JOURNAL ARTICLE

Extended upper blepharoplasty for lateral hooding of the upper eyelid using a scalpel-shaped excision: a 13-year experience

Yaron Har-Shai, Bernard Hirshowitz
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2004, 113 (3): 1028-35; discussion 1036
15108902
Excess skin of the upper lids is often accompanied by lateral overlap of skin with crow's feet because of the absence of fixation to the tarsal plate, giving the eye a sad, heavy look that often disturbs the lateral visual field. The accepted crescent-shaped blepharoplasty is somewhat convex, which is widest at the center of the lid with or without a lateral extension. However, in patients who have normal brow position or minimal eyebrow ptosis and whose main concern is the excess upper eyelid skin and lateral hooding, such a crescent excision may not suffice. A scalpel-shaped excision that is widest laterally and that tapers to a point medially will extirpate the maximal skin where it is most needed and overcome the skin excess in the lateral aspect of the upper lid. Between 1990 and 2002, 301 white patients (275 women and 26 men) between the ages of 33 and 79 years were operated on using the extended scalpel-shaped upper blepharoplasty technique. The follow-up period was more than 1 year. The lower margin of the incision is along the supratarsal crease, about 10 mm above the ciliary line. It begins medially about 1 cm above and lateral to the medial canthus. Above the lateral canthus, the skin marking is gently curved upward and outward, often within a natural skin crease or crow's feet to reach a little below and slightly beyond the lateral extremity of the eyebrow. The upper border of the incision joins the two extremities of the skin outline in a gentle convex curve. The general outline of the incision takes on the shape of a number 20 scalpel blade in which the maximal width is located laterally. Following excision of the excess skin and removal of protuberant fat pads if needed, suturing is executed from lateral to medial. The final suture line is in the form of an oblique flattened lazy S. Following the removal of the stitches on the fifth postoperative day, no wound dehiscence was noticed at the lateral scar zone. In the older individuals, due to the lax skin, the scar becomes scarcely noticeable with time and often falls within a pre-existent crow's feet crease. Elimination of some of the crow's feet was also demonstrated. In patients with visual field impairment, significant functional and visual improvement was achieved. Most patients mentioned a pleasing postoperative open "Oriental" look of the eyes. The extended scalpel-shaped upper blepharoplasty adequately deals with the hooding of the skin laterally. This technique overcomes the excess of skin in both vertical and horizontal directions, since in suturing the lateral part of the skin defect in an oblique plane, slack skin is taken up transversely, and the technique provides some indirect upward support to the lateral eyebrow. In the absence of crow's feet in the younger person, this technique is not recommended because the lateral part of this suture line is visible, especially if the scar widens.

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