BACKGROUND: Left untreated, paralytic lagophthalmos may result in corneal dryness, ulcerations, and subsequent blindness. The most common nondynamic surgical solution is upper eyelid weight placement in a superficial, pretarsal pocket, carrying the risk of visibility, extrusion, and entropion. The authors present a technique useful in patients presenting with either primary symptoms of corneal exposure or complications of previous implants that is equally efficacious, with a potentially decreased risk of complications, in which the weight is inserted into a deeper, postseptal position but requires use of a heavier weight. METHODS: Nineteen patients, 15 primary and four secondary, treated between the years 2008 and 2012 with the postseptal approach, were evaluated for demographics, cause, resolution of primary symptoms, and complications. The average weight difference between that measured in the clinic versus weight used in surgery in the primary group and the average weight difference between that inserted in previous surgery versus weight placed in corrective surgery were calculated. RESULTS: The average weight difference was 0.213 g (range, 0 to 0.4 g) in the primary group and 0.2 g (range, 0 to 0.4 g) in the revision group. Symptoms resolved in all but one patient, neither revisions nor complications were noted, and the longest follow-up was 4 years. CONCLUSIONS: The retroseptal technique has proven to be safe, reproducible, and very useful in both primary and secondary upper eyelid surgery for paralytic lagophthalmos. It successfully addresses several common problems encountered with more superficial weight placement, including visibility, exposure, and entropion, but often necessitates use of a heavier weight. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.
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