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Ptosis Surgery Overview

Published onJanuary 25, 2015

Ptosis, also called droopy eyelid, is a condition where the upper eyelid of one or both the eyes droop. In Ptosis, the eyelids hang very low and they may interfere with the field of vision. It usually happens because of aging, but it may happen to children, teens, and young adults as well. Poor muscle tone, prior eyelid surgery, trauma, chronic swelling, migraines, nerve damage or Bell’s palsy have also been implicated as a cause for Ptosis. Usually, surgery is the best way to treat Ptosis.

Process in detail

An oculoplastic surgeon starts an assessment of Ptosis by first talking to you about your concerns and your medical and surgical history. The doctor takes complete measurements of the height of the eyelids and will thoroughly examine the strength of the eyelid muscles. As discussed, surgery is the best option to treat Ptosis in both children and adults as it not only improves vision but also improves the aesthetic appearance.

To determine if surgery is required for congenital Ptosis in children, an ophthalmologist will have a look at a few factors such as the age of the child, the eye movements, and if one or both eyelids are affected. Ptosis surgery involves tightening of the Levator muscles. If Levator muscles are very weak, forehead muscles can be made to do all the lifting by suspending the eyelid under the eyebrow. In very young children with Ptosis, the heavy upper eyelid can cause amblyopia. This needs to be assessed and managed.

Ptosis in adults is surgically treated by shortening the tendon of the muscle responsible for lifting the upper eyelid open. In addition, it may also be appropriate to remove upper eyelid skin. Often one eyelid will be heavier than another. A careful assessment must be made to determine if both upper eyelid eyelids need to be repaired at the same time.

What to take care of

After surgery, the region around your eyes may swell and your vision may become blurry. In order to promote comfort and prevent excessive swelling, it is advised to use cold compresses and keep your head elevated. Excessive bruising may lead to stretching of the upper eyelid tissues and lead the eyelids to droop again. For this reason, you will be advised to avoid medication that thin the blood prior to surgery.

After the surgery, use a lubricating ointment to prevent dryness and speeds healing. Most find that ophthalmic ointment is soothing at bed time for the first week or so. Some people may have a prior history of dry eye which puts them at a risk of of being more symptomatic after surgery. Your surgeon will provide proper advice on lubricating the eyes. After the surgery, your surgeon will assess how you are recovering and determine how frequently you need to be seen as things settle down after surgery.

Individuals who wear contacts lens find that 7 to 10 days may be needed before contact lens can be used again. It is normal to experience reduced times that the contacts can be worn. Usually this improved over 3 to 4 weeks after the surgery but individuals vary and an occasional individual with symptomatic dry eye may have trouble returning to contact lens wear. It is unusual for ptosis surgery to cause a change in the glasses prescription but this does rarely happen. Should this happen, your surgeon will advise you when it is appropriate to get new glasses.

When it comes to Ptosis surgery, it is essential to carefully choose your surgeon. We are talking about your appearance and your vision. It makes sense to find the most experienced surgeon for this type of work. Dr. Kenneth D. Steinsapir is the leading expert in eyelid and cosmetic surgery, operating out of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. Patients travel from all over the world for his care and surgical expertise. It all starts with a personal consultation with Dr. Steinsapir.

To learn more about procedures and treatments performed by Beverly Hills | Los Angels Facial Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Steinsapir, contact us at 310-274-7422.

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