Odds of Lower Lid Retraction Resolving Spontaneously? What Does Literature Say About Time Frames, Conservative Measures Etc?

Had lower lid bleph, with outside incisions 12 days ago. One eyelid retracted significantly (5mm) with slight outward 'roll'. Ps initially said 'swelling' but now have feeling based on his body language and tone that he too is concerned. Lid offers minimal resistance when pushing up digitally and am hoping this is indicative of conservative skin pinch. Swelling of affected eye less than other eye. Leaves me confused and frightened as to outcome. What are the odds this will 'resolve'.

Doctor Answers 6

Lower Eyelid Retration after Eyelid Surgery

The odds of resolution are good. Continue with gentle upward massage, and as long as your eye is protected and moist, time is on your side. This is more common when the cheek is behind the front of the eye, when large amounts of fat are removed and less commonly when too much skin is removed.

The fact that you can easily push the eyelid up to, or even past its ideal position is a good sign. Your surgeon, obviously has the best information on prognosis.

Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Depends on degree of retraction.

Often, mild lower eyelid retraction will resolve with time and conservative management. Sometimes this can be helped with gentle massage and/or injection of steroids or other anti-fibrotic medicine [5FU].

I would recommend close follow up with your surgeon so that he/she can decide where you fall in this continuum.

The one thing I would recommend is fight the urge to request revision surgery early. One thing I always stress to patients when they come in for revision surgery is that you can almost NEVER go wrong by operating later [there are a few exceptions to this rule], but its certainly possible to worsen things if you operate too early.

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Concerned about eyelid sag

This slight droop or lid pulling away from the sclera(white of eye) is something that occurs frequently after blepharoplasty with external incisions. As others have stated gentle upward, outward massage will usually improve or resolve this problem. It is best to wait and be patient, although I know that this can be difficult. Sometimes steroid injections after 2-3 months can help ,rarely repeat surgery after 6 months or more is needed

Algird R. Mameniskis, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Eyelid recovery after surgery

It depends what the problem is and how bad.  For the most part, eyelid is resilient and recovers after few weeks to month, especially if first ever surgery on it.  There are things to do to help the eyelid recover in the meantime.  It is also important to lubricate your eyes. Discuss with you surgeon and consider seeing an oculoplastic surgeon if the problem persists.

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Lower lid retraction

Often lower lid retraction will resolve with gentle massage, good lubrication, and sometimes taping.  Hard to say without an evaluation.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Eyelid pulling away after blepharoplasty

It is very common for the eyelid to pull away just after surgery, and usually this will resolve within 3-4 weeks (if not sooner). Even a small amount of swelling in the lid or the conjunctiva (lining of the eyeball) can make the eyelid look pushed away. Massage will help in about 70-80% of cases and carries minimal risk. For the few cases that do not resolve on their own in that time period, steroid injections may help. Surgery is needed in a few cases, but it's best to wait as long as possible (at least 6 months) because operating sooner could cause even more scar tissue to develop, which may pull the eyelid even more.

In the meantime, make sure your eyes are protected by using drops in the day and ointment or taping at night to prevent excess dryness, which can cause damage to the cornea.

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 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.