

Numbness after Blepharoplasty is normal

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The numbness you are experienceing after your blepharoplasty is quite normal.  Generally speaking the numbness will last 3-6 months and is usually noticed in the central portion of the lid.  This is often first noticed in women as they begin to apply mascara.

I would be patient as this should resolve soon.

Jon E. Mendelsohn, MD
Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Video on Eyelid Surgery, The numbness should improve after blepharoplasty

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The numbness should improve in time. This occurance is unusual after blepharoplasty. The return could take up to 6 months to a year depending on where the interruption in the nerve fibers occured. The nerves grow at a rate of about 1mm a day in the best of conditions.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.