Reconstruction of the lower eye lid with a rotation-advancement tarso-conjunctival cheek flap

Wessels, William Louis Fick (2010-12)

Thesis (MMed (Surgical Sciences. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.


The repair of full-thickness defects of the lower eyelids poses a challenge because a graft in combination with a flap is typically used to replace either the posterior or anterior lamella. This often results in aesthetically and functional unsatisfactory outcomes. A rotation-advancement tarso-conjunctival cheek flap, which reconstructs both posterior and anterior lamella with vascularized tissue similar to the native eyelid, is described. Nine patients underwent reconstruction with a rotation-advancement tarso-conjunctival cheek flap. The indications, complications and outcomes were evaluated. The follow-up time ranged from 6 to 60 months with an average of twenty three months. The main indication for use of this flap is full-thickness defects of the lower eyelid between 25 – 75 %, typically after tumour ablation. All the patients had a functional and aesthetically satisfactory outcome. One patient underwent a revision canthoplasty. The rotation-advancement tarso-conjunctival cheek flap adheres to basic plastic surgery principles resulting in a satisfactory outcome; (a) Vascularized tissue is used to reconstruct the defect. (b)The flap composition is similar to the native eyelid i.e. replace like with like. (c) The flap makes use of tissue that is excess and therefore limits donor morbidity.

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