Outcomes of surgical management of xanthelasma palpebrarum

Arch Plast Surg. 2013 Jul;40(4):380-6. doi: 10.5999/aps.2013.40.4.380. Epub 2013 Jul 17.


Background: Xanthelasma palpebrarum (XP) is a benign disorder manifesting as yellowish cholesterol-laden plaques on the eyelids. This paper presents the outcomes in patients with XP who have undergone surgical excision as the main modality of treatment.

Methods: A retrospective review of patients who received surgery for xanthelasma palpebrarum from March 2007 to March 2011 was conducted. Patients were classified into four grades according to the location and extent of the lesion, with grade I being the mildest and grade IV being the most diffuse. Simple excision was performed in grade I and II lesions, while local flaps and skin grafts were performed in the more advanced grades.

Results: Ninety-five cases from March 2007 to March 2011 were included in this study. 66 cases (70%), were treated by simple excision. Twenty-four cases (25%) and 5 cases (5%) were treated by simple excision in combination with or without local flaps and skin grafts. In approximately 1/4 of the patients, orbicularis oris muscle involvement was observed. 4 patients (4.2%) developed scar contracture postoperatively, which required a secondary procedure. Recurrence was reported in 3 patients (3.1%). Otherwise. There were no other reports of major complications or disfigurement.

Conclusions: We found that for lesions involving the deep dermis and/or muscle, surgical excision was the most appropriate therapeutic option.

Keywords: Eyelids; Foam cells; Reconstructive surgical procedures; Xanthomatosis.