Hard palate and free tarsal grafts as posterior lamella substitutes in upper lid surgery

Igal Leibovitch*, Raman Malhotra, Dinesh Selva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To present the surgical outcomes and postoperative complications in a series of patients who underwent upper lid surgery using autogenous hard palate grafts (HPGs) or free tarsal grafts (FTGs) as posterior lamella replacement material. Design: Retrospective, comparative, interventional case series. Patients: Thirty-one consecutive patients who were operated in 2 oculoplastics centers between July 2000 and January 2005. Methods: All patients' clinical records were reviewed. Main Outcome Measures: Postoperative upper eyelid contour and viability, ocular discomfort, keratopathy, and corneal edema, as well as assessment for donor site complications and final graft dimensions. Results: There were 31 patients who underwent upper lid surgery (15 HPGs, 16 FTGs). The complications in the HPG group included corneal edema or transient keratopathy (13.3%), partial graft dehiscence (13.3%), upper lid retraction (13.3%), and necrosis of the overlying skin flap (6.7%). There were no significant postoperative complications in the FTG group during a mean follow-up period of 13.5±5 months. Donor site complications included 2 cases of mild upper lid retraction and central peaking. There were an average of 17% decrease in FTG vertical height and a 24% decrease in HPG vertical height during the follow-up period. Conclusion: Hard palate grafts may be associated with a higher rate of complications in upper lid surgery relative to FTGs, although most complications are temporary. Graft contraction could be reduced by oversizing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-496
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


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