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Power of the pinch: pinch lower lid blepharoplasty.

Lower lid blepharoplasty is performed with great variation in technique. Conventional lower lid blepharoplasty with anterior fat removal via the orbital septum has a potential lower lid malposition rate of 15% to 20%. Lower lid malposition and the stigma of obvious lower lid surgery have led plastic surgeons to continue to change their approach to lower lid rejuvenation. In recent years, some surgeons have come to rely on alternative procedures like laser resurfacing alone or in conjunction with transconjunctival fat removal and canthopexy in an effort to avoid such complications. The pinch blepharoplasty technique removes redundant skin without undermining. This allows for more controlled wound healing, predictable recovery, and potential for simultaneous laser resurfacing. The combination of pinch blepharoplasty with transconjunctival fat removal leaves the middle lamella intact and reduces the chance of scleral show or ectropion. The purpose of this series is to demonstrate that pinch excision of redundant lower eyelid skin can be safely performed and that it can be used with laser resurfacing and/or transconjunctival fat removal for optimal treatment of the aging eye. A retrospective review of 46 consecutive patients who underwent pinch blepharoplasty, either in isolation or with other periorbital procedures was performed. Follow-up was at least 4 months (range of 4-24 months). In addition, we performed a prospective study of 25 consecutive patients to quantify the amount of skin removed and evaluate results and complications. An average of 8 mm of skin was resected (range of 4-12 mm) with the pinch blepharoplasty technique. Of these patients, 5.6% also underwent transconjunctival blepharoplasty, laser resurfacing, and/or fat grafting of the nasojugal groove. Despite the addition of simultaneous laser resurfacing, we did not see an increase in lower lid malposition. Three of the 71 patients had temporary scleral show that resolved with lower lid massage. In total, only 4 patients had isolated pinch lower lid blepharoplasty. Twelve patients had orbicularis suspension and 15 had either canthopexy or canthoplasty. Five patients who had orbicularis suspension, canthopexy, or canthoplasty had periorbital edema. Two also had pronounced chemosis. Four patients had mild rounding of the lower lid. Pinch blepharoplasty is a versatile technique that produces consistent results. This study confirms that more skin from the lower lid can be resected than classically described. Pinch blepharoplasty can be performed safely in combination with other procedures to enhance lower lid appearance. The absence of skin undermining allows for safe simultaneous laser resurfacing. Preserving the middle lamella and supporting it when necessary allows one to resect significant amounts of lower lid skin without significant risk of scleral show, lower lid rounding, and ectropion. Patients with poor lid tone or laxity may benefit from supportive procedures such as the canthopexy or canthoplasty.

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