Comparison of non-absorbable silk and absorbable polyglactin sutures for external ptosis repair

Erik R. Johnson, Robi N. Maamari, Michael G. Neimkin, Zachary M. Bodnar, John B. Holds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: The authors compare the outcomes and revision rates for external levator aponeurotic advancement for the treatment of involutional ptosis using non-absorbable silk and absorbable polyglactin sutures. Methods: An IRB-approved retrospective chart review identified 121 patients who underwent external levator advancement for involutional ptosis between 2015 and 2016 by the senior author (JBH).  All patients underwent ptosis repair using either 5–0 polyglactin 910 on a S–14 spatulated needle or 6–0 silk on a G–1 reverse cutting needle for the aponeurotic advancement. Ptosis etiologies other than involutional ptosis were excluded. Patients with >0.5 mm of upper lid height asymmetry post-operatively underwent surgical adjustment. Demographics, clinical findings and revision rates were collected and analyzed from follow-up visits. Results: 116 patients (190 eyelids) met inclusion criteria. Fewer ptosis repairs performed using silk sutures necessitated adjustment when compared to those using polyglactin (1/73 [1.4%] vs. 14/117 [12.0%], p = 0.010). Silk direct connection sutures had no better stability than polyglactin direct connection sutures (p = 0.16), but silk hang-back sutures were significantly superior to polyglactin hang-back sutures (p = 0.035).  Thirteen out of fifteen (86.7%) revisions were advancements to raise the eyelid, while two (13.3%) were recessions. Conclusion: Non-absorbable silk suture may be superior to absorbable polyglactin, necessitating fewer surgical revisions. Silk demonstrated superiority to polyglactin when a hang-back suture was employed. Since the need to place direct or hang-back sutures cannot be made pre-operatively, the authors modified their technique to utilize silk sutures for external aponeurotic ptosis repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
JournalOrbit (London)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • Aponeurotic ptosis
  • external ptosis repair
  • hang-back technique
  • levator advancement


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of non-absorbable silk and absorbable polyglactin sutures for external ptosis repair'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this