Background: To evaluate the effect of upper eyelid surgery on ocular surface sensation and tear production.
Methods: Prospective, interventional, consecutive case series. Patients undergoing upper eyelid blepharoplasty or blepharoptosis repair were evaluated with measurements of their corneal sensation and tear production using a Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer and the Schirmer 1 test without anesthesia, respectively. Measurements were obtained preperatively, and at 1 day and 1 month postoperatively.
Results: Eleven patients (21 eyes) were enrolled in the study. There was a significant decrease in corneal sensation between the baseline and postperative day 1 (p < 0.01) and a significant increase between day 1 and month 1 after surgery (p < 0.01). There was no statistically significant difference in corneal sensation between the baseline and postoperative 1 month measurement (p > 0.05). There was no significant difference in tear production between baseline and postoperative day 1 (p > 0.05). There was a statistically significant increase in tear production between baseline and postoperative month 1 (p < 0.05). There was no significant correlation between corneal sensitivity and Schirmer 1 test preoperatively, at postoperative day 1, or at postoperative month 1 after surgery.
Interpretation: Upper eyelid surgery results in a temporary decrease in ocular surface sensation that returns to baseline after 1 month. Patients with pre-existing ocular surface dysfunction should consider aggressive treatments with lubricating drops and ointment, punctual occlusion, or anti-inflammatory therapy to accommodate the temporary effects on ocular surface sensation that result from upper eyelid surgery.