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Efficacy of "thick" acellular human dermis (AlloDerm) for lower eyelid reconstruction: comparison with hard palate and thin AlloDerm grafts.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy of thick acellular human dermis (thick AlloDerm [LifeCell Corporation, The Woodlands, Tex]) grafts for posterior and middle lamellae reconstruction to correct lower eyelid retraction and to compare the long-term efficacy of thick AlloDerm with thin AlloDerm and hard palate grafts.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of patients undergoing lower eyelid reconstruction, which encompassed subperiosteal midface lifting, middle lamellae scar lysis, and placement of lower eyelid thick AlloDerm graft. Analysis included 21 surgical procedures in 11 patients. All patients had undergone at least 1 previous lower eyelid surgery with resultant lower eyelid retraction and scleral show. Preoperative and postoperative photographs were used for analysis. Measurements of the corneal diameter and distance from pupil center to lower eyelid margin were obtained, standardized, and compared.

RESULTS: Of 21 procedures, 16 (8 of 11 patients) demonstrated improvement of lower eyelid position. The mean improvement of the median marginal reflex distance was 1.6 mm (range, 0.4-2.2 mm). The average follow-up after surgery was 215 days (range, 3-12 months). Of 21 procedures (3 patients), 5 failed to demonstrate improvement of lower eyelid position, with the mean final eyelid position lower postoperatively by 0.8 mm (range, 0.4-1.4 mm).

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated long-lasting improvement of lower eyelid position with placement of thick AlloDerm grafts during lower eyelid reconstruction. The patients in our study had undergone previous lower eyelid blepharoplasty with resultant middle lamellae tethering. Surgical correction included subperiosteal midface-lift and middle lamellae scar lysis, in addition to thick AlloDerm graft placement to the lower eyelid. The results are comparable to hard palate grafts but perhaps superior to thin AlloDerm grafts.

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