A condition some patients may experience after an upper blepharoplasty is called lagophthalmos. While most cases of lagophthalmos are mild and resolve within days or weeks of surgery, the condition may persist after this time. In these rare cases, a surgical correction of lagophthalmos may be necessary.
If you are considering a Raleigh eye lift, you may have questions about the procedure and its possible side effects. What is lagophthalmos? How is it related to an upper blepharoplasty? How can it be resolved? This article will explore these questions and more.
What Is Upper Blepharoplasty?
Sagging eyelids and ptosis are naturally occurring conditions that become more apparent with age. Extreme eyelid ptosis–an eyelid that droops over the pupil–can affect a patient’s vision and daily life. When these complaints worsen, a patient may pursue a Raleigh eye lift.
Upper blepharoplasty Raleigh, NC, is a surgery to correct the sagging skin of the upper eyelid. During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision along the natural fold of the upper eyelid. The surgeon will then rearrange and remove excess fat to decrease puffiness and smooth the overall appearance of the eyelid. Any excess skin, other than a small margin to prevent lagophthalmos, will be removed and tightened.
What Is Lagophthalmos?
After upper blepharoplasty, the eyelid muscles may tense due to the trauma sustained during surgery, causing lagophthalmos. The most common symptom of this condition is that the eyelid may remain partially open, especially while sleeping. Lagophthalmos can also lead to the eye being overly dry and sensitive. If left untreated, lagophthalmos can interfere with a patient’s ability to blink and properly close their eyes while awake. Corneal inflammation or irritation, known as keratitis, is also a concern due to constant eye exposure during waking and sleeping hours.
Lagophthalmos can also occur when a surgeon incorrectly measures the skin before an upper blepharoplasty. In these cases, the surgeon could remove too much skin and muscle during surgery. Most surgeons, however, will account for the initial tensing of the eyelid post-surgery and leave a margin of skin to allow the eye to close. The best way to avoid lagophthalmos is to choose an experienced and knowledgeable oculoplastic surgeon.
How To Correct Lagophthalmos After Blepharoplasty
Only in rare, extreme cases will surgery be necessary to correct lagophthalmos. While concerning, mild lagophthalmos will rapidly resolve after an upper blepharoplasty. A gentle massage is an easy and effective solution to the most common type of lagophthalmos. Depending on the patient, a surgeon may recommend massaging the eyelid as frequently as possible to help the muscle relax. Other treatment options include applying drops to the eyes during the day and a moisture-rich ointment at night. A patient may also wear a patch to help combat extreme dryness and corneal irritation.
Blepharoplasty Raleigh, NC
Dr. Sumeet Jindal is a triple board-certified oculoplastic surgeon and founder of the Jindal Institute for Youthful Aging. His knowledge and expertise in restorative eye surgery will help you achieve your desired aesthetic results.