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Eyelid reconstruction: the state of the art.

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Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK.



The goals of eyelid reconstruction are corneal protection, restoration of the integrity of the lid lamellae, and improvement of facial symmetry. Inadequate reconstruction may lead to corneal exposure and sight-threatening keratopathy; in the younger patient, visual deprivation and amblyopia may also follow. The purpose of this review is to describe new materials and approaches used in reconstructing the damaged eyelid.


Although the surgical principles of lid reconstruction remain unchallenged, new materials and techniques have emerged. These include the use of both autogenous and cadaveric acellular dermis in the management of lower eyelid retraction, and amniotic membrane transplantation in the management of tarsal conjunctival disease. Recent work on upper facial nerve branch reinnervation in the animal model may also offer hope for eyelid reanimation after facial palsy.


The lid surgeon requires a sound knowledge of the principles involved in reconstructing the respective lamellae of the lid. Anterior lamellar reconstruction carries a significant risk of ectropion, and large defects may require several interposition flaps for optimum skin texture and color reconstruction. New materials (autogenous and cadaveric) for posterior lid reconstruction may reduce donor site morbidity and surgical time, but they may contract significantly after surgery. Recent experience with amniotic membrane transplantation may improve the prognosis for patients with entropion and symblepharon caused by conjunctival cicatricial changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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