Cutaneous approaches to the orbital skeleton and periorbital structures

Barry L. Eppley, Philip L. Custer, A. Michael Sadove

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19 Scopus citations


Multiple cutaneous approaches to both the superior and inferior orbit have been reviewed. Incisional choices are optimally based on both facial esthetics and orbital function, which are achieved by an understanding of the unique anatomy of this region. The superior orbit is best approached by a blepharoplasty (lid crease) incision in conjunction with a lateral extension if additional exposure is necessary. Almost all aspects of the bony orbit can be reached with the exception of the frontal bone superior to the supraorbital rim. When wide exposure of the orbital skeleton is necessary, a bicoronal scalp flap is most effective in a nonalopecic patient. The inferior orbit can be approached by a ciliary, blepharoplasty, or conjunctival incision with a lateral canthotomy. None has proven esthetic advantages over the others, with the exception of the conjunctival incision when used alone. The lid incisions must be used with the understanding that orbital function must be assessed both pre- and postoperatively and meticulous attention paid to protection and care of the anterior globe. In addition, because of the thinness of the tissues being manipulated, edema, bruising, and final settling of lid form may require more postoperative time than is typical of more peripheral approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)842-854
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1990


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