Does the Cautery During Lid Surgery Endanger the Cornea?

my wife had lid surgery and several days later her vision was becoming blurred. The doctor said her cornea was perforated. Could that have happened by the cautery burning through the lid and perforating the cornea?

Doctor Answers 7

Cornea damaged or injured during eyelid surgery?

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Surgery on the eyelids and around the eyes can put the eye at risk. That is why its important to trust a surgeon who specializes in that area.

Newport Beach Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Cornea Injury Following Blepharoplasty

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The cautery could damage the cornea, yes, however it is highly unlikely; the cornea is well protected during a procedure like blepharoplasty. Are you certain it’s a corneal perforation? Abrasions are more likely and could cause blurred vision. I suggest speaking with the surgeon who performed the surgery for clarification and scheduling an appointment with an ophthalmologist as well. “Dr. D”

Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Eye Injury During blepharoplasty

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There are a lot ways the cornea can be injured.  Typically the cornea is protected during the surgery. You and your wife need to have a frank discussion with your PS and develop a plan treat your wife's injury.

Dr. ES

Cornea injury after blepharoplasty

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Are you sure he did not say corneal abrasion?  This can happen during blepharoplasty and is often not related to the cautery.  If she has a corneal injury she should see an opthalmologist.

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

Corneal perforation?

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I have been around for a long time, and have NEVER heard of this.  If in fact this is the case, a needle or sharp instrument, or cautery could theoretically have been the cause.

If there is indeed a perforation, you need to see a corneal specialist, and now.

Many people get corneal swelling after the procedure with blurry vision but this clears ups.  Corneal perforation?


Does cautery during lid surgery damage the cornea?

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While it is technically possible to injure the cornea during any type of eyelid surgery, under normal circumstances this would be unusual.  There are several reasons that vision can become blurred after lid surgery, and perforation of the cornea would not be the most likely.  In fact, it would be unusual that the cornea was perforated, and if injured, it would more likely be a corneal abrasion.   There are specific treatments to help heal the cornea, so if there was an injury, I would recommend your wife see an ophthalmologist.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Cautery Damaging Cornea

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    The cautery can certainly damage the cornea.  I have not had this happen, because the cornea is usually protected in some manner.

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.