Could my Face Lift/eyelid Lift Have Contributed to my Loss of Vision?

I had a face lift in April 2011, which included eye lid lift. 6 months later, I lost the vision in my left eye. I saw a retina specialist and he told me that there was blood that had collected behind my eye and optic nerve damage. I would like to know if this could have possibly been caused by inflammation from the surgery. The scar in the front of my ear seems to never have healed. I would like to know if I may need medication to help this scar heal and could this possibly help my eye?

Doctor Answers 6

Retrobulbar Hematoma after Eyelid Surgery

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   A retrobulbar hematoma after eyelid surgery can cause visual compromise but this would typically occur right after surgery and not 6 months later.  More information would be needed to comment intelligently as I suspect your course is probably very complicated and information is missing.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Blindness Not Risk Factor for Facelift

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A facelift procedure would be unrelated to damage to your eyes, since the procedure is performed away from the ocular area. There have been extremely rare cases where there was reported blindness after eyelid surgery, which is due to bleeding out side of the eye called a retrobulbar hematoma which different from  is a retinal hemorrhage,


Damage to the retina and optic nerve does not occur with the facelift.

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A facelift would never cause damage to the eye. Extremely rarely there has been reported blindness after eyelid surgery (on the order of one in 10,000 cases) which is due to hemorrhage external to the eye. This is not the same as retinal hemorrhage. Your operation do not cause your ocular issues.

Can facelift/eyelid surgery contribute to loss of vision?

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Hello, and sorry to hear about the issue you are experiencing. In general, the side effects of a facelift may include the following:

1) Bruising
2) Swelling
3) Bleeding
4) Hematoma
5) Mild pain which can be controlled with pain medication

It is not likely blood would collect behind the eye following a facelift. It is possible this is due to something else. Did your eye doctor mention inflammation from your surgery as a possible cause? There is not a medication that will help your scar and simultaneously improve the condition of your eye. You are almost 2 years post-op, and at this point your scar has healed. It is possible to improve the appearance of the scar with laser treatment. But only an exam can tell for sure, and I would recommend speaking with your surgeon about treatment options. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck.

Eyelid surgery and blindness

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I agree with Dr Troung that your  vision loss is not related  to your eyelid or facial surgery.  I am not sure why you have had this misfortune but be sure and see 3 ophthalmologists to get an array of opinions about your future care.   You should see your original plastic surgeon about scar healing. There are many great treatments for thick red scars including the Obagi system combined with Kelocote.  See your surgeon.  My Best.   Dr C.

Unilateral loss of vision 6 months after lid lift and facelift

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These are independent and unrelated events. Inflammation from the surgery would not affect the retina or the optic nerve. Even orbital inflammation such as orbital Graves' disease or orbital cellulitis usually do not affect the retina or the optic nerve.

Peter T. Truong, MD
Fresno Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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.