Lacrimal Gland Repair

One of the lesser-known parts of the eyes are the lacrimal glands. These glands help with tear production. In some cases, the lacrimal gland can become dislocated and create a bulging appearance at the outer corner of the upper eyelid. To correct the appearance of a prolapsed lacrimal gland, you will need to seek out an experienced oculoplastic surgeon, like Dr. Guy Massry in Beverly Hills, who specializes in lacrimal gland repair. 

What is a prolapsed lacrimal gland?

The lacrimal glands are part of your orbital anatomy. They are located in the upper outer corner of the eye (lacrimal fossa) and are responsible for producing tears. Lacrimal gland prolapse (or a dislocated lacrimal gland) results in a bulging appearance to the outer part of the upper eyelid. In addition to an unattractive appearance, some patients will feel pressure on the globe and may experience discomfort. A prolapsed lacrimal gland can occur with aging or after trauma.

Below are a few examples of what a prolapsed lacrimal gland looks like.

 


What is lacrimal gland repair?

In chapter 10 of Dr. Massry’s latest textbook “Master Techniques in Facial Rejuvenation” Second Edition, he discusses the management of lacrimal gland prolapse as an adjunct to upper blepharoplasty.  Lacrimal gland prolapse has been reported in 15% of all upper eyelid blepharoplasty patients and in up to 60% of patients who are undergoing functional upper blepharoplasty.

Suture suspension of the lacrimal gland is a direct way to address moderate to severe lacrimal gland prolapse. The prolapsed gland is identified through the standard upper eyelid blepharoplasty incision. The lacrimal gland is pale in color with glandular elements and is distinctly different in appearance than the closely located central fat pad.

To perform lacrimal gland repositioning, Dr. Massry uses a 5-0 polypropylene suture on a P-3 needle to pass through the lacrimal gland capsule. The suture is then secured to the anterior tip of the lacrimal gland fossa periosteum at the superior orbital rim. He finally ties the suture, which repositions the gland into the fossa. This technique allows the eyelid to close normally.

Watch Dr. Massry Perform Lacrimal Gland Repositioning

The following video demonstrates Dr. Massry’s minimally invasive lacrimal gland repositioning technique.


Before & After Lacrimal Gland Repositioning

Below is an example of a patient before and after prolapsed lacrimal gland repair. As you can see in the before picture, there is a bulge in the outer corner of the eyelid due to the dislocated lacrimal gland. After the lacrimal gland is repositioned to its correct position, the patient looks much more youthful.


Recovery After Lacrimal Gland Repair

The recovery after lacrimal gland repair is the same as with an upper blepharoplasty. Overall the recovery is easy and manageable. During the first week you will be bruised and swollen around your eyes. After one week, you will return to Dr. Massry’s office to have your sutures removed. For our female patients, within two weeks, you can start wearing makeup again.


Contact Dr. Massry today!

If you are in need of surgical repair of a prolapsed lacrimal gland, please contact Dr. Massry today! His expertise in lacrimal gland repair ensures you will have the best results possible. 

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