Timing of eyelid surgery in the setting of refractive surgery: Preoperative and postoperative considerations

Ana C. Victoria, Roy S. Chuck, Jamie Rosenberg, Robert M. Schwarcz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: With any operation, the surgeon should be aware of predisposing factors that may lead to postoperative complications. Here we review the major factors due for consideration in both eyelid and refractive eye surgery, preoperatively and postoperatively, and consider the importance of timing to lessen the inherent risks of each procedure. Recent findings: Refractive surgery can affect corneal sensation by ablating the corneal nerves and can cause serious corneal complications if followed by eyelid surgery. Studies find that patients undergoing eyelid surgery have a change in astigmatic error of as much as 1.0 D during the first 3 postoperative months. The longest reported follow-up period of astigmatic changes in adult patients following eyelid ptosis surgery is 1 year and a considerable number of patients had a change in cylinder of up to 0.3 D postoperatively. Blepharoplastic surgery is also reported to cause astigmatic changes postoperatively, significantly more if entire fat pads are removed. Summary: To prevent corneal exposure, postrefractive eyelid surgery should be performed at least 6 months after lamellar ablative procedures and at least 3 months after surface ablative procedures. Refractive surgery revision may be necessary when astigmatic error occurs and should be carried out no earlier than 6 months postoperatively to allow for stabilization. Cosmetic blepharoplasty with fat pad debulking should be performed at least 6 months prior to refractive surgery to allow for any potential corneal astigmatic change to stabilize, for regained strength in the orbicularis, and for improved tear film distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-232
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • astigmatism
  • blepharoplasty
  • corneal sensitivity
  • dry eye
  • eyelid surgery
  • laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'Timing of eyelid surgery in the setting of refractive surgery: Preoperative and postoperative considerations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this