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Ann Plast Surg. 2004 Jun;52(6):558-61.

Small incision transcutaneous levator aponeurotic repair for blepharoptosis.

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Division of Plastic Surgery, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, USA.



Patients presenting with blepharoptosis due to disinsertion or thinning of the levator aponeurosis require surgical repair. A minimally invasive approach directed specifically at the levator aponeurotic anatomic defect may provide benefits to the patient. Proposed advantages of a small eyelid incision (8-13 mm) include less local anesthetic and tissue distortion, less ecchymosis and edema, decreased operative times, a shortened recovery period, and improved surgical results. We describe our results with the use of a small incision ptosis repair in select patients.


A retrospective chart review between January 2000 and September 2001 included 91 patients and 118 eyelids with blepharoptosis due to aponeurotic disinsertion, corrected by a minimally invasive approach. The small incision technique comprised levator aponeurotic resection and advancement. Pre- and postoperative upper eyelid marginal reflex distances (MRD1), eyelid contour, need for reoperation, and complications (overcorrection, undercorrection, hematoma, and infection) were recorded.


The average preoperative MRD1 measured 0.5 +/- 1.1 mm, with a range of -2.0 to 2.5 mm. The average postoperative MRD1 measured 2.6 +/- 0.8 mm, with a range of 1 to 5.5 mm (P < 0.0001). Of the 118 eyelids corrected by a small incision technique, there were 4 overcorrections, 3 undercorrections, 1 failure, 1 postoperative ptosis procedure of the contralateral upper eyelid secondary to Hering's law ptosis, and 4 patients requesting surgical treatment of dermatochalasis. No symptomatic dry eye, exposure keratopathy, or other complication resulted in association with the overcorrections. No contour abnormalities, infections, hematomas, or other complications were noted.


Our experience suggests that utilization of a small skin incision is safe, precise, and efficient and allows for more rapid recovery from surgery. The authors note a decreased incidence of reoperation and postoperative complaints compared with historical larger-incision cases.

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