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Injuries to the Eyelid

Various types of injury can result in eyelid trauma. The eyelid can be injured by a sharp object or even a blunt object. The eyelid’s unique anatomy makes it challenging to repair, and Dr. Zoumalan has extensive training in repairing simple to complex types of eyelid trauma. It is important to evaluate the eyeball itself and surrounding structures such as the orbital bones and the tear duct system whenever there is an eyelid trauma.

Dr. Zoumalan is an Oculoplastic surgeon and has extensive experience in repairing eyelids that have undergone trauma. He is a Clinical Professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and continues to teach doctors the skills of eyelid plastic surgery. Dr. Zoumalan continues to help in extensive and complicated eyelid trauma as a Clinical Professor

Dr. Zoumalan performs revisional eyelid surgery in those patients that may have had prior eyelid trauma surgery in the past. Oftentimes, the lid margin where the two severed ends never healed well, and as a result, the patient can complain of irritation, red eyes, tearing, and discomfort. Dr. Zoumalan’s training in complex eyelid reconstruction allows him to help those that may require revisional eyelid surgery related to prior trauma.

Depending on the severity of the lid trauma, Dr. Zoumalan may repair these in the office or the emergency room. In complicated cases which may involve deeper structures of the eyelid, the patient may often need to be taken to operating room where they will require some form of anesthesia.

Common Eyelid Trauma Terminology


  • Perforating trauma: The globe integrity is disrupted by a full-thickness entry wound and could be associated with prolapse of the internal contents of the eye. This needs to be urgently evaluated by an ophthalmologist and repaired if possible
  • Closed globe injury or Non-penetrating trauma: The eye globe is intact, but there may be injuries to the eye that require immediate attention. An ophthalmologist should evaluate the eye and treat the injuries if possible.
  • Penetrating trauma: The globe integrity is disrupted by a full-thickness entry wound and could be associated with prolapse of the internal contents of the eye. Prior to any eyelid repair, injuries to the eyeball need to be addressed and repaired if possible by an ophthalmologist.
  • Blowout fracture of the orbit:  A direct fracture to the orbital bones can happen from blunt trauma. The most common locations for a fractures are the orbital floor and the medial wall, due to sudden increased pressure on the orbital contents from the trauma.  If significant enough, the orbital fracture may need to be repaired.
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    Preoperative Diagnosis: Right lower eyelid full-thickness laceration involving the lid margin.

    Procedure performed: Repair of right lower lid full-thickness laceration

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    Preoperative Diagnosis: Right lower eyelid partial-thickness laceration.

    Procedure performed: Repair of right lower lid partial-thickness laceration.

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    Preoperative Diagnosis: Right lower eyelid and canalicular (tear duct system) laceration. The patient’s tear duct system was also injured and required repair.

    Procedure performed: Repair of right lower eyelid and canalicular (tear duct system) laceration. Photo was taken 6 months after injury and repair.

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    Preoperative Diagnosis:Left lower eyelid full thickness laceration from a dog-bite injury. His eye and tear duct system were uninjured.

    Procedure performed: Repair of left lower eyelid and laceration. Photo was taken 2 weeks after injury and repair.

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    Preoperative Diagnosis: Left brow laceration

    Procedure performed: Repair of left brow laceration.