What is Ptosis?
Ptosis (pronounced “toe-sis”) is a drooping of the upper eyelids due to weakness of the muscles that normally open the eyelids. Ptosis can result from aging changes, eyelid injury, or from muscle maldevelopment (congenital ptosis). Rarely, certain neurological conditions may also cause upper eyelid drooping and must be ruled out as a potential cause prior to considering surgical repair.
The Surgery :
Ptosis can be corrected by a variety of approaches depending on the extent of eyelid drooping. Cases of mild ptosis can be corrected by tightening the eyelid muscles through an incision made on the inside of the eyelid. In this type of surgery, called internal ptosis repair, no scar is visible on the eyelid skin itself. Moderate cases of ptosis can be treated by a skin-incision approach, or external ptosis surgery, where the primary muscle that elevates the eyelid is adjusted. This type of surgery requires patient cooperation. You will be awoken midway during surgery so that your surgeon can make adjustments to the eyelid height. For severe ptosis where the eyelid muscles have minimal function, a sling that connects the forehead muscles to the eyelids can be fashioned to help the upper eyelids elevate.
Ptosis repair can be performed in an outpatient (non-hospital) setting under light anesthesia consisting of IV sedation and local medication injected at the surgical site. Patients are able to go home the same day of the procedure. The surgery itself takes approximately half an hour. If an external approach is required, the incision is hidden in the natural eyelid crease to avoid the appearance of any post-operative scarring. With an internal approach, there is no visible scar. This procedure may be combined with an upper eyelid blepharoplasty (see below).
What to Expect After Surgery :
Bruising and swelling is typical after eyelid surgery and peaks in the first post-operative week. We recommend remaining home to recover for approximately one week. Thereafter, most patients can comfortably return to work. During the recovery period, heavy exertion and makeup use is avoided.