Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
I had Bell’s palsy 20 years ago and am thinking of having eyelid surgery for ptosis of both eyes. Is it safe to have this done if you have had Bell’s Palsy? Is it possible a nerve will be compromised during surgery that will cause me to get it again?

Answer:
Yes. It is possible for you to have ptosis surgery even if you had a Bell's Palsy. However because the seventh nerve may be weaker on the side affected by the Bell's Palsy, your Eye M.D. will be very careful to ensure that your eyelids can close completely even after the eyelids are raised. Ptosis surgery is a procedure in which one of two eyelid elevators, the levator muscle or Muellers muscle, are tightened. These muscles are not innervated by the seventh nerve, the nerve affected by the Bell's, and should not impact the function of the seventh nerve.

Answered by: Rona Silkiss, MD Dr. Rona Silkiss

Categories: Eye Conditions, Eye Surgery

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Answered: Apr 04, 2013

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