About MEAJO | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions to authors | Online submission | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact | Login 
Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
Users Online: 356   Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

  Table of Contents 
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 452-456  

Upper blepharoplasty and lateral wound dehiscence

Eye Research Center, Rassoul Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Date of Web Publication21-Oct-2015

Correspondence Address:
Mohsen Bahmani Kashkouli
Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit, Eye Research Center, Rassoul Akram Hospital, Sattarkhan-Niayesh Street, Tehran 14455-364
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.167813

Rights and Permissions

Purpose: To report the frequency of lateral wound dehiscence (LWD) after upper blepharoplasty (UB), a technique and its outcome to prevent LWD.
Materials and Methods:A retrospective review was performed for cases of LWD after UB presenting between 2003 and 2009, and then a prospective comparative study was performed between February 2009 and March 2013. For the comparison, subjects were divided into two groups based on intraoperative assessment of lateral wound tension (same technique and surgeon). Group 1 received 1-3 orbicularis/subcutaneous buried sutures (6-0 polyglactin) before interrupted 6-0 nylon skin closure. Group 2 underwent skin closure only. Subjects, who had re-operation, skin healing disorders, and incomplete follow-up (<6 months), were excluded. P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
Results: There were 14 (14/678, 2%) cases with LWD with a mean age of 36.2 years in the audit (2003–2009). The prospective study included 68 subjects (68/293, 23.2%) in Group 1 and 225 in Group 2. Gender and simultaneous forehead and eyebrow procedures were similar between groups (P = 0.3 and P = 0.4 respectively). Group 1 was statistically significantly younger at mean age of 41.4 years, compared to Group 2 at 56.1 years (P = 0.000). The frequency of LWD significantly (P = 0.04) decreased to 0.3% (1/293).
Conclusion: In the presence of wound tension on skin closure (intraoperative assessment), tension relieving buried orbicularis/subcutaneous 6-0 polyglactin suturing of the lateral UB incision could prevent LWD.

Keywords: Blepharoplasty, Eyebrow Ptosis, Lateral Hooding, Upper Blepharoplasty, Wound Dehiscence

How to cite this article:
Kashkouli MB, Jamshidian-Tehrani M, Sharzad S, Sanjari MS. Upper blepharoplasty and lateral wound dehiscence. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol 2015;22:452-6

How to cite this URL:
Kashkouli MB, Jamshidian-Tehrani M, Sharzad S, Sanjari MS. Upper blepharoplasty and lateral wound dehiscence. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Nov 29];22:452-6. Available from: http://www.meajo.org/text.asp?2015/22/4/452/167813

   Introduction Top

Upper blepharoplasty (UB) is a very common cosmetic procedures, but the technique has not been appropriately discussed in the medical literature.[1] Although patient satisfaction is high with UB, there are subtleties in closure techniques that affect outcomes.[2] Differences in technique include cutting techniques, cutting instruments, suture material, and suturing techniques.[3],[4] The best features of the upper eyelid are lateral convexity without hooding and medial concavity. The problem of lateral hooding in the presence of normal eyebrow position has received less attention in the literature. Different wide excision shapes of the lateral eyelid skin have been recommended to correct hooding.[5],[6] The eyelid defect in UB is generally a low tension defect except for its lateral section after a wide excision of lateral hooding in subjects with a well-positioned eyebrow. Although a wide excision of the lateral side did not result in lateral wound dehiscence (LWD) in some studies,[2],[5] we have observed this complication in a few of our subjects after skin suture removal [Figure 1]. LWD was also reported in two subjects (2/142, 1.4%) in another study.[1]
Figure 1: Different degrees of lateral wound dehiscence after an upper blepharoplasty procedure

Click here to view

To the best of our knowledge, the frequency of LWD after UB has not been reported in the literature and no study has evaluated this complication. The aims of this study are to report the frequency of LWD in an audit of our UB procedures (April 2003–February 2009), report the technique and results of a simple measure to prevent the LWD (March 2009–March 2013), and assess the impact of different variables on LWD.

