When Can My Droopy Lower Eyelid Be Fixed After Blepharoplasty Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 52 years old and had eyelid surgery, both uppers and lowers, a month ago. My problem is my right lower eyelid droops. It is not level with the other lower eyelid and a lot of white is showing. It was worse the first week after surgery and then it got a bit better.  But it has not improved anymore since then. My doctor told me to be patient and keep ointment in the eye at night, massage it several times a day, and keep it taped up at night. My doctor said he can fix it later by tightening the corner if it does not improve. How long should I wait before having it fixed?

A: What you have is ectropion or lower eyelid drooping at the outside corner due to loss of structural support from the transcutaneous lower blepharoplasty. This is one of the known potential complications from this surgery. You are following management instructions which are what should be done in the first month or two after surgery. As long as the lower eyelid position is slowly improving and/or eye symptoms such as dryness, itchiness or excessive tearing are not too severe, the more healing time the better. Improvements in ectropion can continue to improve several months after it has occurred. A full three months should be allowed to pass before undergoing lateral canthal/eyelid resuspension, which is the definite answer to ectropion. This can be done earlier if eye symptoms warrant.  

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana