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Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of ptosis

Baroody, Michaela; Holds, John Bb; Vick, Valerie Lc

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology: December 2005 - Volume 16 - Issue 6 - p 351-355
doi: 10.1097/
Oculoplastic and orbital surgery

Purpose of review The surgical correction of blepharoptosis, both congenital and acquired, has been intensively examined and reported on for many years. This paper reviews recent publications on basic science, evaluation, technique modifications, and innovative materials in the care of ptosis patients.

Recent findings The frontalis suspension technique is a commonly performed surgical correction of congenital blepharoptosis, used widely in the repair of ptosis with poor levator function. The repair typically includes using either tissue such as autologous or banked fascia lata or permanent suture material. The procedure involves connecting the motor unit (frontalis muscle) and the upper eyelid. Authors have recently reintroduced the technique of a dynamic frontalis muscle flap tunneled into the eyelid that directly attaches to the tarsal plate.

Patients presenting with symptomatic blepharoptosis due to disinsertion or thinning of the levator aponeurosis require surgical repair. Multiple groups have tended toward a minimally invasive approach directed specifically at the levator aponeurotic defect. 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.

Summary Surgical correction of congenital blepharoptosis may be performed with autologous fascia lata, cadaveric allograft, or permanent suture material. The use of a frontalis muscle advancement flap is elegantly designed; however, its role in clinical practice remains to be defined. Advancement of the levator aponeurosis for senile blepharoptosis may be preformed via a minimally invasive small incision approach. Patients benefit with decreased operative time, edema, ecchymosis, and recovery times.

aDanbury Hospital, Danbury, Connecticut; bDepartments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center, Saint Louis, Missouri; and cPremier Medical Eye Group, Mobile, Alabama, USA

Correspondence to John B Holds, MD, 450 N New Ballas Rd, Ste 266, St Louis, MO 63141, USA

Tel: 314 567 3567; fax 314 567 6575; e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.