There are many options for restoring eyelid closure in patients with facial paralysis. One treatment option, though not as common as it once was, is known as tarsorrhaphy. Tarsorrhaphy is a surgical procedure in which the eyelids are sewn together partially in order to decrease the size of the opening. Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS and the team of experts at the Facial Paralysis Institute would be happy to carefully examine your particular condition to determine the best treatment option for your incomplete eyelid closure as a result of facial paralysis or Bell’s palsy.
What is Tarsorrhaphy?
Tarsorrhaphy is a procedure that involves partially sewing the eyelids together to narrow the eye opening. This procedure is used to help protect the eye from foreign objects and from painful drying in patients with full or partial facial paralysis that has affected eyelid closure. The procedure involves placing stitches at the corners of the eyelid opening in order to narrow the opening and allow the eye to stay better lubricated and protected from injury. It may be necessary to continue using eye drops and ointments to keep the eye appropriately lubricated, and in many cases, drops and contact lenses are sufficient enough to prevent the need for tarsorrhaphy altogether.
Other options for correcting difficulties relating to eyelid closure include the following procedures:
The expert physicians at the Facial Paralysis Institute have comprised a list of questions they are most frequently asked about tarsorrhaphy to help you in your quest to find the procedure that is right for you.
Q: Who is a good candidate for tarsorrhaphy?
A: Because tarsorrhaphy typically compromises peripheral vision and can affect the aesthetics of the eye, it is not commonly indicated until alternatives, such as eye drops and contact lenses, have been attempted. Tarsorrhaphy may be beneficial for patients with temporary facial paralysis, such as Bell’spalsy, as the procedure can be reversed once normal function has returned. Dr. Azizzadeh and his team of oculoplastic surgeons can discuss all of your options with you during your consultation.
Q: What is the recovery like?
A: Tarsorrhaphy is an outpatient procedure with minimal risk. The recovery period is short and there is little pain involved. It is important to avoid touching or rubbing the eye, as well as wearing makeup, until advised by your doctor. It will also take time to adjust to the limited peripheral vision, which means activities like driving should be avoided until given approval.
Q: What other options do I have for restoring my eyelid function?
A: If tarsorrhaphy is not the best option for you, there are several other treatments available that have proven to be successful in treating incomplete eyelid closure. Gold or platinum weights can be implanted into the upper lid allowing it to use the force of gravity to close and protect the eye. Eyelid springs can also be implanted to restore dynamic function to the eyelid in a natural-looking manner. Call the expert team of doctors at the Facial Paralysis Institute today to schedule a consultation and find out which treatment is right for you.
Why Trust the Doctors at the Facial Paralysis Institute?
Our doctors at the Facial Paralysis Institute are among the most highly regarded specialists in their fields and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to FPI. Board certified facial plastic surgeon Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS works with oculoplastic surgeon Guy Massry, MD to provide patients with the highest level of care and treat their incomplete eyelid closure caused by facial paralysis with a multidisciplinary approach.
Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, trained at Harvard, whose expertise in facial paralysis makes him one of the most highly regarded facial plastic surgeons in the country. In addition to being featured in various media outlets like Discovery Health, The New York Times, and the Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Azizzadeh is actively involved in research as well as teaching medical students at UCLA.
Guy Massry, MD is an oculoplastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic surgery of the eyelids. Known as “Dr. Fix-It,” Dr. Massry is a graduate of the USC School of Medicine and is highly regarded among his peers for his work and research in the field of oculoplastic surgery.
Contact the Expert Team at the Facial Paralysis Institute for a Consultation Today
If you would like more information on tarsorrhaphy or any of the other eyelid closure procedures, call us at (310) 657-2203 today to schedule a consultation with our team of facial paralysis and oculoplastic experts. The surgeons here at the Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills want you to be feeling and looking your best as soon as possible and are here to help.
Request your consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh today
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