Anything I Can Do to Rectify Droopy Eyelid After Botox?

i had botox 9 days ago.on the 6th day i noticed my left eye is 2-3mm lower than my right.the nurse who did it cant prescribe the iopidine drops and iv been to my own drs today and she wouldnt prescribe it as she didnt really know about botox and didnt want to risk damaging my there anything i can do i feel so upset and ugly .How long can i expect to look like this.Thanks Amy

Doctor Answers 11

Botox - eyelid asymmetry

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I agree with the other plastic surgeons - you had botox placed too close to your brow causing upper eyelid to droop.  It is definitely temporary.  However, you do need to get a prescription to get the eyedrops.  Every nurse that does injectables should be operating under a doctor's license.  You should ask the nurse who that is - perhaps they can prescribe the medication.


Dr. Cat Begovic M.D.

Check with your surgeon

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Eyelid droop (known as “ptosis”) occurs in a small number of patients treated with Botox, when used in the Crow’s Feet area around the eye or near the eyebrow. It is fairly uncommon, but it can happen for various reasons. That being said, it is generally a temporary issue. Most patients with ptosis from Botox will see an improvement over 2-3 weeks, but it may require a longer time in some.
The ptosis will disappear completely once the Botox wears off as it normally would from any given dose. In the meantime, however, there are prescription eyedrops that can be used (with permission from your treating surgeon) to help to more strongly activate the muscles of the eyelid that keep it open. Iopidine by prescription or Naphcon-A (an over-the-counter anti-allergy eye drop) are the most common, as mentioned by other phsycians. These drops can be safely used in most patients to help diminish the droopiness until the Botox wears off on its own.

Manu Gujrati, MD
Palo Alto Facial Plastic Surgeon

Droopy Eyelid After Botox Treatment - Los Angeles

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Hello and thank you for the question.

The descended eyelid is a consequence of the Botox migrating too far caudally into the eyelid from the brow, possibly either due to improper injection technique, or possibly due to the toxin migrating through natural dissection planes, which does on occasion. Either way, the effects are temporary and will reverse with time. In the interim, you can achieve some alleviation with products such as Iopidine or Naphcon-A. Consult with your physician regarding this treatment, and be sure all the risks and benefits are reviewed prior to its commencement .

Kindest Regards,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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It will go away on its own 3-4 months tops

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I agree with what the other doctor's say, but also want to reassure you that it will go away on its own after 3-4 months.  Good luck!

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Time Will Fix by Villar

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Upper lid droop (ptosis) is common enough in the early learning curve.  A deep injection may follow the tissue planes down to the levator muscle causing weakness and drooping of the lid.  Would it surprise you that the majority of injectors are non-physicians who do not fully understand the anatomy and variations of the muscles and nerves of the face.

The bad news is that you will be frightened and uncertain that this will improve.  The good news, is that it will get better and you will return to normal.  You might even turn it into a learning experience and seek an experienced surgeon for the next injection.

BOTOX® molecules attach to a nerve ending membrane.  They are then internalized into the cytoplasm of the nerve terminal. One molecule of Botox® then cuts one molecule of SNAP-25.  SNAP-25 is one of three molecules than must attach (docking) in order for acetylcholine to be released across the cell membrane to a muscle receptor for it to contract.

Imagine you have 10 SNAP-25 molecules in a glass.  You add ten Botox® molecules in the glass and all the SNAP-25 molecules will be cut.  Now imagine you put 100 Botox molecules in the glass of 10 SNAP-25 molecules.  You have now wasted 90 molecules of Botox®.  Some theorize that a single Botox molecule can continue to cleave more than one SNAP-25 molecule, which would be more wasteful.

At higher concentrations, cell-to-cell transfer of active Botox® has been demonstrated, which raises questions about the toxin affecting cellular targets that are distant from the injection site.

The objective is to use the least amount of Botox® that will cleave the SNAP-25 molecules in the treatment area and not overload the treatment area with wasted Botox.  Botox that may migrate to affect distant targets.

While Acetylcholine is blocked by Botox®, new nerve buds are forming.  If Botox® permanently blocked the treated nerve endings, new ones would simply grow and replace the non-functional ones.  Therefore claims, that one product is longer lasting than the others, or higher concentrations prolong the blockage, are highly suspect.  The objective is to use the least amount to do the job. 

In the early 90’s we experimented by trial and error.  We diluted a 100 unit bottle of Botox® with 10 cc of normal saline, yielding 10 units per cc which we injected using a 1cc syringe and a 30 gauge needle.  We videotaped our patients before and after for muscle function.  We decided to inject the muscle though and across muscle bellies, and across lines of innervation rather than poke them directly from above, to lessen the pain and bruising.   We observed that in over 90% of patients, 10 units of Botox® would paralyze the frown lines for over three months.  10 units of Botox® across the forehead would weaken the muscle to soften the wrinkles but avoid the “bowling ball” effect of complete loss of facial expression and forehead droop.  5 units on each side of the crow’s feet avoiding the lower lid would improve the area without lid ptosis.  We then adjusted for patients with greater or lesser degrees of muscle mass.  In five days we could evaluate the effects and adjust accordingly.  We were pioneering in those days and had to figure this out for ourselves when treatment for wrinkles was off-label.   It now seems we evolved our technique on one of the Galapagos Islands.

Botox® Cosmetic recommends reconstituting a 100 unit bottle with 2.5cc of 0.09% sterile non-preserved sodium chloride which would yield 40 units of Botox® per 1cc syringe.  

