Palatal Grafts for Eyelid Reconstruction

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A full-thickness graft of hard palate mucosa was used as the lining tissue for eyelid reconstruction in 11 patients over a 7-year period. An orbicularis musculocutaneous flap supplied cover and support. In all cases the mucosal graft was easily removed, convenient to handle, and took completely. The palate donor site reepithelialized by about 3 weeks postoperative and has remained healed and asymptomatic in all cases.In follow-up averaging 3 years, all the reconstructed lids have retained a stable and comfortable lid margin, with no instance of entropion or irritation. The outstanding virtue of palate mucosa for eyelid reconstruction is that it appears to retain most of its original size and stiffness over the long term and thus in a single layer can serve to replace both tarsus and conjunctiva.

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