Upper Eyelid Splitting to Facilitate the Insertion of Glaucoma Drainage Devices

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To describe a new application for vertical splitting of the upper eyelid, a technique traditionally used for orbital access, to facilitate glaucoma drainage device (GDD) implantation in patients with poor surgical exposure.


Case series.


We present a case of Möbius syndrome with complete restriction of the extraocular muscles, followed by a case of cicatricial narrowing of the palpebral fissures due to chronic allergic dermatitis. Both patients had severe, medically uncontrolled glaucoma, but poor surgical exposure precluded implantation of a GDD. Both cases underwent vertical splitting of the upper eyelid, which allowed for adequate exposure of the superior globe quadrants and successful implantation of a GDD.


A variety of congenital or acquired conditions result in narrowing of the palpebral fissure or restriction of extraocular motility. When these patients have concurrent advanced glaucoma, inadequate surgical exposure can impede necessary surgical intervention. Use of a vertical upper eyelid split technique allows for access to the superior globe and facilitates implantation of a GDD.

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