In our twenty-one year experience, this is four fold the effective dose.  It may also explain reports of effects and complications beyond the site of injection.  Advances in immunostaining techniques reveal active Botulinum A can migrate cell to cell in high concentration.(   We have just scratched the surface of understanding Botox®.

Perhaps our technique improves the effectiveness of our dosages, but we had similar results with the more common stabbing technique, which we also tried.  We encourage intellectually curious colleagues to experiment and find the lowest possible dosage that saturates the nerve endings and accomplishes the mission without wasting molecules of Botox® that are yet to be fully understood and may migrate to sites beyond local injection as noted in the warning label.

Luis Villar, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Iopidine ophthalmic drops may be of help.

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First of all, stay away from the working end of this nurses BOTOX syringe. If she is supervised by a doctor, also stay away from his/her syringe as well. Sure anyone can get one of these but when you carefully analyze a number of these there is usually something a little sloppy or casual about how there treatments were done. Looking at one series of eight patients, for example, presenting to me in Los Angeles, only one of them had their actual dose of BOTOX recorded in their medical chart! Yes upper eyelid ptosis was reported in as many as 5% of cases but that was years ago when we were still trying to figure out how best to get BOTOX treatments done. The incidence of upper eyelid ptosis in the hands of experienced injectors is much less than 1%. For example, I personally have had three subtle cases of ptosis in my last 2500 treatments.

Now what to do about the ptosis and how long is it likely to last? First, your left upper eyelid ptosis is significant. See an ophthalmologist, or your physician and get a prescription for Iopidine (aproclonidine ophthalmic solution). Use the drops twice a day. This is a glaucoma medicine that has been noted to elevate the eyelid a couple of millimeters. Now, here is what to expect. I have found that if you respond to the drops with the eyelid opening up to a normal position, it is likely that your ptosis will resolve in 4-6 weeks. However, if the drops do not budge the upper eyelid, then you have a more profound BOTOX induced upper eyelid weakness. In these cases, the ptosis can last up to 3 to 4 months although in very rare cases, this might last even longer. If the drops are not working, don't keep using them, Instead you can give the drops a try every 5th day or so. Use them twice a day when they are actually working. The drops in no way speed up the resolution of the upper eyelid ptosis.

So sorry you have experienced. Please find more experienced, better trained injectors. 

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

Droopy eyelid after botox and nurse cannot prescribe eyedrops...

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Thank you for your picture.

The good news is that this is not permanent...

A droopy eye-LID may occur if the Botox is injected too close to your eyelid-elevating muscle, the levator palpebra superioris. In such a scenario, the Botox will diffuse inadvertently onto the levator muscle and cause an eyelid droop. Typically, a lower dose diffuses onto the levator muscle and so the other good news is that the eyelid droop will typically NOT last as long as the full Botox duration of 3-4 months, and may in fact resolve in less than a month. However, if the eyelid droop occurs shortly after injection (i.e. within 3-4 days), then your eyelid levator muscle likely received a significant dose of Botox and your eyelid droop may not resolve for 1-2 months...

Apraclonidine (Iopidine) eye-drops for Botox-induced eye-LID droop can provide a small (2mm) improvement -- Apraclonidine 0.5, 1-2 drops, 3 times per day.

**An Ophthalmologist, Plastic surgeon or Dermatologist should all be able to prescribe you this medication.** 

Make sure you put in one drop at a time, tilt your head back, and close your eyes to make sure none of the eye-drop leaks out. Be sure your prescribing physician discusses all the potential side-effects of the drops, such as "adrenaline-like" symptoms like anxiety or heart pounding; you may also experience eye irritation, eye dryness, and eye pain, amongst other symptoms. If these symptoms occur, you will likely need to take some lubricating eye drops, lower the dose, switch the eye-drops, or stop the drops altogether...

In the future, be sure to seek the services of an experienced physician injector.

I think the key with Botox lies in truly understanding the anatomy of the injected area, and more importantly the variability in the anatomy between patients -- for brows, the forehead, and anywhere else you plan on receiving a Botox injection. This includes having a firm understanding of the origin, insertion, and action of each muscle that will be injected, the thickness of each muscle targeted, and the patient variability therein. As an aesthetic-trained plastic surgeon, I am intrinsically biased since I operate in the area for browlifts and facelifts, and have a unique perspective to the muscle anatomy since I commonly dissect under the skin and see the actual muscles themselves. For me, this helps guide where to inject and where not to. However, with that said, I know many Dermatologists who know the anatomy well despite not operating in that area, and get great results.

Good luck.

Dr Markarian

Eyelid Droop After Botox

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Usually droopy eyelid after  Botox is the result of inappropriate dosage or inappropriate placement of the product.  Fortunately this is a temporary condition.  If you see an ophthalmologist they will feel comfortable prescribing eye drops such as iopidine.  Alternatively, you may see some improvement with over the counter drops such as Naphcon A.

Michael McCracken, MD
Lone Tree Oculoplastic Surgeon


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The forehead muscle raises the eyebrow.  If too much relaxation occurs a droop may result.  This can sometimes be counteracted by botox injection to the eyebrow depressors to relieve the downward pull of these muscles.  This can sometimes  "even out" the pull and let the brows float back up.  

David V. Martini, MD
Elkton Facial Plastic Surgeon

Is There Anything I Can Do to Rectify Droopy Eyelid After Botox?

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Sorry for the droopy eyelid on your right upper lid. Much to common a side effect of Botox. Treatment options are time, or iopadine eye drops. From MIAMI 

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.