Purpose: This study aims to investigate the surgical outcomes of a novel epiblepharon correction method based on the pathologic features of epicanthal tissue. The correlation between the pathology and clinical presentations was also studied.
Methods: This retrospective study included 72 eyelids of 36 children with epiblepharon and epicanthal folds. From July 2013 to March 2016, epicanthal tension-releasing procedure of subdermal fibrinolysis with orbicularis oculi ring myotomy were performed in 36 children. Photographs before and after operation were analyzed with Image J program. A clinical severity of the epiblepharon was scored based on the lower eyelid skin fold height (mild to severe). Subdermal fibrosis index was defined as the portion of fibrosis in low power field (× 40) and eyelid contour was assessed with custom software (MATLAB). Eighty eyelids without eyelid pathology were analyzed to establish the normal eyelid contour. The epicanthal tissues were classified into three categories: mild, moderate, and severe fibrosis.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 5.5 years. Intercanthal distance (ICD) ratio was defined as Inner ICD (IICD)/outer ICD (OICD). The IICD/OICD was 0.41 in the severe epiblepharon group that is significantly longer compared to that of the mild epiblepharon group (0.38). Subdermal fibrosis index was higher in severe epiblepharon group. Eyelid contour was normalized and the cilia touch was resolved after the epicanthal tension-releasing procedure.
Conclusion: Epicanthal tension-releasing procedure with orbicularis oculi ring myotomy achieved favorable surgical outcomes. Clinical correlations with pathologic findings and satisfactory results of the procedure suggest that medial epicanthal fibrosis is the main pathologic feature causing epiblepharon and epicanthal folds.
Keywords: Children; Epiblepharon; Epicanthal fold; Korean; Pathology.