I Had Upper Eyelid Retraction Surgery 3 Weeks Ago and My Eye Now Appears Droopy or Open Halfway: Is This Normal?

My surgery was 3 weeks ago to correct an upper eyelid retraction caused by graves disease. The brusing is gone and its been this long and it seems like my appearance is worse than before. It is more noticable. The eye appears droopy, puffy&half open. When will this go away?

Doctor Answers 5

Surgery Recovery

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It is difficult to overcorrect eyelid retraction in thyroid patients, so noticing the eyelid as droopy soon after is overall a good sign. I would give it at least 4 to 6 weeks to allow for swelling and bruising to dissipate before determining the outcome.

New Haven Oculoplastic Surgeon

Its really too early to tell

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Like my other colleagues answering this question I too feel you are probably still going through the early stages of healing and swelling.  This procedure is a little different than typical blepharoplasty surgery so your muscles may be still reacting to the procedure.  Be patient, take pictures and expect that your imporvement is just a few moments away, but maybe not tomorrow.



Time to Heal

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Eyelid surgery is "surgery of millimeters."  Therefore, a small amount of residual lid swelling will affect the overall look.  So, Cosmetic Surgeons recommend proper healing (3-6 months) before jumping back into surgery.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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Too early for revision

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It is way to early after surgery for you to worry about asymmetry. There is significant swelling in the few weeks after surgery, and sometimes even longer than that. Furthermore, surgical scar will evolve and soften over a period of months. I would not consider revision surgery on anyone until the 3 month post operative visit, and sometimes even longer than that.

Having said that, it is not at all unusual for Thyroid patients that have undergone upper eyelid retraction repair to need revision surgery. Upper lid retraction repair can be quite unreliable in its results, even in the most experienced and talented surgeons hands. Sometimes the patient becomes too droopy, and other times still too retracted. This procedure is notoriously difficult to get achieve symmetry. Be patient with your body has it heals, and be prepared for a possible need for revision.

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Unfortunately, yes this is normal.

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Upper eyelid recession surgery for upper eyelid retraction for thyroid eye disease is a very tough deal.  It is essential to over-correct the eyelid during surgery anticipating that with healing there will be contraction of the tissues.  Not so occasionally the surgery can actually bottom out the eyelid leading to an over correction.  Generally over correction at 3 weeks post-operative is a good sign.  If you were perfect today, then by 3 months post operative you would heal with the eyes too open.  Hang in there, waiting is tough.

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.