The arterial anatomy of the eyelid: importance for reconstructive and aesthetic surgery

Senem Erdogmus, Figen Govsa
Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery: JPRAS 2007, 60 (3): 241-5

PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to investigate the arterial distribution of the eyelids.

METHODS: The location, course, length and diameter of eyelid arteries were determined in 19 preserved and latex injected adult male cadaver heads.

RESULTS: The diameter of the medial palpebral artery was found to be 1.50+/-0.28mm on the right, and 0.70+/-0.12mm on the left. The diameter of the lateral palpebral artery was measured as 0.62+/-0.10mm on the right, and 0.59+/-0.12mm on the left. The medial palpebral arteries travelling in the medial part of the eyelids usually arose as separate branches for the upper and lower lids, as superior and inferior medial palpebrals. In all cases, four arterial arcades, the marginal, peripheral, superficial orbital, and the deep orbital arcades, were revealed in the upper palpebra. These arterial arcades gave off small perforating branches. The perforating branches were identified on both sides of the tarsal plate and the orbicularis muscle. In four cases (11%) visible arterial variation was found near the inferolateral end of the levator palpebrae. Although many differences in the arterial features of the eyelid have been noted, there may not be a significant difference in the basic vasculature of the palpebra among races. A better understanding of the palpebral vascularity should allow modification of reconstructive techniques and reduce postoperative complications after eyelid surgery.

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