When the lower eyelids sit too low on the eye, or have a rounded appearance, that is called lower eyelid retraction. This condition may be caused by previous lower eyelid surgery such as blepharoplasty, scarring due to long-term sun exposure or trauma, or thyroid eye diseaseUpper eyelid retraction is when the upper eyelid sits too high on the eye and is usually caused by thyroid eye disease or scarring. 


There are various ways to surgically position the retracted eyelid in a more natural position. Often, a canthoplasty, which is a procedure that repositions and secures the outer corner of the eyelid, is performed. A spacer graft such as Alloderm may be placed inside the eyelid to replace lost volume. Sometimes a skin graft is necessary if any scarring is present. 


You may expect to go home on the day of surgery after eyelid retraction repair. There is usually minimal to no pain and most patients resume their normal daily activities the following day. A patch will be placed over the eye and left in place for 1-2 days. Heavy lifting should be avoided for 1-2 weeks. You may experience mild discomfort, which is controlled with oral medication. Swelling and bruising significantly improve after a few days and usually are minimally noticeable after 2 weeks, however healing time can vary between individuals. Sutures are removed on the first post-operative visit, usually 7-10 days after surgery. Eyelid make-up and contact lens use may usually be resumed 1-2 weeks after surgery.