   Materials and Methods Top

A retrospective study was performed to determine the frequency of LWD in subjects who had undergone UB from September 2003 to January 2009. LWD was defined as a wide, noninflamed, and flat scar at the lateral third to quarter of UB incision [Figure 1]. All procedures were performed with a wider lateral skin excision and 6-0 nylon interrupted skin closure by one surgeon (MBK) with and without other facial rejuvenation procedures. As no other risk factors (systemic disease, wound infection or hematoma) were found, LWD was assuemd to be resulted from a wound tension during the healing phase. Therefore, a prospective study was designed to evaluate the frequency of LWD in patients undergoing UB with and without tension relieving sutures at the wider lateral skin excision. One surgeon using the same UB technique performed surgery on patients. Subjects were divided into two groups based on intraoperative assessment of lateral wound tension by the surgeon. Group 1 received 1-3 orbicularis/subcutaneous buried sutures (6-0 polyglactin) before interrupted 6-0 nylon skin closure and Group 2 underwent the latter. Follow-up was 6 months or longer. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board/Ethics Committee of the Iran University Eye Research Center. Informed consent was obtained from the participants. Subjects were specifically informed that if a lateral scar occurs, it could take months to years to become negligible. All subjects had a detailed ocular and facial examination with measurement of periocular parameters regarding the eyebrow and eyelid position. Subjects with re-operation, skin disorder, and <6 months follow-up were excluded.

Marking of the lateral hooding was performed on sitting and then completed in the supine position. Typical marking for the UB included gradually more skin from medial to lateral side [Figure 2]. The marking was turned upward to avoid the unwanted downturned, crescent-shaped appearance and to address the lateral hooding [Figure 2]. The vertical distance between the lateral canthus and the lower line generally varied from 5 mm to 7 mm [Figure 2]. Radiofrequency incision was recruited in all UB procedures for better hemostasis intraoperatively and less hematoma postoperatively.[4] Orbicularis oculi muscle was not excised to preserve the fullness in the upper eyelid which is typical of a youthful eye and minimizes edema and bruising [7] [Figure 3]. Assessment of wound tension on skin edges was performed by the surgeon using two pairs of tooth forceps at the time of wound closure. It was assessed by pulling and draping two skin wound edges while putting pressure on the superior orbital rim (thumb finger) in order to cancel the frontalis muscle action. If the edges were not approximated, the wound would be considered as wound under tension (Group 1). In the presence of tension on the wound, the first buried suture on orbicularis/subcutaneous tissue (6-0 polyglactin, vicryl, and ethicon) was placed where the incision had been slanted upward [Figure 4], top-right and bottom-left]. If there was still wound tension on either side, another suture would have been placed laterally and/or medially to the first one. The aim was to completely relieve the wound tension [Figure 4], bottom-middle]. The wound was then closed using 6-0 nylon (Ethilon, Ethicon) interrupted sutures [Figure 4], bottom-right]. No dressing was used. Postoperative medications and instructions were cold compress (first 2–3 days), warm compress (next 2–3 days), topical antibiotic and steroid ointments (5–7 days), and silicone gel at the lateral wound (Stratpharma, Basel, Switzerland) (3–6 months). Postoperative assessments were performed at 1-day (wound and eye assessment), 5–7 days (suture removal), 2 months (possible touch-up procedure), and 6 months (final assessment). Chi-square and sample t-tests were used for statistical analysis. A P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
Figure 2: Upper blepharoplasty marking shows a wider area of lateral skin excision to address the lateral hooding

Click here to view
Figure 3: Wider excision of the lateral skin and preservation of the orbicularis oculi muscle in upper blepharoplasty. The maximum wound tension is in the widest area of the excised skin

Click here to view
Figure 4: Technique of upper blepharoplasty with tension relieving suture: Marking (top-left), skin excision (top-middle), passing the tension relieving buried suture (6-0 polyglactin) from the upper (top-right) and then lower (bottom-left) edge of orbicularis/subcutaneous tissue, appearance of the tension relieved wound (bottom-middle), and final wound after skin suturing (6-0 nylon)

Click here to view

   Results Top

The retrospective audit of subjects, who underwent between September 2003 and January 2009, showed 14 (14/678, 2%) subjects with LWD without systemic disease, wound infection, or hematoma. Subjects with LWD had a mean age of 36.2 (range, 23–45) years, and 92.9% (13/14) were female. One subject (1/14) had simultaneous endoscopic forehead lift. The LWD was recorded between 6 and 9 weeks postoperatively.

The prospective case series included 68 subjects (68/293, 23.2%) in Group 1 and 225 (76.8%) in Group 2. Group 1 received 1-3 orbicularis/subcutaneous buried sutures (6-0 polyglactin) before interrupted 6-0 nylon skin closure and Group 2 just had the latter. There were 58 females (58/68, 85.2%) in Group 1 and 185 (185/225, 82.2%) in Group 2 (P = 0.3). The groups were statistically matched with regard to simultaneous eyebrow lift procedures (P = 0.4). Endoscopic forehead lift and internal browpexy were performed in 11.7% (8/68) of the subjects in Group 1 and 13.7% (31/225) in Group 2 (P = 0.4). The mean age of Group 1 was statistically significantly lower at 41.4 years compared to Group 2 at 56.1 years (P = 0.000). No systemic disease was linked to poor wound healing despite five subjects with controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus in Group 2.

