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#1 Oct. 14, 2017 15:58:33

Suze
Registered: 2016-09-13
Posts: 24
Profile  

Lid Retraction Surgery

Hi. This site was very helpful when I had my thyroid out about a year ago. I am now back with a question. My thyroid eye disease has greatly settled down and has been stable for over 6 months. I am currently debating whether to do lid retraction surgery. One of my eyes appears slightly bigger than the other, and the goal would be to even it out. My case is not bad. I can live with it like this (I see it more in photos), but of course it irks me a bit. There is a financial benefit for doing it this year if I am going to do it. Since it involves cutting into the eyelid and cutting the muscle, it sounds a little scary. I've gotten 2 medical opinions which say it is not very risky, but up to me bc any surgery has risks. Opinions from people I know range from “do it if it will make you feel good…it will probably be fine” to “who knows what can happen when you have a surgical procedure…don't mess with your eyes…the doctor may never get it right.”

I have to decide very soon. If anyone has anything to add either based on personal experience or otherwise, please let me know. Thank you.

Suze

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#2 Oct. 14, 2017 17:23:10

Liz1967
Registered: 2014-02-25
Posts: 207
Profile  

Lid Retraction Surgery

I have had one lid done twice and the other three times. Lids are extremely delicate and the muscles are thin. Both my lids were retracted and I had prior orbital decompressions through the lid and strabismus surgery, so my surgeries were more complicated. My oculoplastic surgeon commented that lids are much harder than removing bone from the orbits, so the important thing is to choose an oculoplastic surgeon experienced with Graves patients. I had one of the best surgeons in the country, an expert in Graves, and still had some complications as well as reactivation of the burned out eye disease itself. That being said, the relief from the dry eye caused by the retraction is tremendous and the return to normal appearance is also huge. One lid is slightly lower than the other but they are in normal position and the puffy lid thing is gone. The last surgery was done under local, no sedation, in the office. The others were local with IV sedation in OR. The surgery leaves a lot of bruising for a few weeks, but is not painful. I took the supplement arnica montana per docs suggestion before and after last surgery and it helped with bruising.

So consider it carefully if you are not troubled by dry eye or if friends tell you they dont really notice it. A millimeter difference in lid height is considered normal, which is where I am. I do not at all regret doing it, but it is not exactly the simple procedure it may seem to be. Most important is choosing a surgeon with Graves eye experience, even if you have to travel. You cannot go into lids too many times so be absolutely sure the eye disease itself is burned out and not changing in any way. Hope this helps.

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#3 Oct. 15, 2017 10:33:49

Suze
Registered: 2016-09-13
Posts: 24
Profile  

Lid Retraction Surgery

Wow. That helps a lot. Let me take in what you said. I may be back to clarify something. I also welcome comments from others. Thank you!

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#4 Nov. 8, 2017 10:21:24

neskirimli
Registered: 2014-08-22
Posts: 4
Profile  

Lid Retraction Surgery

Its been 2 years I had the traidektomi. I waited for a year for my eyes to settle. And I feel lucky that my eyelid that retracted, almost came down to normal levels. But not my under eye bags. Then I had a surgery to remove my under eye bags. It definitely wasn't a successful operation as after 6 months half of the bags were still there. Furthermore I still have my under eye swallows time to time. And I feel my eyelid moves up or down time to time. Well its very small movements like 1mm but still.
After experiencing all these I am now at “if its not too bad, don't touch it” level.

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#5 Nov. 16, 2017 23:26:05

Suze
Registered: 2016-09-13
Posts: 24
Profile  

Lid Retraction Surgery

Neskirimli,

I just saw this post. Thank you for the response. It is much appreciated as I am still evaluating the situation but under pressure to make a decision.

Suze

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#6 Nov. 16, 2017 23:35:02

Suze
Registered: 2016-09-13
Posts: 24
Profile  

Lid Retraction Surgery

Liz,

I have a follow up question for you. When I asked my doctor whether to expect numbness from the lid retraction surgery, he said everyone's lids go numb because nerves get cut. I tried to clarify whether this was a temporary or permanent condition and am not clear on the response. I may not have another chance to clarify this before making my final decision. I realize it likely differs for different people, but I want to understand whether the expectation is that it is (hopefully) temporary or whether this is a permanent side effect of the surgery. I realize your surgery was more involved than mine, but if possible, please provide some perspective on your experience.

Thank you

Susan

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#7 Nov. 17, 2017 02:13:39

Liz1967
Registered: 2014-02-25
Posts: 207
Profile  

Lid Retraction Surgery

My lids are not numb. Actually, I do not think they were numb right after the surgery either as I could most definitely feel the sutures. You are really careful not to touch or rub the lids postop so there may have been some insignificant loss of superficial sensation without noticing it because you are not touching your lids. Numbness should not be a concern. More important concerns are postop position of lids and future retraction and swelling if the eye disease has not truly burned out. Best of luck! Do not feel rushed into any decision you make with Graves. Lids are usually the last reconstructive eye surgery and can be done at any time, even years later.

Edited Liz1967 (Nov. 17, 2017 03:28:02)

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#8 Nov. 17, 2017 07:54:52

Suze
Registered: 2016-09-13
Posts: 24
Profile  

Lid Retraction Surgery

Once, again…thank you Liz. You are so helpful!

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