Lower eyelid margin reconstruction: results of five different techniques

Philip L Custer, Robi N Maamari, Tiffany C Ho, Julia B Huecker, Steven M Couch
Orbit 2022 July 27, : 1-10

PURPOSE: This retrospective study was performed to examine surgical results of five different techniques for lower eyelid margin reconstruction after Mohs surgery: primary closure, semicircular flap, dermal matrix graft, sliding tarsal flap, and tarsoconjunctival flap.

METHODS: Medical records were reviewed in 178 patients undergoing surgery between 2005 and 2020. Outcomes were evaluated (photographic review) by three oculoplastic observers masked to procedure type, both with and without knowledge of the eyelid defect.

RESULTS: All patients achieved a good-excellent functional result and 90.4% were asymptomatic after surgery. Tarsoconjunctival flaps were associated with greater need for subsequent interventions ( p  < .001) and anterior lamellar deformities ( p  < .001). Semicircular flaps had a higher incidence of lateral canthal deformity ( p  < .001), but less eyelash disruption than other flap/graft techniques ( p  < .001). Mean cosmetic ratings (defect masked) were similar for dermal matrix grafts, semicircular, and sliding tarsal flaps; with each grading higher than tarsoconjunctival flaps ( p  ≤ .05). Among patients with 9-15 mm wide defects, results were better for semicircular and sliding tarsalflaps, than dermal matrix grafts ( p  ≤ .005) and tarsoconjunctival flaps ( p  ≤ .02).

CONCLUSIONS: All patients achieved a good-excellent functional result and 87.1% a good-excellent cosmetic result. The semicircular flap was effective for repairing medium sized wounds that could not be closed primarily, creating a continuous lash line, although with a higher incidence of lateral canthal deformities. The sliding tarsal flap was effective for shallow wounds of varying widths. The single-staged dermal matrix graft provided similar results as the tarsoconjunctival flap. Subsequent interventions were more frequent after the tarsoconjunctival flap than other methods.

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