Ptosis (Droopy Eyelid) Correction
What Is Ptosis?
Ptosis (pronounced “toe-sis”) is the medical term for drooping of the upper eyelid. A droopy eyelid may cause a reduction in the field of vision especially if the eyelid either partially or completely obstructs the pupil.
This makes it difficult for patients to keep their eyelids open, and often to compensate; they will lift their eyebrows or chin. Sometimes, they even lift their eyelids with their fingers in order to see. Ptosis can also occur in children, and children with this condition might develop amblyopia (also known as “lazy eye”) or at times parents might notice a developmental delay due to the limitation of their vision.
What Causes Ptosis?
There are many causes of ptosis including age related weakening of the muscle, congenital weakness, trauma, or neurologic diseases.
- A) Congenital ptosis: This happens when the condition is present at birth due to the muscle responsible for lifting the eyelid (levator muscle) not developing fully. This can become worse as the child gets older because of the natural changes that occur with aging.
- B) Acquired ptosis: In adults, the most common type of ptosis typically occurs slowly with aging. The tendon that attaches the levator muscle, the major muscle that lifts the eyelid can stretch and cause the eyelid to fall. Acquired ptosis can also be related to neurologic conditions or trauma. However, it can also occur following cataract or LASIK surgery.
- C) Ptosis Caused by a Prosthetic Eye:Prosthetic eyes (artificial eyes) can cause stretch and thinning on the levator muscle due to the physical weight, shape and lack of natural lubrication of the prosthetic eye.
Can Ptosis Be Corrected?
Mild ptosis may not require treatment. Ptosis can be corrected surgically and usually involves tightening the levator muscle to elevate the eyelid. In cases of congenital ptosis where the levator muscle is extremely weak, then a “sling” operation is required. Other types of repair may include surgery on the muscle on the inside of the lid in cases of small amounts of ptosis.
Preparing for Surgery
An operation can take about 10-15 minutes per eye for milder cases and 45 mins for more severe cases. If both eyes have ptosis, surgery on both eyes is usually done simultaneously to get a better chance of a symmetrical result.
Normally, no blood tests or fasting are required. In order to prepare for ptosis surgery, it’s important to minimize the risks for complications during surgery such as bleeding and infection. The doctor will normally advise avoiding blood thinners such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (E.g ibuprofen), Vitamin E, fish oil and Ginseng
If you have dry eyes, conjunctivitis or any other chronic eye problems, it’s crucial you manage these conditions appropriately prior to surgery. As with any surgery, Dr Vanessa will run a full review of your medical history, current medications and all the risks associated with surgery before starting surgery.
What Happens in Surgery?
In adults, the surgery is generally done as a day procedure under local anaesthetic in the operating theatre.
Firstly, numbing eye drops will be put into your eyes and the area around the eye will be cleaned with antiseptic and drapes wrapped around your head. Then, using washable ink, marks are drawn on the eyelid skin and finally, a local anaesthetic injection is given to numb the eyelid.
Who Should Perform Ptosis Surgery?
When choosing a surgeon to perform ptosis surgery, look for an Oculoplastic surgeon who specialises in cosmetic and reconstructive facial surgery of the eyelids, orbit, and tear drain system. Ensure that he or she is a board certified Oculoplastic surgeon.
Side effects are limited generally to swelling around the eye area. Usually, artificial tears will be recommended to keep the eyes lubricated after surgery since ptosis surgery can result in more exposure of the eye.
Follow up- After the surgery, a follow-up appointment 1 week after will be scheduled to remove any sutures which is seldom necessary. Most of the ptosis surgery these days is done without skin incisions and hence sutures removal is not needed.
Recovery– Usually, the recovery period to return to work is about 5 to 7 days. Swelling may be present for about 1 to 2 weeks.
Oculoplastic surgeon Dr Vanessa Neoh is an expert in cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid surgery. If you suffer from Ptosis, schedule your consultation with Dr Vanessa, she will run the necessary tests to determine the best form of correction for you.
During your consultation, Dr.Vanessa will be able to give you a clearer idea of what results you might expect, based on your unique condition and specific needs.
You will also be able to look at photographs of some of our previous patients, review and ask any questions you may have about this procedure.
You can also fill out the form or book an appointment on the Contact Us page, and we will contact you as quickly as possible.