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Ann Plast Surg. 2011 Dec;67(6):S31-5. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318218360b.

Paul Tessier's technique in the treatment of paralytic lagophthalmos by lengthening of the levator muscle: evaluation of 29 cases.

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Service de Chirurgie Maxillo-faciale et Chirurgie Plastique, Caen University Hospital, CHU de CAEN, Caen, France.



Lagophthalmos is the major functional complication of facial paralysis because, in the absence of treatment, it can lead to corneal scarring and blindness. This disorder can be treated in a number of ways, including levator lengthening by aponeurosis interposition, a technique developed by Paul Tessier. We assessed the benefits of this technique, and compared the results to those with other techniques, in particular, the use of gold implants.


A total of 29 patients were operated by the same surgeon using levator lengthening by aponeurosis interposition as described by Paul Tessier. Aesthetic and functional results were assessed according to predefined criteria during patient consultation at 1 year and by the patients themselves (questionnaire). We reviewed other surgical techniques used to treat lagophthalmos and compared findings with previous international studies.


The use of a gold plate implant remains the most widely used technique for the treatment of lagophthalmos. Although the functional results are good, the implant is always visible, leading to the disappearance of the superior palpebral fold and a risk of exposure and therefore of infection. Levator lengthening, a technique developed by Paul Tessier, allows identical functional results to be obtained, but conserves a natural appearance of the upper eyelid. It is a simple surgical procedure associated with a low morbidity rate.


The lengthening of the levator by aponeurosis interposition is a simple, reliable, and easily reproducible technique allowing treatment of paralytic lagophthalmos with good results, in terms of both function and aesthetics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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