Why Are Some People Not Able to Close Their Eyes after Eyelid Surgery?

Why Are Some People Not Able to Close Their Eyes after Eyelid Surgery?

A rare complication after blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) can rob patients of something that most of us take for granted: the ability to fully close the eyes. Unfortunately this problem, known as lagophthalmos, can make the simplest tasks like sleeping or showering extremely difficult. Lagophthalmos can also increase the risk of conditions like corneal damage.

In this post, the eyelid surgery specialists at Eyesthetica take a closer look at why this complication occurs and the steps we take to avoid it entirely.

How This Can Happen

The eyelid skin is extremely delicate — in fact, it is the thinnest skin on the body. Operating on such delicate skin is complex and requires the skill of an experienced eyelid surgeon. If any of the following happen during the operation, there is a chance that the eyelids may not close completely after surgery:

  1. The orbicularis oculi muscle, which is responsible for eyelid closure and a natural blink, is damaged.
  2. Too much fat volume is removed and there is no soft tissue support left to maintain the position of the eyelid.
  3. There is preoperative eyelid laxity (i.e., looseness) that is not addressed during surgery.
  4. Too much eyelid skin is removed.

Lack of full eyelid closure after blepharoplasty can be very challenging and physically uncomfortable. Sleeping and bathing can be difficult and the eyes may feel constantly dry and irritated. There is also a heightened risk of corneal irritation due to exposure of the cornea.

Avoiding Complications after Eyelid Surgery

In many cases, once the eyelid muscles have been damaged by surgery, muscle function cannot be restored. For this reason, it is critically important to choose your eyelid surgeon carefully.

At Eyesthetica, our doctors are board-certified ophthalmologists that spend an additional one to two years training in problems and surgery of the eyelids, eye socket, tear drains and surrounding areas. We have an expert understanding of eyelid position abnormalities and how to avoid them during eyelid surgery. We take many precautions to prevent functional or aesthetic complications after surgery.

Consult with Our Oculoplastic Surgeons

If you are interested in having eyelid surgery and would like to meet the oculoplastic surgeons at Eyesthetica, we welcome you to schedule an informational consultation. Please call or email us today to book your visit.