Lipofilling of the lower eyelids: A craniofacial tool to postpone the facial advancement in craniofacial syndromes

J Stomatol Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2022 Sep;123(4):448-451. doi: 10.1016/j.jormas.2021.10.003. Epub 2021 Oct 11.


Purpose: Many genetic diseases are responsible for a defect in the growth of the maxilla. Craniofacial syndromes such as Crouzon syndrome or Apert syndrome are typically associated with a major hypoplasia in the midface responsible for exophthalmos, leading to palpebral malocclusion and frequent corneal complications. Several treatments have been used to manage ocular protection in craniofacial syndromes such as tarsorrhaphy, a fronto-orbital advancement and/or a Lefort III osteotomy with or without distraction. We describe a new approach as a waiting solution to relieve exophthalmos: the autologous fat grafting of the lower eyelids.

Material and methods: Children operated from lipofilling of the lower eyelids at the Referral Center for craniosynostosis of Femme-Mère-Enfant Hospital in Lyon, were included. All the patients suffered from midface hypoplasia and exophthalmos with insufficient eyelid closure responsible of multiples episodes of keratitis and corneal ulcerations.

Results: Four children were included: three suffered from Crouzon Syndrome and one suffered from Apert Syndrome. The fat was reinjected at the level of the infraorbital rim, the nasolabial fold or the palpebrojugal fold, in the different planes, according to the patients' needs. Six months after surgery, a second surgery was performed for the patients whose lagophtalmos persisted. Six months after the second procedure, the results are satisfactory with a good eyelid closure.

Conclusion: The lipofilling, well used in pediatric surgery to restore facial symmetry, can also be used, as a waiting solution or complement to treat complicated exophtalmos with visual prognosis involved in congenital craniofacial syndromes.

Keywords: Adipocytes; Craniofacial syndrome; Eyelid; Fat grafting; Fat transplantation; Lipofilling.

MeSH terms

  • Acrocephalosyndactylia* / surgery
  • Child
  • Craniofacial Dysostosis* / surgery
  • Exophthalmos*
  • Eyelids / surgery
  • Humans
  • Syndrome