The Sutureless Mullerectomy

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019 May/Jun;35(3):290-293. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000001331.


Purpose: Müller's muscle-conjunctival resection (MMCR) is a well-known approach for ptosis repair. In its standard fashion, it involves resection of Müller's muscle and conjunctiva, followed by suturing of the conjunctiva and Müller's muscle to the tarsus with absorbable or nonabsorbable sutures. The authors herein present their experience in performing MMCR without sutures.

Methods: The study was conducted as a retrospective review of 19 patients (34 eyelids) undergoing sutureless MMCR. Thirty-three eyelids had acquired ptosis and 1 eyelid had congenital ptosis. Surgery consisted of a standard approach and placement of a Putterman clamp. Following excision of the clamped tissues, no internal sutures were placed. Preoperative and postoperative upper margin-to-reflex distances were measured and patients were evaluated for symmetry within 1 mm and the incidence of any complications.

Results: Nineteen patients underwent 34 sutureless MMCR procedures. Of these, 13 patients had bilateral ptosis repair. Thirty-three of 34 eyelids (97%) showed improvement in margin-to-reflex distances, with an average improvement of 1.4 mm (range, 0-3.5 mm, SD = 0.64) among all patients. Eighteen of the 19 patients (94.7%) showed postoperative symmetry of margin-to-reflex distances within 1 mm (p < 0.001, χ test). One patient who underwent unilateral surgery demonstrated a Herring's response postoperatively, leading to the single case of asymmetry. There was 1 case of corneal abrasion seen postoperatively.

Conclusions: The sutureless technique is a rapid and effective method for performing MMCR. This technique is especially useful as an adjunct to blepharoplasty where mild ptosis exists for an added rejuvenating effect. It is low-risk and potentially corneoprotective when compared to the standard suture technique. Further studies could determine if a modified algorithm needs to be applied.

MeSH terms

  • Blepharoplasty / methods*
  • Blepharoptosis / surgery*
  • Eyelids / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Oculomotor Muscles / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sutureless Surgical Procedures / methods*