I was in a bad car accident when I was 17 (I'm 30 now) and needed a full eyelid skin graft. They took the skin from my ears. After healing it looked relatively good but my eye wasn't closing properly so it had to be redone. They then took skin from my upper arm. It was successful but aesthetically much worse, due to being more 'bulky' and the mismatch in color. I've lived with it sticking out all these years but wonder now if there is anything that can be done to give a more natural color?
I Had a FTSG Taken from my Arm for my Eyelid. Can I Do Anything About the Color Mismatch? (photo)
Doctor Answers 4
Best skin for eyelid skin graft
I agree that the opposite upper eyelid skin would be the best match. If there isn't adequate skin there, you could do a composite graft with skin from behind or in front of the ear, placing a portion above the lid crease and a portion below.
A Revision May Improve the Cosmetic Result
I agree with the other doctors that the best color match is using skin from the contralateral eyelid. When you were 17 you may have had no excess skin on the contralateral upper eyelid. From your photos it now appears that you may have some excess skin and a revision with a repeat skin graft may be possible.
Because of the size of the original injury it may only be possible to replace part of the graft currently in place, but replacing the upper portion of the skin graft with a better color match could have a significant cosmetic improvement. The function of your eyelid and a thorough evaluation should be done prior to any revision.
Jeremiah Redstone, MD
Skin graft to eyelid
Normally, for eyelid skin grafting, I take skin from the contralateral eyelid, retroauricular area (behind the ear), or preauricular area (in front of the ear) for the best color match.
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Eye lid Reconstruction
The best skin color and texture match for eye lid skin is simmilar skin, that is eye lid skin from the opposite lid.
However you have such a large skin graft, that I do not believe you have enough skin from the opposite upper lid.
Best is to consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and after examination discuss your options