Prominent eye: operative management in lower lid and midfacial rejuvenation and the morphologic classification system

Haideh Hirmand, Mark A Codner, Clinton D McCord, T Roderick Hester, Foad Nahai
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2002, 110 (2): 620-8; discussion 629-34
The purpose of this study was to evaluate a standard method for the identification of eye prominence and to review operative modifications necessary in patients with prominent eyes. A Hertel exophthalmometer was used to define a classification system according to the degree of eye prominence. A total of 43 patients undergoing lower lid or midfacial rejuvenation were included in the study. Preoperative parameters, including vector analysis, laxity, scleral show, rotational deformity, lateral canthus-to-lateral orbital rim distance, lateral-to-medial canthal distance, and exophthalmometry measurement, were documented. Intraoperatively, techniques including horizontal shortening and lateral canthoplasty placement were documented. Postoperative evaluation included scleral show, rotational deformity, and lateral-to-medial canthal distance. The proposed morphologic classification system divided patients into four groups on the basis of their degree of prominence, as measured by exophthalmometry, defined as deep-set (<14 mm), normal (15 to 17 mm), moderately prominent (18 to 19 mm), and very prominent (>20 mm). Operative techniques were different between the groups, with correction of laxity in the deep-set eyes and accentuated overcorrection of scleral show in the prominent eyes. The use of an exophthalmometer to classify patients before blepharoplasty may help reduce the risk of complications by identifying high-risk patients.

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