Purpose: To determine the efficacy of silicone rod frontalis sling ptosis repair in selected patients.
Methods: The authors retrospectively studied 35 consecutive patients who underwent silicone sling ptosis repairs in 6 lids at the University of California, San Francisco.
Results: Preoperative diagnoses included congenital ptosis causing developmental delay or possible amblyopia in children younger than 3 years of age, chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia, third-nerve palsy, myasthenia gravis, and ocular restriction secondary to glaucoma filtering valves. With a mean follow-up of 22 months, good-to excellent final lid height was achieved in all 61 lids. Recurrence of the ptosis occurred in four lids (7%), requiring replacement of the silicone rod in two lids and revision of the original sling in two lids to reach the final lid height. Chronic exposure keratopathy without corneal infection occurred postoperatively in 9 (15%) of 61 eyes, all in patients with an inadequate or absent Bell phenomenon. Chronic corneal problems did not develop in any of the children. Extrusion of the sling with or without infection occurred in three foreheads (5%) in two patients younger than 15 years of age.
Conclusion: Silicone rod is an effective material for use in frontalis suspension in treating severe ptosis with poor levator function. Children younger than 3 years of age with congenital ptosis and developmental delay or possible amblyopia can undergo silicone frontalis suspension to achieve good visual results. The elasticity and ease of adjustment of the silicone rod are ideal characteristics for a suspensory material used to correct severe ptosis associated with a minimal or absent Bell phenomenon, such as in chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia, myasthenia gravis, or third-nerve palsy.