There was no LWD in Group 1 [Figure 5] and one subject with LWD in the Group 2. The frequency of LWD was 0.3% (1/293) in subject who underwent UB without eyebrow lifting. No other complications were observed. Adding 1-3 orbicularis/subcutaneous buried sutures, based on surgeon assessment of wound tension, statistically significantly decreased the frequency of LWD from 2% (14/678) to 0.3% (1/293) (P = 0.04).
Figure 5: Pre- and post-operative (6 months) photos of the upper blepharoplasty incision using 1-3 tension relieving suture at the lateral wound

Click here to view

The UB incision site became invisible in 94.5% (277/293) of the subjects within 6 months. A wider lateral scar of a case with LWD was still remarkable at 6-month follow-up. She declined any revision and is still on anti-scar silicone gel with improvement at the last follow-up (1.5 years).

   Discussion Top

Ideal wound closure yields an excellent approximation with good wound eversion and without tension. Surgical incision stimulates the healing process which in reality is a complex and continuous process with four different stages: Hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation (up to several weeks), and maturation (1-week to more than 1-year).[8] Wound dehiscence is a mechanical failure of wound healing. Risk factors for wound dehiscence are anemia, malnutrition, malignancy, obesity, diabetes, infection, wound tension, hematoma, hypoxia, and elderly patients.[9],[10] It was more often observed at 9.2 days (6–15 days) postoperatively.[11]

The effect of gravity, orbicularis muscle contraction in the crow's feet, and weakness of the lateral frontalis muscle results in lowering of the lateral third of the eyebrow. The skin on the lateral eyelid is somehow thicker which possesses a thin layer of subcutaneous fat. This bulky skin with an absence of fixation to the deeper tissues accounts for the lateral hooding. With increasing age, lateral hooding becomes an integral part of excess eyelid skin. Since eyebrow and eyelid form an esthetic unit, it is necessary to correct the droopiness of the lateral third of eyebrow and cutaneous excess by either eyebrow lift, more skin excision on the area of the lateral hooding, or both. The hooding, if not addressed in the first place, will usually result in an unsatisfied subject who requires a second procedure of elliptical hooding excision which may end up with complications such as lacrimal gland damage.[12] Rees et al.[13] recommended a brow or temporal lift in those patients in whom a maximal amount of skin has been removed from the upper eyelid but lateral skin fold persists. It could also be addressed with postoperative botulinum toxin injection.[14]

Traditional UB [15] includes an elliptical skin excision which was modified to the shape of a scalpel blade [5] by widening the lateral excision in order to address the lateral hooding in subjects with normally positioned eyebrows and little if any ptosis of the lateral eyebrow. Bellinvia et al.[6] recently modified this technique into a wide lateral excision but a much higher position, almost close to the sub-brow area, to eliminate the lateral hooding without any need for eyebrow manipulation. Our technique was almost the same as scalpel shape incision [5] [Figure 2] even though the marking and skin excision were tailored based on the subject's desire, age, amount of lateral hooding, and skin quality. Although both studies [5],[6] did not report any LWD after such a wide lateral excision with either subcuticular [6] (6-0 nylon) or skin [5] sutures (6-0 nylon), we had observed LWD [Figure 1] in 2% (14/678) of the subjects with UB at their first follow-up visit after skin suture removal (2 months) between 2003 and 2009. The LWD was significantly visible and red in the first couple of months after surgery but gradually became a hypo-pigmented depressed scar which was less visible even though it was a concern from the subject's perspective. Long-term followup of our case series with early lateral wound gap showed a wider incision scar at the site of the wound gap. Revision of the lateral wound was offered to all subjects. In the presence of mostly healthy subjects, same UB technique, interrupted skin suturing (6-0 nylon), and no postoperative infection or hematoma, it seemed that a wider skin excision and consequently wound tension, observed during skin closure, were the main reasons for developing LWD after skin suture removal. LWD was observed in two subjects (2/142, 1.4%) in another study.[1] Kouba et al.[2] reported that they used one 5-0 vicryl deep dermal suture to approximate the lateral wound edges and standardize wound tension before using skin suturing. One of the cases (1/36) in their series who had cyanoacrylate adhesive on her skin incision developed wound dehiscence on both sides of the single deep dermal vicryl suture.[2] No wound dehiscence was reported by the others.[16],[17] Tension-free skin closure is strongly recommended.[11] Different surgical techniques have been introduced to prevent the dehiscence where the wound is under tension in other parts of the body.[18],[19] Sadick et al.[18] suggested buried dermal mattress suture technique for closing the wounds under tension. Har-Shai and Hirshowitz [5] performed extended UB for addressing lateral hooding, removed the skin sutures on the fifth postoperative day, but used adhesive strip on the lateral aspect for another 3 days, where they believed, maximal tension of the suture line is located. Although they reported no wound dehiscence, visible scar widening was observed on the lateral aspect of the incision in younger patients.[5]

