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June 1979

Neuromyopathic Ptosis: A New Surgical Approach

Author Affiliations

From the Oculoplastic Service, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Iowa Hospitals, Iowa City.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(6):1129-1131. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020010583016

• Neuromyopathic ptosis is a progressive disorder frequently associated with other ocular abnormalities. These include dry eyes, absent Bell's phenomenon, protractor weakness, and heterotropia. Thus, correction of this ptosis has not been well described and is avoided by many surgeons. Since ptosis usually occurs early in life, correction is of functional, economic, and cosmetic importance. Clinical and histologic findings suggest that degeneration and defects of the levator aponeurosis contribute to the ptosis. During the past two years, we have used the aponeurotic approach to correct neuromyopathic ptosis. We describe 19 eyelids with a minimum one-year follow-up. Most eyelids were purposely undercorrected. A mean lid elevation of 3.3 mm with good symmetric results was obtained. Procedures were performed under local anesthesia. Advantages of this technique are (1) patient cooperation for adjustment of lid height and contour at surgery; (2) preservation of other suspensory structures (Müller's muscle and Whitnall's ligament); (3) easy adjustment of lid height postoperatively; (4) preservation of all tear-producing structures; (5) avoidance of corneal irritation from posterior sutures; and (6) maintenance of anatomic planes, which simplifies reoperation, if necessary. We believe this conservative approach corrects most eye-lids with neuromyopathic ptosis.

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