Periorbital reconstructive techniques following Mohs micrographic surgery or excisions: a systematic review

Laura K Archibald, Rachit Gupta, Kathryn T. Shahwan, Marki E Swick, Caitlin Bakker, Adam R. Mattox, Murad Alam, Ian A. Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


There are many articles in the literature on periorbital reconstruction after Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) or surgical excision, however, the literature lacks a comprehensive systematic review of these reports. We performed a systematic review of published data on periorbital defect reconstruction to identify trends in the literature. A comprehensive search of eight databases was performed. To be included in the study, articles had to be published in English between 2005 and 2020 and contain repair data for MMS or excision defects in the periorbital region. Studies with less than four patients, literature or systematic reviews, and abstract-only publications were excluded. Data extracted from eligible articles included the authors’ medical specialties, study design, subject number and demographics, defect characteristics, procedure type, reconstructive methods, complications, outcome measures, and method of outcome assessment. 53 studies met the inclusion criteria. The first and last authors’ specialties were ophthalmology (47%), plastic and reconstructive surgery (23%), dermatology (13%), otolaryngology (4%), or were multi-specialty collaborations (13%). Only 5 of the studies were prospective. Defects were located on the lower eyelid (55%), medial canthus (31%), upper eyelid (8%), lateral canthus (4%), or a combination of these sites (2%). Reconstructive methods were reported for 3678 cases and included linear repair (18%), advancement flap (8%), rotation flap (5%), transposition flap (3%), island pedicle flap (1%), unspecified local skin flap (21%), skin graft (23%), secondary intention (4%), tarsoconjunctival flap (3%), and combined reconstruction techniques (13%). Thirty-three of 53 articles specified the periorbital subunit for each reconstructive technique that was employed. Among these 33 articles which allowed for correlation between defect location and reconstructive technique, the most utilized repair method for lower eyelid defects was local skin flap. Defects on the upper eyelid or medial canthus were most frequently repaired with a skin graft. Forty articles commented on cosmetic outcomes, however, only 3 of these articles utilized a defined grading system, objective measurements, or independent reviewers to assess the cosmetic outcomes. The methods of reconstruction in this review were diverse, however, local skin flaps and grafts were the most utilized techniques. In future reports, increased reporting of reconstructive technique by defect location as well as increased use of standardized assessments of aesthetic outcomes can help strengthen this body of literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Eyelid reconstruction
  • Mohs
  • Periorbital reconstruction
  • Skin cancer
  • Surgery

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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