Purpose: To determine the safety and efficacy of processed human pericardium as a barrier material for gold weight implantation.
Methods: In this retrospective, noncomparative case series, all patients undergoing gold weight implantation with human pericardium barrier between November 2000 and May 2002 were studied. Charts were reviewed for surgical indications, gold weight size, follow-up interval, and complications.
Results: Twenty-three eyelids of 23 patients underwent gold weight implantation with processed human pericardium barrier material. There were 15 female and 8 male patients. Mean patient age was 53 years (range, 22 to 78 years). Indications for surgery included extruded implant (4 eyelids), thin tissues overlying existing implant (3 eyelids), thin anterior lamellar eyelid tissues (6 eyelids), radiotherapy (1 eyelid), and requirement for long-term gold weight therapy (9 eyelids). Mean follow-up was 11 months (range, 3 to 36 months). Acceptable tissue coverage was found in 23 of 23 eyelids. There were no complications of infection, extrusion, or thinning of overlying tissues. One patient had prolonged eyelid edema and erythema that resolved spontaneously 3 months after surgery.
Conclusions: Human pericardium appears to be well tolerated on at least a short-term basis within the eyelid when used as a barrier material for gold weight implantation.