The majority of our subjects looking for facial rejuvenation are young/middle age women.[20] The mean age of the subjects in Group 1, where there was a need for tension relieving suture, was significantly younger (41.4 years) than Group 2 (56.1). They mostly had a relatively well-positioned eyebrow and mild to moderate hooding. Recognizing the subjects at risk of such a complication intraoperatively and using this technique significantly decreased the rate of LWD from 2% (2003–2009) to 0.3% (2009–2013). Although the number of subjects in Group 1 (68/293, 23.2%) in comparison to the frequency of LWD in the audit (2%) showed an overestimation, we believe that overestimation rather than underestimation would result in better wound healing. In fact, the technique has recently been used more frequently.

Limitation of this study is the subjective (surgeon) assessment of the wound tension and lack of quantification of wound tension. Although the two groups in this comparative study were statistically matched with regard to the associated eyebrow procedures, including two groups undergoing just the UB procedure would allow more definitive conclusions. A prospective randomized controlled study of all cases with UB could more effectively determine whether and how much this technique is beneficial, even though the randomization may deprive some cases that might require tension relieving sutures.

   Conclusion Top

LWD occurred in 2% of the subjects with UB between 2003 and 2009. Intraoperative assessment of lateral wound tension and if necessary, placing 1-3 absorbable buried tension relieving sutures (6-0 polyglactin) before the skin closure (6-0 nylon) resulted in a significantly (P = 0.04) lower rate of LWD (0.3%) and no complications in this series. Subjects who required tension relieving sutures were significantly younger.

Financial support and sponsorship

This study was financially supported by the Iran University Eye Research Center.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Fezza JP. The sigmoid upper eyelid blepharoplasty: Redefining beauty. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2012;28:446-51.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kouba DJ, Tierney E, Mahmoud BH, Woo D. Optimizing closure materials for upper lid blepharoplasty: A randomized, controlled trial. Dermatol Surg 2011;37:19-30.  Back to cited text no. 2
Yu CS, Chan HH, Tse RK. Radiosurgery versus carbon dioxide laser for dermatochalasis correction in Asians. Lasers Surg Med 2007;39:176-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kashkouli MB, Kaghazkanai R, Mirzaie AZ, Hashemi M, Parvaresh MM, Sasanii L. Clinicopathologic comparison of radiofrequency versus scalpel incision for upper blepharoplasty. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2008;24:450-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
Har-Shai Y, Hirshowitz B. Extended upper blepharoplasty for lateral hooding of the upper eyelid using a scalpel-shaped excision: A 13-year experience. Plast Reconstr Surg 2004;113:1028-35.  Back to cited text no. 5
Bellinvia G, Klinger F, Maione L, Bellinvia P. Upper lid blepharoplasty, eyebrow ptosis, and lateral hooding. Aesthet Surg J 2013;33:24-30.  Back to cited text no. 6
Damasceno RW, Cariello AJ, Cardoso EB, Viana GA, Osaki MH. Upper blepharoplasty with or without resection of the orbicularis oculi muscle: A randomized double-blind left-right study. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2011;27:195-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
Chin G, Diegelman R, Schultz G. Cellular and molecular regulation of wound healing. In: Falabella A, Kirschner R, editors. Wound Healing. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor, Francis Group; 2005. p. 17-37.  Back to cited text no. 8
Sørensen LT, Hemmingsen U, Kallehave F, Wille-Jørgensen P, Kjaergaard J, Møller LN, et al. Risk factors for tissue and wound complications in gastrointestinal surgery. Ann Surg 2005;241:654-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
Cöl C, Soran A, Cöl M. Can postoperative abdominal wound dehiscence be predicted? Tokai J Exp Clin Med 1998;23:123-7.  Back to cited text no. 10
Spiliotis J, Tsiveriotis K, Datsis AD, Vaxevanidou A, Zacharis G, Giafis K, et al. Wound dehiscence: Is still a problem in the 21th century: A retrospective study. World J Emerg Surg 2009;4:12.  Back to cited text no. 11
Kashkouli MB, Heirati A, Pakdel F. Lacrimal gland fistula after upper eyelid blepharoplasty. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol 2011;18:326-7.  Back to cited text no. 12
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Rees TD, Aston SJ, Thorne CH. Blepharoplasty and facial plasty. In: McCarthy JG, editor. Plastic Surgery. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1990. p. 2320-58.  Back to cited text no. 13
Ahn MS, Catten M, Maas CS. Temporal brow lift using botulinum toxin A. Plast Reconstr Surg 2000;105:1129-35.  Back to cited text no. 14
Rees TD. Blepharoplasty. In: Rees TD, Woodsmith D, editors. Cosmetic Facial Surgery. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 1973. p. 44-133.  Back to cited text no. 15
Niamtu J 3rd. Radiowave surgery versus CO laser for upper blepharoplasty incision: Which modality produces the most aesthetic incision? Dermatol Surg 2008;34:912-21.  Back to cited text no. 16
Suriano MM, Stirbu O, Pérez MD, Serra Segarra M. Blepharoplasty: To suture or to use cyanoacrylate? Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol 2011;86:81-4.  Back to cited text no. 17
Sadick NS, D'Amelio DL, Weinstein C. The modified buried vertical mattress suture. A new technique of buried absorbable wound closure associated with excellent cosmesis for wounds under tension. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 1994;20:735-9.  Back to cited text no. 18
John LC. Modified closure technique for reducing sternal dehiscence; a clinical and in vitro assessment. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2008;33:769-73.  Back to cited text no. 19
Kashkouli MB, Pakdel F, Kiavash V, Ghiasian L, Heirati A, Jamshidian-Tehrani M. Transconjunctival lower blepharoplasty: A 2-sided assessment of results and subjects' satisfaction. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2013;29:249-55.  Back to cited text no. 20


