One of the most common procedures we perform is a ptosis repair. Ptosis (pronounced TOE-sis, the “p” is silent) is the medical term for upper eyelids that droop and may affect a single lid or both. In some cases, it’s barely noticeable. In serious cases, though, the lid can become so droopy that it covers part of the pupil, restricting vision.
Ptosis often occurs with aging. The muscle that attaches to the connective tissue of the upper eyelid can slip back over time, which results in the dropping of the entire upper lid. There are other causes as well. Some patients develop ptosis following any form of ocular surgery, such as cataract or retinal surgery Also, long-term gas-permeable contact lens wearers are also more likely to develop ptosis. Additionally, there are congenital and neurologic disorders which can result in ptosis of the upper eyelid(s) as well.
A ptosis repair is performed on an outpatient basis. Dr. Scott uses a technique that allows him to access the tissue and muscle by going underneath the upper eyelid. As the patient heals, the stitches dissolve, and the stitch line is not visible because it is inside of the upper eyelid. That means there is no visible scarring.
If you look back at photos of yourself 5-10 years ago and can see a visible difference in your eyelids, or if you notice your vision has become restricted by drooping upper eyelids, you may be a good candidate for a ptosis repair. Dr. Scott can also help determine how you might respond to the surgery by placing drops in the eyes that simulate the look of surgery. Ptosis surgery is generally not recommended for individuals who have severely dry eyes, since elevating the upper eyelid exposes more surface area of the eye to be lubricated, thus increasing ocular dryness and discomfort. This internal elevation of an eyelid is not intended to reduce excess or redundant upper eyelid skin, which would be addressed with an external upper eyelid laser blepharoplasty.
Patients can expect some swelling after surgery, and in some cases, they may experience bloody tears for a day or two following the procedure. Generally, though, healing is very rapid from an internal upper eyelid ptosis repair. Dr. Scott will also advise you on post-operative care, including recommending you initially decrease physical activity for a few weeks while your internal wound(s) heals.
As with any procedure, some risks are associated with a ptosis repair. To learn more about this procedure and whether this is a good option for you, contact Dr. Scott for a consultation by calling 703-620-4300 or by filling out the ‘Request an Appointment’ form on our website: EyePlasticMD.com.