To describe and present the results of a new surgical technique for patients with floppy eyelid syndrome, based on the medial upper eyelid stretching encountered in this condition.
A case series of 24 patients with floppy eyelid syndrome who where found to have symptomatic predominately medial upper eyelid laxity was analyzed. The history, clinical features, histopathology, and outcome were reviewed after patients underwent medial upper eyelid shortening with or without upper eyelid skin reduction as the first surgical procedure.
Of the 24 patients, 18 were men (75%) with a mean age at referral of 56 years, having ocular discomfort and conjunctival irritation/papillary conjunctivitis as the main complaints at presentation. Obesity was present in 96% of cases, with lower eyelid laxity/ectropion (50%) and upper eyelid eyelash ptosis (29%) in conjunction with the upper eyelid laxity. The affected side was related to sleeping habits or recurrent mechanical eyelid trauma. Histologic studies showed a nonspecific inflammatory cell infiltrate and loss of elastin with loose dermal connective tissue. After surgery, complete relief of ocular symptoms and good functional and cosmetic results were present in all cases after 18 months of follow-up.
This new surgical approach is based on the presence of predominately medial upper laxity in patients with floppy eyelid syndrome. The excision of this stretched area stabilized the upper eyelid in an anatomic fashion, providing a good and stable long-term result. The possible mechanisms involved in the medial upper eyelid stretching are discussed.