Complications occurred in six patients after gold weights were implanted into the upper eyelid tissues for fifth and seventh nerve palsies. These complications included implant infection without extrusion (in one patient); entropion with trichiasis and presumed inflammatory reaction to the gold weight material (in one patient); upper eyelid distortion and poor eyelid contour with corneal ulceration and scarring (in one patient); significant residual lagophthalmos with exposure keratitis (in one patient); and blepharoptosis obscuring the pupillary access (in two patients). Resolution of the complications required 1. implant removal in four of six patients without reinsertion of a second weight, 2. recession of the retractors of the upper eyelids with medial and lateral canthoplasty (in four patients), and 3. permanent tarsorrhaphy (in one patient). The authors conclude that complications may be minimized by careful preoperative determination of the optimum implant size, weight, and placement within the eyelid as well as meticulous attention to the surgical technique of implantation. The use of other eyelid protective procedures is often necessary to augment corneal protection especially in patients with combined fifth and seventh cranial nerve palsies. Endogenous implant infection without extrusion of the gold weight may be distinguished from presumed inflammation due to gold allergy by clinical response to antibiotics in the former and requirements of steroids or removal of the implant in the latter.
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