Purpose To evaluate clinical and anatomic outcomes of surgery for involutional ptosis using standard-length or small incisions in relation to preoperative levator function. Design Retrospective study. Methods Sixty-three patients diagnosed with involutional ptosis who underwent surgical correction using a small or standard-length incision between November 2010 and December 2011 were reviewed; a single surgeon performed surgery using a small incision (8 to 10 mm) in 22 patients and a standard-length incision (20 to 22 mm) in 34 patients. All patients underwent standard preoperative ptosis evaluation with margin-to-reflex distance 1 and 2 measurements and levator function assessment. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to levator function (moderate: 5 to 10 mm; and good: >10 mm). Surgical success was evaluated based on the British Oculoplastic Surgery Society criteria. Results Of 83 upper eyelids of 63 patients, surgery was performed using a small incision in 40 and a standard incision in 43. In patients with good levator function, surgical success was achieved with a small incision in 18 eyelids (94.7%) and a standard incision in 20 eyelids (95.2%; P =.91). In patients with moderate levator function, surgical success was achieved with a small incision in 14 eyelids (66.7%) and with a standard incision in 18 eyelids (81.8%; P =.04). Conclusions These findings indicate a similar surgical success rate in patients with good levator function, regardless of incision length. The surgical success rate in patients with moderate levator function was lower when using a small incision, perhaps because of decreased visualization and anatomic access.
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