Platinum Eyelid Weight Placement
Facial paralysis patients often have trouble blinking and closing their eyes. Patients are not able to protect their eyes when this happens which can lead to infection, injury from foreign objects, dryness, and a feeling of irritation and/or discomfort. A thin platinum eyelid weight can be placed under the skin of the upper eyelid to help patients blink and close their eyes better. If patients improve and regain eyelid function, the weight is easily removed. Dr. Miller is an expert at placing upper eyelid weights to maximize improvement in eyelid function while minimizing appearance of the weight.
Who is a candidate for platinum eyelid weight placement?
Anyone who is suffering from facial paralysis and having difficulty with closing their eye is a candidate for this procedure. If the patient is symptomatic, they should be evaluated immediately for an eyelid weight to help protect their eye. Common symptoms include dry eyes, a gritty sensation within the eye, eye pain, and eye redness. During your visit at the Facial Nerve Center, Dr. Miller will help decide if an eyelid weight can help protect your eye and make your eye more comfortable. He uses the thinnest platinum weights available (thinner and less visible than gold weights).
What to expect during platinum eyelid weight placement:
Dr. Miller can place your eyelid weight in clinic, so you do not have to go to the operating room. He will mark a natural crease in your upper eyelid to hide the scar and then inject a small amount of numbing medication into the upper eyelid. After this, the procedure takes about 20 minutes. A 1- 2 cm incision is made in the natural skin crease, and the platinum weight is secured to a rigid structure in the upper lid called the tarsal plate. The incision is then closed with dissolving stitches. Ointment is applied to the upper eyelid for a few days after the procedure. Patients experience an immediate benefit, closing the eye better even before leaving the office. Removing the weight takes only 10 minutes in clinic. Patients can safely go through metal detectors and have MRI scans with the platinum weight in their eyelids.
If you would like to schedule a consultation at the UNC Facial Nerve Center, please call 984-974-2255.