Lagophthalmos or lagophthalmia: the inability to close the eyelids completely

Lagophthalmos or lagophthalmia is the scientific term for an eye condition that prevents your eyelids from closing completely. This condition can be addressed with a surgical procedure.

Our experienced and highly specialised doctors-surgeons treat lagophthalmos with state-of-the art equipment.

  • Safe routine procedure
  • Short procedure
  • Speedy recovery
  • Small, invisible scar

Lagophthalmia: causes

Because the eyelids are no longer able to close completely, the eyes tend to dry out, leading to corneal ulceration. To avoid permanent damage, it is important that lagophthalmos is seen to in good time.

  • A neurological disorder
  • Excessive skin resection
  • Scarring caused by burns

Treatment Lagophthalmia

When lagophthalmia is caused by skin shortage or scar retraction of the upper eyelid, the condition can be reversed by means of a skin graft or skin flap.

If the condition is neurological in nature, it can be resolved by inserting a small piece of gold into the eyelid as the added weight will enable eye closure again.

Lagophthalmos of the lower eyelid and minor closure problems can be corrected by means of canthopexy or lower eyelid repositioning. For pronounced skin shortage or scar retraction, the surgeon will use a skin graft or flap.

Treatment lagophthalmia

  • Beforehand

    Preoperative screening

    • Together we’ll examine whether a surgical procedure is required.

      Preoperative screening is available at our surgeries in Brussels or Dilbeek, or at our eye clinic in Wemmel.

  • Day of treatment


    less than 1 hour in total

    • Any anticoagulant therapy must be discontinued 7 days prior to your surgery.

      On the day of the procedure, it would be best not to drive. So bring someone along to take you home again! We also strongly advise against using public transport.

    • Before the procedure

      The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthesia, with or without a mild sedative.

    • Procedure

      15 min

      Using a precisely drawn template, first a layer of skin is removed. The ensuing scar is next to invisible.

      The tarsus of the lower eyelid is reinforced and attached to the temporal canthus.

  • Immediately after your surgery

    After your surgery

    • After the procedure we would advise you to observe the following guidelines:

      • Do not bend your head down (e.g. to tie shoe laces) or do not lie in a completely horizontal position. Sleep on your back with your head resting on two pillows.
      • Avoid stress and try to remain calm. It is essential that your blood pressure remains low.
      • Feel free to read or watch television.
      • Aftercare consists of anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers in combination with gentle cooling (don’t put ice or a cold pack directly onto the eye but wrap into a thick piece of fabric first or use a clean facecloth dampened with cold water).
    • 1st week after surgery

      Eye drop (artificial tears) and an ointment (Tobramycin) will need to be applied to the scar for 1 week.

    • Removal of the stitches

      1 week after the surgery

      The stitches will be removed within 1 week of your surgery

Complications associated with lagophthalmia treatment

The chances of complications after lagophthalmia surgery are small. Prior to the procedure, our surgeons will discuss the risks and aftercare with you in detail.

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Personal advice from our experts

Our highly specialised surgeons thoroughly examine your eyes and make a detailed diagnosis. They discuss all the options with you in all objectivity.

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Multidisciplinary team of experienced topsurgeons

All the knowledge in-house for a wide range of eye treatments. Meet the team

Meet the team
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Personalised eye care

Each eye has its own unique profile, just like your fingerprints. This is why we apply the ultra-personalised topo-guided technique.

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High-tech equipment

We continuously invest in the latest, most reliable technology. We have the most comprehensive and modern technological platform for laser eye treatment and lens surgery.

About our eye lens technology
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A comfortable and pleasant setting

Our laser centre combines experts in their field with a warm welcome in a stylish setting so that you get to have your treatment in all peace and comfort.



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