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]

This article has been cited by
1 Revisiting Anchor Epicanthoplasty in Mild to Moderate Asian Epicanthal Folds: A Clinicopathological Study
Houri Esmaeilkhanian, Mohsen Bahmani Kashkouli, Parya Abdolalizadeh, Mohamadreza Aghamirsalim, Nasrin Shayanfar, Nasser Karimi
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 2021; 45(1): 181
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Re: A Modified Procedure for Single-Eyelid Asian Females with Lacrimal Gland Prolapse: Lacrimal Gland Reposition Combined with Fat Transposition in Double-Eyelid Operation
Soheyla Jafarpour, Mohsen Bahmani Kashkouli
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 2021;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Routine Postoperative Management of Blepharoplasty: A Review of Current Evidence-Based Practice
Mohsan Malik, Eamon Shamil, Alwyn Ray D'Souza
Facial Plastic Surgery. 2021; 37(03): 333
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Wound Dehiscence Following Upper Blepharoplasty: A Review of 2,376 Cases
Natalie A. Homer, Siwei Zhou, Alison H. Watson, Vikram D. Durairaj, Tanuj Nakra
Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 2021; 37(3S): S66
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Dermatochalasis Through Decades
Mohsen Bahmani Kashkouli, Nasser Karimi, Mohamad-Mehdi Johari-Moghadam, Nasrin Shayanfar, Mohamadreza Aghamirsalim, Parya Abdolalizadeh
Annals of Plastic Surgery. 2021; 86(3): 340
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 Histological and ultrasonographic alterations in skin and soft tissue in upper eyelid excised blepharoplasty due to ipsilateral eyebrow tattooing: (preliminary findings)
Mansooreh Jamshidian Tehrani, Masoud Mirghorbani, Laily Najafi, Shervin Sharif Kashani, Fahimeh Asadi Amoli, Esmaeil Asadi Khameneh
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2021; 20(11): 3616
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Modified Suture Technique to Improve Cosmetic Appearance and Wound Dehiscence in Upper Blepharoplasty
Nabil Fakih-Gomez, Roshini Manay, Andres Bastidas, Ibrahim Fakih-Gomez
The American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery. 2021; : 0748806821
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
8 A Six-Year Review of the Latest Oculoplastic Surgical Development
Joyce K.Y. Chin, Wilson Yip, Alvin Young, Kelvin K.L. Chong
Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology. 2020; 9(5): 461
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Materials and Me...
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded185    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 8    

Recommend this journal