Epiblepharon in East asian patients: the singapore experience

Ophthalmology. 2010 Jan;117(1):184-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2009.06.044. Epub 2009 Nov 5.


Purpose: To describe the demographics, presenting symptoms, indications for surgery, and surgical outcomes of epiblepharon correction in a tertiary care hospital in Singapore.

Design: Retrospective review of patients who underwent surgery by 2 surgeons in a referral oculoplastic practice at the National University Health System, Singapore, from 2001 to 2007.

Participants: A total of 108 patients who underwent surgery for clinically significant epiblepharon.

Intervention: Modified Hotz procedure or suture correction for patients in whom conservative treatment failed.

Main outcome measures: Comparison of symptoms, keratopathy, and recurrence on follow-up between the 2 procedures.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 9.0 years, with an age range of 0.5 to 68 years. Of the patients, 51.9% were male. The majority were Chinese (n = 102). Seventy-four (68.5%) patients were symptomatic. Eighty-nine patients (82.4%) had keratopathy. In 98 patients (90.7%) both eyes were affected, and the majority of patients (75.0%) had epiblepharon of the lower lids. Initial treatment for the majority was lubricants (n = 71, 65.7%). The main indications for surgery were symptoms and keratopathy, with 37.9% of patients having both, and 44.4% and 15.7% of patients having either keratopathy or symptoms alone, respectively. Surgical correction consisted mostly of a modified Hotz procedure (n = 88, 81.5%), lid-everting sutures (n = 9, 8.3%), and others, including upper lid blepharoplasty with lid crease formation (n = 11, 10.2%). Outcomes were good, with the majority (n = 88, 81.5%) of lids being well corrected. Complications included undercorrection, overcorrection, wound dehiscence, and wound infections.

Conclusions: Symptomatic epiblepharon, usually associated with keratopathy and commonly seen in children of East Asian descent, often requires surgical intervention with good surgical outcome. Increased awareness among ophthalmologists and pediatricians dealing with this ethnic group and age is emphasized. Contrary to the current practice of expectant observation, definitive surgical management should be considered when symptoms or keratopathy is present.

Financial disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asians / ethnology*
  • Blepharoplasty
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Corneal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Corneal Diseases / ethnology
  • Corneal Diseases / surgery
  • Ethnicity
  • Eye Abnormalities / diagnosis
  • Eye Abnormalities / ethnology*
  • Eye Abnormalities / surgery
  • Eyelids / abnormalities*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome