What is the Possibility of Scar Tissue Causing Lagopthalmos?

Although I know this is a possibility of eyelid surgery, but I heard it is very rare and almost not possible unless a trauma other than surgery caused it. I know that the most common cause of lagophtalmos is excess skin removal which can be avoided in mot cases, but what are the chances that scar tissue could cause it, and how can it be avoided?

Doctor Answers 6

Lagopthalmos due to scar tissue

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The chance of lagophthalmos being caused by excess scar tissue is extremely remote. We have never seen it in over 20 years of private practice. It is also important not to take too much excess skin from the upper lids. Careful and meticulous surgical technique will prevent a lot of scar tissue, adhesions formation, and any lagophthalmos from occurring.  

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Lagophthalmos After Blepharoplasty

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Over-resection of upper eyelid skin is the most common cause of permanent post-Blepharoplasty lagophthalmos. It is the Surgeon's responsibility to determine the appropriate amount of skin to resect while accounting for a certain degree of wound contracture that happens as part of the healing process.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews


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Lagophthalmos happens most commonly with removal of too much skin, but can happen with many other causes including chemosis, trauma, scarring, infection, to name a few.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Scar Tissue Causing Lagopthalmos

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I agree with Dr. Steinsapir's statement  but to answer the question as scar tissue causing this complication/condition, I would say very rare to see this as this primary cause. Seek additional opinions. From MIAMI, the "real" Dr. Darryl J. Blinski 305 598 0091

Lagophthalmos can have a variety of causes

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Lagophthalmos can have a variety of causes including surgery, trauma and certain orbital diseases. It is correct that in the setting of cosmetic eyelid surgery it is rare and excess skin removal is one of the causes.


Unfortunately, no surgery is without complications and this is a known but rare complication of eyelid surgery that your surgeon will discuss with you at your consultation.


Hope this helps


J. Timothy Heffernan, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Bad thing can happen with even the best surgeries.

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It is not accurate to say that it is almost not possible for lagophthalmos to occur from eyelid surgery unless too much skin is removed.  Lagophthalmos means that the eyelids are not able to full close.  Yes excessive skin removal can lead to lagophthalmos.  However, perhaps a more common cause is weakness of the orbicularis oculi muscle in the upper eyelid after blepharoplasty due to damage to the nerves that supply the upper eyelid. While this type of complication is not common, it is common enough that saying it is almost not possible is silly.  Things happen under the best of circumstances.  For this reason it is important to see an eyelid surgeon who can examine the eyes and provide the appropriate care should the eyelid initially have trouble closing after eyelid surgery.  A fellowship trained oculoplastic surgeon will have the most extensive training of any of the core aesthetic subspecialties.  The American Society for Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery (ASOPRS.org) maintains a geographic directory to help identify a properly credentialed surgeon in your area.

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.