Surgical Predictors of Reduced Marginal Reflex Distance After Upper Blepharoplasty

Bunyada Putthirangsiwong, Blake Katsev, Kenneth D Steinsapir, Robert A Goldberg, Daniel B Rootman
Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2019 March 21

PURPOSE: Ptosis may occur in certain cases after upper blepharoplasty. The authors aim to characterize the incidence of postoperative marginal reflex distance (MRD1) reduction after upper blepharoplasty and surgical variables that may predict this occurrence.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, patients > 18 years old undergoing upper blepharoplasty were screened. Patients were excluded if they had any history of ptosis and brow surgery. Data regarding the excision of skin, muscle, fat, and brow fat as well as crease formation were documented. The distance in millimeter from the center of the pupil to the upper eyelid margin in the midpupillary line (MRD1) was measured digitally. The primary outcome measure was a postoperative reduction in MRD1 of >1 mm. Secondary outcome was overall mean change in MRD1 and the incidence of ptosis as defined by a final MRD1 ≤ 2.5 mm.

RESULTS: The final sample consisted of 100 patients (200 eyelids) and the mean age was 55.8 years. There were 65 patients with orbicularis muscle removal, 52 patients with postseptal fat removed, and 9 patients with crease formation. Overall 15 patients developed MRD1 decrease of greater than 1 mm (5 bilaterally and 10 unilaterally) with 7 eyes demonstrating a final MRD1 of ≤ 2.5 mm. In multivariate modeling, muscle removal was found to be the only variable with significant impact on the development of MRD1 reduction > 1 mm after upper blepharoplasty (p < 0.05, odds ratio = 8.2). The other variables did not significantly contribute. The overall mean (SD) MRD1 was 3.43 mm (1.1) preoperatively and 3.62 mm (1.1) postoperatively (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Fifteen percent of patients demonstrated a reduction in MRD1 > 1 mm after upper eyelid blepharoplasty, and those with orbicularis resection were more likely to experience this change.

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