Frequent Face Lift Sequelae: Hollow Eyes and the Lateral Sweep: Cause and Repair

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Traditional face lift and blepharoplasty techniques are based on two consistent principles. Conventional face lift techniques have always incorporated unopposed lateral vector tissue advancement, which is typical of subcutaneous lifts or rhytidectomies that include the platysma muscle (SMAS) or cheek fat (malar fat). When they are not adequately repositioned, the tissues of the lower eyelid and upper cheek continue to age, which may create a “lateral sweep” of the lower face as those malar soft tissues descend at a more rapid rate than the repositioned SMAS. Removal of the lower eyelid fat in conventional blepharoplasties may also lead to a more hollow-appearing lower eyelid. Hollow eyes and the lateral sweep could be prevented with a rhytidectomy technique that includes orbicularis repositioning and preservation of the lower eyelid fat with an arcus marginalis release. All patients who have been operated on who exhibit these unfavorable signs can have an impressive correction by utilizing the principles of superomedial vector orbicularis repositioning to counter the “lateral sweep” and arcus marginalis release to recreate a youthful shallow and narrow lower eyelid contour. This technique is invaluable to patients seeking secondary surgery to regain harmony of the rejuvenated face. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 102: 1658, 1998.)

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