Dermatochalasis Through Decades: A Histopathologic Study

Ann Plast Surg. 2021 Mar 1;86(3):340-344. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000002489.


Objectives: Three prior studies (2008, 2011, 2018) histopathologically compared the eyelid specimens of patients with dermatochalasis (DC, undergoing blepharoplasty) with a control group and proposed that DC may begin with subclinical inflammation leading to elastolysis and lymphostasis. With growing number of younger patients consulting for blepharoplasty, the unanswered question is whether histopathologic changes of DC differ between the younger and the older.

Patients and methods: In this prospective case series, 20 right upper eyelid skin of 20 nonsmoker, class 3 Fitzpatrik skin type women (30-68 years old) were histopathologically examined. Patients were divided into 2 age groups of 50 years or older and older than 50 years. Upper eyelid skin was preoperatively marked, intraoperatively removed, postoperatively divided into 3 sections: lateral (lateral limbus to lateral canthus), central (between medial and lateral limbi), and medial (medial limbus to medial canthus), and separately (totally 60 specimens) sent for histopathological examination. A masked pathologist recorded skin thickness in all specimens (60) as well as lymphatic vessels diameter and density, elastic fiber density, macrophage number, collagen intrafibril edema, and depth of collagen stromal bed in central sections (20 specimens).

Results: There were 10 patients at each age group. Histopathological measurements were not significantly different between the 2 age groups except mean lymphatic vessel diameter (P = 0.034) that was larger in the second group (>50 years). A significant positive correlation was also observed between the age and lymphatic vessel diameter (rs = 0.3, P = 0.009).

Conclusions: Lymphangiectasia progresses significantly by age. Histopathological characteristics of DC are the same in the 2 age groups.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blepharoplasty*
  • Eyelids / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Vessels*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skin