Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Minimal Incisions Vertical Endoscopic Lifting and Fat Grafting as a Systematic Approach to the Rejuvenation of the Periocular Esthetic Unit

Bernardini, Francesco P. M.D.; Gennai, Alessandro M.D.; Izzo, Luigi M.D.; Devoto, Martin H. M.D.

Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: July/August 2013 - Volume 29 - Issue 4 - p 308–315
doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e318291662a
Surgical Technique

Purpose: The forehead/brow complex, the temporal region, the upper eyelid, the zygomatic area, the lower eyelid, and the cheek comprise the periocular esthetic unit. The combination of variable degrees of tissue descent and fat deflation of the component parts of the unit determine its appearance with age. The authors report the results of tissue repositioning through a minimal incisions vertical endoscopic lift and volume restoration used in combination to restore the natural youthful appearance of the periocular esthetic unit.

Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients who underwent minimal incisions vertical endoscopic lift and fat grafting over a 12-year period in 3 different centers. Patients results were evaluated with standardized pre- and postoperative pictures graded by masked observers in a scale from poor, fair, satisfactory, to very satisfactory results. Patient satisfaction was self-graded in the same manner.

Results: The study consists of 400 patients, of whom 337 (85%) were women and 63 (14.8%) were men, with a mean age of 46 years (range 38–67) for women and mean age of 53 years (range 48–65) for men. Mean follow up was 16 months (range 6 months–8 years); in 180 patients follow up was 2 years or longer. Additional procedures included lower blepharoplasty in 205 patients (51%), neck lift in 102 patients (26%), upper blepharoplasty in 63 patients (15.7%), lateral canthoplasty in 9 patients (2.3%), and upper eyelid ptosis in 6 patients (1.5%). The results were graded as satisfactory or very satisfactory by 95% of patients and by 91% of observers.

Conclusions: On the basis of the anatomical changes that occur in the periocular esthetic unit, tissue repositioning is indicated to address the descent of the superior complex and in minor part of the inferior complex, while volume restoration is indicated to address the volume depletion of the inferior and the lateral complexes and for refinements of the superior complex. The authors propose a systematic combination of lifting and filling to naturally restore the youthful appearance of the periocular esthetic unit. Conservative blepharoplasty can be associated in selected cases for result optimization.

The minimal incisions vertical endoscopic lift associated with fat grafting as a systematic approach proved effective to restore a natural and youthful appearance of the periocular aesthetic unit.

*Oculoplastica Bernardini, Genova; Gennai Chirurgia, Bologna, Italy; and Consultores Oftalmológicos, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Accepted for publication March 4, 2013.

The authors have no financial or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Francesco P. Bernardini, M.D., Via Cecchi 4/8, 16129 Genova, Italy. E-mail:

© 2013 by The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc., All rights reserved.