Comparative Study
Journal Article
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Unilateral frontalis sling for the surgical correction of unilateral poor-function ptosis.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the functional and cosmetic results after frontalis sling repair for unilateral ptosis associated with either poor levator function or synkinesis.

METHODS: Preoperative and postoperative photographs and records of 127 patients who underwent unilateral frontalis sling ptosis repair were retrospectively reviewed. An eyelid crease incision was used in all cases, with suturing of the sling material directly to tarsus.

RESULTS: Preoperative diagnosis for all patients was either unilateral poor-function blepharoptosis or ptosis associated with levator synkinesis. Underlying causes included 75 congenital, 13 posttraumatic, 11 congenital "jaw-winking," 10 cranial nerve III palsies, 9 myasthenia gravis, 5 chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia, and 4 congenital "double-elevator" palsies. There was a mean follow-up of 11.6 months. Twenty-eight eyelids required reoperation: 11 for undercorrection, 6 for overcorrection with keratopathy, 2 for upper eyelid crease revision, 7 for correction of poor contour, 1 for a broken sling, and 1 for removal of an infected exposed polytetraflouroethylene sling. Lagophthalmos of greater than 2 mm was noted in 18 patients, 5 of whom had persistent keratopathy requiring reoperation. No other complications were reported, except for 1 suture granuloma. Good to excellent final postoperative eyelid height was achieved in 121 patients (95%) after all surgeries and with conscious recruitment of the frontalis muscle. A large majority of patients and/or parents expressed satisfaction with the final cosmetic result and were not bothered by any asymmetric lagophthalmos in downgaze or lack of a synchronous blink. However, 19 of 25 amblyopic patients were less satisfied with passive eyelid height as they failed to recruit the ipsilateral frontalis muscle to activate the sling during binocular viewing. In 17 of these 19 patients, good to excellent eyelid height could be achieved with conscious active brow elevation.

CONCLUSIONS: Unilateral sling provides good to excellent functional and cosmetic results in unilateral poor-function ptosis. However, patients with amblyopia usually require conscious effort to activate the frontalis muscle to achieve satisfactory eyelid height.

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