Blepharoplasty Effect on a Described Algorithmic Approach to External Ptosis Repair: Is It Time for Unbundling?

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To investigate the effects of performing a previously described algorithmic levator resection for involutional ptosis with a blepharoplasty instead of through a small incision.


Eyelids with involutional ptosis and normal levator function were included in the study. An upper blepharoplasty was performed first. An external levator resection was then performed based on a described technique involving 2 mm resection of aponeurosis for 1 mm of desired lift, consistent tension on the aponeurosis between surgical cases, and standardized suture placement.


Forty-one eyelids of 25 patients were included. Mean postoperative margin to reflex distance 1 (MRD1) was 2.98 mm, which was significantly higher than preoperative MRD1 (0.67 mm), but lower than the predetermined goal MRD1 (3.35 mm). Eight eyelids did not meet primary outcome of MRD1 within 1 mm of goal MRD1, with 5 undercorrections. There was no difference between the postoperative MRD1 compared with the same ptosis technique performed through a small incision only, but there were more intraoperative suture adjustments and fewer eyelids meeting the primary outcome when a concurrent blepharoplasty was performed.


The addition of blepharoplasty with a previously described algorithmic approach external levator resection has an 80% success rate in achieving the primary outcome. When compared with a small-incision ptosis repair, concurrent blepharoplasty results in a less predictable outcome and an increased need for intraoperative adjustment. Performing an algorithmic technique for external levator resection with a blepharoplasty has less predictable outcomes, which raises the question of separating the procedures to improve patient care.

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