Full thickness skin grafts in periocular reconstructions: long-term outcomes

Deepa S Rathore, Swaroop Chickadasarahilli, Richard Crossman, Purnima Mehta, Harpreet Singh Ahluwalia
Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2014, 30 (6): 517-20

PURPOSE: To evaluate the outcomes of eyelid reconstruction in patients who underwent full thickness skin grafts.

METHODS: A retrospective, noncomparative intervention study of patients who underwent periocular reconstruction with full thickness skin grafts between 2005 and 2011.

RESULTS: One hundred consecutive Caucasian patients were included in the study, 54 women and 46 men. Mean follow up was 32 months. Indications for full thickness skin grafts were excision of eyelid tumors (98%) and cicatricial ectropion (2%). Site of lid defects were lower lid (60%), medial canthus (32%), upper lid (6%), and lateral canthus (2%). The skin graft donor sites were supraclavicular (44%), upper eyelid (24%), inner brachial (18%), and postauricular (14%).Early postoperative complications included lower eyelid graft contracture (1%) and partial failure (1%). Late sequelae included lower eyelid graft contracture (4%) and hypertrophic scarring (23%). Of the 23 patients with hypertrophic scar, 21 achieved good outcomes following massage with silicone gel and steroid ointment and 2 had persistent moderate lumpiness. No statistically significant association was found between graft hypertrophy and donor site or graft size. As high as 95% of all patients achieved good final eyelid position. Good color match was seen in 94% and graft hypopigmentation in 6%. An association between hypopigmentation and supraclavicular and inner brachial donor site was found to be statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Most patients (94%) achieved good eyelid position and color match. Majority (91%) of the early postoperative cicatricial sequelae can be reversed by massage, steroid ointment, and silicone gel application. Full thickness skin grafts have excellent graft survival rates and have minimal donor site morbidity.

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