Is Ptosis Surgery Supposed to Be Painful Even After Being Given Local Anesthesia? It Was for Me.

5 months ago, I had several procedures down on my eyelids: blepharoplasty as well as ptosis and epicanthoplasty. While the blepharoplasty was bearable in terms of pain, the ptosis was easily the most painful experience in my life. I was crying and struggling throughout the procedure, which ended about 4 hours from the time of administrating anesthesia. Is it possible that the anesthesia had worn off by then? My doctor reassured me later that ptosis repair is generally painful. Is this true?

Doctor Answers 2

A countering opinion

Although the majority of patients undergoing ptosis repair do not have pain, some patients are less susceptible to local anesthetics than others. For example if you drink wine regularly and/or on pain medication for chronic pain, you may be more tolerant to local anesthetics.

Furthermore, ptosis surgery [external levator approach] is a type of surgery that you do not want to overdo the amount of anesthetic injected, because it may hamper the surgeons ability to accurately assess the level of elevation of the lid as he/she adjusts his sutures. For that reason, its possible that your surgeon was conservative with his injection, and it may have additionally worn off due to the long surgical time.

Finally, if your case was a revision, and therefore there was scarring present from prior surgery, the anesthetic may not have infiltrated adequately.

I hope this helps.

Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Is Ptosis surgery usually painful?

  No. Absolutely not.  Honestly, my patients NEVER complain of pain.  Perhaps the anesthesia did wear off, as you surmise.  This is an issue you should address with your surgeon.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

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