Results of Müllerotomy and levator aponeurosis transposition for the correction of upper eyelid retraction in Graves disease

Ophthalmology. 1995 Mar;102(3):483-92. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(95)30996-7.


Background: Upper eyelid retraction in Graves disease may cause functional morbidity and aesthetic deformity. Surgery to correct thyroid-related upper eyelid retraction may result in temporal undercorrection with failure to eliminate lateral eyelid retraction, leading in turn to a poor eyelid contour postoperatively.

Methods: In 1984, one of the authors developed a new procedure for correcting moderate to severe upper eyelid retraction associated with Graves disease. The surgical technique consists of a Müllerotomy and recession of the levator aponeurosis combined with medial transposition of the lateral horn of the levator aponeurosis. The procedure was performed on 37 patients (72 eyelids). Müller's muscle was used as the spacer to set the eyelid height. Transposition of the levator aponeurosis allowed adjustment of eyelid contour.

Results: Thirty patients (58 eyelids) had excellent results, six (13 eyelids) had good results, and one (1 eyelid) had a poor result. No patient required re-operation for asymmetry, unacceptable contour, or malposition. Only one eyelid had significant overcorrection, and only one eyelid had significant undercorrection, requiring further surgery. The most frequent unwanted effects were high eyelid crease (24 eyelids) and residual temporal flare (6 eyelids); however, most of these were seen early in the series before the lateral levator transposition modification was added.

Conclusion: This procedure allows successful and simultaneous correction of both eyelid position and contour in patients with moderate to severe thyroid-related upper eyelid retraction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eyelid Diseases / etiology
  • Eyelid Diseases / surgery*
  • Eyelids / innervation
  • Eyelids / surgery*
  • Facial Muscles / surgery*
  • Female
  • Graves Disease / complications*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Transfer / methods
  • Oculomotor Muscles / surgery*
  • Prognosis
  • Tendon Transfer / methods