What is the role of tarsorrhaphy in the treatment of Bell palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis) (IFP)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Danette C Taylor, DO, MS, FACN; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Tarsorrhaphy decreases horizontal lid opening by fusing the eyelid margins together, increasing support of the precorneal lake of tears and improving coverage of the eye during sleep. The procedure can be done in the office and is particularly suitable for patients who are unable or unwilling to undergo other surgery. It can be completed as either a temporary or a permanent measure. Permanent tarsorrhaphy is performed if nerve recovery is not expected.

Tarsorrhaphy can be performed laterally, centrally, or medially. The lateral procedure is the most common; however, it can restrict the monocular temporal visual field. Central tarsorrhaphy offers good corneal protection, but it occludes vision and can be cosmetically unacceptable. Medial or paracentral tarsorrhaphy is performed lateral to the lacrimal puncta and can offer good lid closure without substantially affecting the visual field.

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