Oculoplastic considerations for refractive procedures

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2020 Jul;31(4):241-246. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000667.


Purpose of review: Refractive surgery is one of the most popular elective procedures performed in the world. Given that dry eye is a common complaint following keratorefractive surgery, evaluation, and treatment of periocular conditions that further predispose the patient to dry eye symptoms is an important part of the presurgical assessment. Periocular conditions and surgeries can also affect the ocular surface and keratometry, and should be addressed. For example, ptosis, orbital fat herniation, ectropion, and eyelid masses have been shown to induce corneal topography changes and astigmatism. The oculoplastic considerations for refractive surgery include both the contribution of eyelid position on dry eye, ocular surface damage, refractive error, and outcomes, as well as the timing of oculoplastic surgery in relation to the refractive surgery. In this review, the recently published literature on eyelid and orbital surgery in relation to keratorefractive surgery is reviewed to elucidate the relationship of periocular factors with refractive surgery outcomes and complications. To improve keratorefractive surgery outcomes, a literature review is presented, discussing evaluation, management, and timing of management of oculoplastics conditions.

Recent findings: Dry eye syndrome is a well known complication of keratorefractive procedures. This is exacerbated with concurrent eyelid or orbital disorders, such as ectropion, lagophthalmos, and thyroid eye disease. In addition to impacting dry eye and ocular surface damage, eyelid surgeries can also affect corneal topography and refraction. Studies have found that patients with ptosis have topographic corneal aberrations from the eyelid exerting pressure on the cornea, while ptosis repair and blepharoplasty patients may undergo an astigmatic change postoperatively. Finally, the corneal flap created in laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis may be at risk for displacement or damage postoperatively with this risk changing, depending on method of flap creation, and time elapsed since keratorefractive surgery.

Summary: Eyelid and orbital conditions that predispose to dry eye syndrome and refractive changes should be evaluated and optimized prior to keratorefractive surgery. Patients electing to have oculoplastic surgery, like ptosis repair, should be fully healed prior to any refractive surgery to allow both refractive changes and eyelid positions to stabilize prior to the refractive surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Astigmatism / surgery
  • Blepharoptosis / etiology
  • Blepharoptosis / physiopathology*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / etiology
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Orbital Diseases / etiology
  • Orbital Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology
  • Refractive Errors / physiopathology*
  • Refractive Surgical Procedures*