Reduced Tissue Response with Topical Khat Leaves after Eyelid Surgery: Preliminary Findings

Daphna Landau Prat, Shira Sandbank, Tal Davidy, Ofira Zloto, Guy J.Ben Simon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Upper eyelid blepharoplasty surgery is one of the most common plastic surgeries. Khat is used topically to reduce tissue edema. Objectives: To evaluate the effect of topical khat administration after eyelid surgery on postoperative healing. Methods: Our prospective comparative study included 24 patients who underwent upper eyelid blepharoplasty or ptosis surgery between 2019 and 2020. Patients were randomly assigned to 48 hours of cold dressing with frozen khat leaves and frozen peas dressing (common practice). Postoperative photographs of the eyes were evaluated for the degree of ec-chymosis and edema on postoperative days (PODs) 1,3, and 7 by three blinded observers. Measures included tissue swelling and hemorrhage on PODs 1,3, and 7. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 67 ± 7 years; 17 females (71%). Khat application was associated with lower postoperative ecchymosis at each time point. Females had lower levels of postoperative ecchymosis on POD 7 (P = 0.07). Eyelid edema was more pronounced in the khat group on PODs 1 and 3, but this was reversed on POD 7. There was good agreement among all three observers in grading ecchymosis and edema (P< 0.001). Conclusions: The use of khat was associated with less tissue ecchymosis after oculoplastic surgery, although this was not statistically significant even following sub-population analysis. The outcome can be attributed to the active ingredients of cathinone and cathine, which cause vasoconstriction and lipolysis, and to the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative flavonoids and phenolic compounds. These encouraging preliminary findings warrant additional studies on a biochemical/cellular level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-513
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • blepharoplasty
  • eyelid surgery
  • khat
  • ptosis repair
  • wound healing


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