Ptosis Surgery

Ptosis is the medical term for drooping of the upper eyelid, a condition that may affect one or both eyes. When the edge of the upper eyelid falls, it may block the upper field of your vision.  Symptoms of ptosis include a decreased ability to keep your eyes open, eye strain and eyebrow fatigue from the increased effort needed to raise your eyelids, especially when reading. In severe cases, it may be necessary to tilt your head back or lift the eyelid with a finger in order to see out from under the drooping eyelid(s). You may also complain that your eyes have a tired appearance from "droopy eyelids" even though you are well rested.  Often other people perceive you as looking “tired” or “old”.

Acquired ptosis is most commonly due to stretching of the levator muscle in the eyelid. The levator muscle is the major muscle responsible for elevating the upper eyelid. Another cause of acquired ptosis is interference with the nerve supply to the muscle. Acquired ptosis may occur as a result of aging, trauma, or muscular or neurologic disease.

As you get older, the tendon that attaches the levator muscle to the eyelid stretches and the eyelid falls, covering part of the eye. It is not uncommon for a patient to develop upper eyelid ptosis after cataract surgery, which can sometimes cause the weak tendon to stretch.  Long standing contact lens wears may also develop ptosis.

Dr. Levin treats acquired ptosis with a surgical procedure with the specific operation based on the severity of the ptosis and the strength of the levator muscle.

The main goals of ptosis surgery are elevation of the upper eyelid to restore normal field of vision and an attempt to achieve symmetry with the opposite upper eyelid. These goals depend on many factors and, therefore, may not always be possible to achieve. Surgery is usually performed with local anesthesia, which numbs the upper eyelid with minimal sedation.  It may be combined with other eyelid procedures