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Retracted eyelids are too wide open. Retracted eyelids are often associated with thyroid eye disease or Graves disease. Both upper and lower eyelids can be retracted. Symptoms associated with retracted eyelids include a wide-eyed appearance, ocular redness and pain. If the eyelids are retracted, surgery can be performed to lower the upper eyelid margins or raise the lower eyelid margins. Putting the eyelids in a more normal position will improve the comfort and overall appearance.
Upper eyelid retraction repair can be performed from both inside and outside the eyelid. If both upper eyelids are retracted, a skin incision is often used to lower the upper eyelids. With a skin approach, extra fat and skin can be removed at the time of surgery to augment the overall appearance. If only one upper eyelid is retracted, an internal transconjunctival approach is used and a skin incision can be avoided.
Lower eyelid retraction may require the use of an eyelid spacer. An eyelid spacer acts as a buttress to hold up the lower eyelid during the healing process. Upper and lower eyelid retraction repair generally improves patient comfort and appearance.