Total Eyelid Transplantation in a Face Transplant: Analysis of Postoperative Periorbital Function

Maria I. Grigos, Étoile LeBlanc, William J. Rifkin, Rami S. Kantar, Jason Greenfield, J. Rodrigo Diaz-Siso, Eduardo D. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prolonged impairment of protective ocular functions can compromise vision and lead to blindness if uncorrected. Several facial transplants have incorporated periorbital structures with variable eyelid preservation, but objective assessment of post-transplant periorbital function has been limited. Materials and methods: Kinematic data were collected from a full-face recipient that included the fist total eyelid transplantation at 5 separate pre-transplant (PRE) and post-transplant time points (T1-T4). Using optical facial tracking, eyelid movements were tracked during involuntary blinking and compared with controls. Results: There was significant improvement in right eye aperture from PRE to T1 (β = 5.54, P < 0.001), with no change between T1 and T4. Aperture fluctuated in the left eye, with a temporary decrease between T2 and T3 corresponding with revision brow lift (β = −4.57, P < 0.001). Although improved from the pre-transplantation, right and left eye apertures remained significantly smaller than controls at T1 and T4 (P < 0.001). Similarly, spatial coupling increased from PRE to T1 (β = 0.63, P < 0.001) and remained high at T4, albeit significantly less than controls (P < 0.001). Temporal coupling improved from PRE to T2 (β = 2.29, P < 0.02) and was sustained at subsequent time points, with no difference relative to controls at T4. Considerable improvement was observed on clinical examination, with full functional status. Conclusions: Application of a novel method for assessing functional eyelid recovery using facial tracking technology to the first total eyelid transplantation in the setting of a full facial transplant shows clear functional improvement after transplantation and suggests revisions can be performed safely to optimize aesthetic outcomes without permanent negative functional impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-425
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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