BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to monitor blood perfusion in human upper eyelid skin flaps and examine how the perfusion is affected by the thickness of the flap.

METHODS: Twenty upper eyelids were dissected as part of a blepharoplasty procedure in patients. The medial end of the blepharoplasty flap remained attached to mimic a flap design often used in reconstruction in the periocular area, a myocutaneous flap in which the blood supply follows the fibers of the orbicularis muscle and is thus parallel to the long axis of the flap. The muscle was thereafter dissected from the flap to create a cutaneous flap. Blood perfusion in the 2 types of flaps was compared using laser speckle contrast imaging.

RESULTS: Blood perfusion decreased gradually from the base to the tip of all the flaps. Perfusion was significantly higher in the myocutaneous flaps than in the cutaneous flaps (p < 0.0004): 69% in the myocutaneous flaps and 43% in the cutaneous flaps, measured 5 mm from the base. Blood perfusion was preserved to a greater extent distally in the myocutaneous flaps (minimum value seen at 25 mm) than in the cutaneous flaps (minimum seen at 11 mm).

CONCLUSIONS: Blood perfusion was better preserved in myocutaneous flaps, including both skin and the orbicularis oculi muscle, than in cutaneous flaps. This may be of clinical interest in patients with poor microcirculation in which a long flap is required for reconstructive surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-169
JournalOphthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number2
Early online date2021 Jul 21
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 by The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc., All rights reserved.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology


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