Rubbing Eyelid to Fix Botched Blepharoplasty?

6 weeks post blepharoplasty and one upper eyelid is higher than the other. My doctor says he may have removed a "tiny bit too much skin" from this lid. He says that if I rub the eyelid in a downward motion I can rectify the problem. This sounds like BS to me. Could this possibly work? The eye is noticeably wider than the other, and it feels dry during the day. I'm worried that more surgery will be required. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 15

Eyelid skin can be stretched after eyelid surgery

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  Well, in theory the upper eyelid skin can be stretched so that it allows the same, or similar, amount of tissue fold above the upper eyelid crease.  The trick would be to be able to grasp the upper eyelid skin in order to apply constant, gentle downward, stretching motion.  I have had patients, who had eyelid surgery elsewhere and had dry eye symptoms use a similar technique to allow complete closure of the upper eyelids.  Skin stretches, so it can be done...not sure rubbing it will do the trick however, IMHO.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Eyelid asymmetry

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It sounds like you have ptosis (a lower lid) on one side after surgery.  If only blepharoplasty was performed this is unusual but does occur.  Eyelid massage can help a number if issue.  It's success depends on what is being treated and timing.  The ptosis can be mechanical (from swelling), neurogenic (from nerve injury), myogenic (from muscle trauma), or simply may have been present prior and not identified (if skin was droopy and covering lid).  I do not know if the latter was present.  I think an evaluation by an oculoplastic surgeon would help.  Good luck

Guy Massry, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

No photos, no exam but here are some general comments.

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Dear JPriestly

Hard as it is to believe, lid message can help many issues.  It is best if it is done with close follow up by the operating surgeon.  Unfortunately, it does not fix all issues.  Things can happen during surgery that are not benefited by eyelid message.  At 6 weeks out, I would not expect too much from eyelid message.  The good news is that you are in a town with great oculoplastic surgery.  I can recommend Texas Oculoplastic Consultants.  They are the largest group of oculoplastic surgeons in the country and are highly qualified.

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

Post-blepharoplasty problem

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It is difficult to assess your problem without looking at preop and postop photos.  You may have underlying ptosis (droopy eyelids), facial asymmetry, postop swelling, or possibly asymmetrical surgical result.  Consult an oculoplastic surgeon.  (Massaging eyelid 6 weeks after surgery should not have much effect on anything.)

Mehryar (Ray) Taban

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Massage can help soften the lids after bleparoplasty

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If more skin has been removed, you may be able to massage the lids enough--gently--to soften the skin and make the correction.  This will work for small differences, not large ones.  But there is nothing to be lost.  Try it and do your best; if time progresses with no improvement, you can always have a sliver of skin added.  The scars are excellent and in year you may not even remember which lid was lid affected.

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon

Eyelid Massage After Blepharoplasty

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I would suggest speaking to your physician about your concern. Massage can help in situations where there may be swelling or scar tissue which must be broken up. From what you describe you may have an eyelid ptosis that was undiagnosed and needs repair, too much skin was taken off, or the eyelid is not closing for some other reason. More than the cosmetic look, I would be concerned with the dry eye symptoms and I would definitely talk with your surgeon about how to take care of dry eyes.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Massage might help

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No photos to help us. Push down the forehead skin above the eye brow on the eye of concern and see if the eyelid closure is improved.........if so then maybe too much skin was removed. Regardless, I'd massage and stretch the skin downward and wait for the healing to progress. If still a problem after a few months then more surgery may be needed such as a full thickness skin graft from your other eyelid if it had some excess still present or from some other site such as lower eyelid excess skin or skin from behind the ears. 

Harlow Hollis, MD
Victoria Plastic Surgeon

Rubbing Eyelid to Fix Botched Blepharoplasty?

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Your wounds have not healed well. Give 6-9 months then you can make better judgement about the result. Scar tissues have not matured yet and with time the eyelid skin will relax.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

You may require more surgery, but wait 3-6 months first

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There is a possibility that you may require additional surgery but I would follow those recommendations for the time being.  I would hold off any additional surgery at this point for at least 3-6 months until the swelling and healing has finalized. 

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

Massaging the scar may help.

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Hi there.  Massaging your scar may help things. 

Massaging a scar helps re-orient the collagen fibers.  It can also help get rid of some of the extra swelling.  That being said, and without examining you, I'd have to say that if there is a substantial (~1-2 mm) difference between the two lids, a revision surgery may be necessary. 

Reasons for a height discrepancy between the lids could be due to any of the following (and more):

- too much skin excised from one side

- an underling asymmetry (unevenness between the two sides) before the surgery

- an underling ptosis (droopy lid) of one or both sides - before the surgery

 - damage to the eyelid opening muscle/tendon on the other side making it sit lower (ptosis)

Depending on the reason, a future procedure MAY be necessary.  In the meantime, massage the eyelid as this will help the scar relax and may help drop your eyelid enough to make it similar to the other side.  If your eye is dry, make sure you are using artificial tears and/or a lubricant.  Make sure you follow-up with your provider regularly to ensure things are progressing and your eye isn't becoming irritated. 

 All the best.

Michael G. Brandt, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.