Eyebrow Position Before and After Enucleation

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Purpose: The presence of eyebrow elevation in anophthalmic patients has been used as evidence to support a proprioceptive stimulus for frontalis innervation. In this study, we examined the frequency of brow elevation before and after enucleation and reviewed additional clinical findings to determine if any were associated with eyebrow position. Methods: A retrospective study was performed on 134 anophthalmic patients. Demographics, measurements, and photographs were reviewed. Reference photographs were used to subjectively grade brow position and sulcus depth. Results: Preoperative eyebrow elevation was present in 56.2% of patients without blepharospasm from a painful eye, of who 62% had chronic visual loss. Ipsilateral ptosis (p = 0.008), deep superior sulcus (p < 0.001), and right-sided pathology (p = 0.045) were more common in patients with brow elevation. Symmetrically elevated brows were more frequent before right than left enucleation (p = 0.05). Brow position remained stable after 61.9% of procedures. While often mild, postoperative brow elevation was seen in 31.0% of patients without preoperative elevation. Deepening of the superior sulcus was more common in patients with new relative brow elevation (p = 0.031). Anophthalmic ptosis and right-left surgical side were not associated with new postoperative brow elevation. Conclusions: Eyebrow elevation was often present prior to enucleation and associated with an increased occurrence of ptosis, superior sulcus deepening, and right-sided pathology. Intact vision was not needed to maintain an elevated brow. Superior sulcus deepening, but not ptosis, was more common in patients developing new postoperative brow elevation. The findings support both proprioceptive and compensatory mechanisms for eyebrow elevation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-443
Number of pages6
JournalOphthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


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