Purpose: Platinum chains are thinner than gold weights (GWs) and may confer a better eyelid curvature profile with reduced visibility. Outcomes compared eyelid measurements, cosmesis, and complications.
Methods: Forty-two primary GW and 17 primary platinum chain insertions were identified and subsequently matched for laterality, pathology, and weight of implant. Twenty-two patients were randomly allocated into 2 groups for comparison; those receiving a GW (n = 11) or platinum chain (n = 11) to formulate a retrospective case-controlled study. Primary upper eyelid loading surgery with both implants involved a standard technique of a high tarsal placement with levator recession. Blinded assessment of preoperative and 6-month postoperative photographs calculated eyelid parameters: upper marginal reflex distance and lagophthalmos. Standardized photographs were used to define cosmesis in terms of abnormal eyelid contour and prominence.
Results: Gold weights demonstrated an improvement in eyelid parameters. Nine eyelids had prominent implants: mild (2), moderate (3), and severe (4). Eyelid contour was affected in 7 patients, 5 with droop, and 2 with flattened contour. Platinum chain improved eyelid measurements. Mild eyelid prominence was noted in 2 cases, but eyelid contour remained normal in all patients. No complications were noted with either the GW or the platinum chain implants.
Conclusion: Both devices are successful in treating complications of lagophthalmos. Platinum chains appear less prominent and maintain normal eyelid contour. Although more expensive, platinum chains appear to be as safe and effective as GWs yet provide better cosmesis.