Patients consider ptosis surgery when their upper eyelids are drooping, causing impaired vision due to the covering of the pupil. Additionally, droopy eyelids may not be aesthetically pleasing, and so patients may consider ptosis repair for cosmetic reasons.
Droopy eyelids occur when there is a gradual stretching of the tissue that supports the lid caused by aging, long-term contact wear, or injury. Children may also experience droopy eyelids (congenital ptosis) due to hereditary factors or developmental issues in the levator muscle; their surgeries can be performed between the ages of 3-5 to promote proper visual development.
After a thorough examination, your ophthalmologist will gauge whether ptosis surgery (droopy eyelid repair) is appropriate based on the patient’s ocular and medical history. Some patients require the levator muscle (eyelid muscle) be tightened, while others with weak levator muscles may need frontalis (muscle below the eyebrow) suspension.
When undergoing ptosis repair, patients are intravenously sedated while receiving local anesthesia and numbing eye drops to maintain optimum comfort levels. It is important for patients to have their eyes relaxed and closed for proper measurements. A small incision is made in the crease of the eyelid to maintain a natural appearance and hide any resultant scarring.
These procedures elevate the droopy lid, giving a symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing appearance while correcting for any vision interferences caused by the lid. The procedure takes about 45 minutes per eye.
Ptosis surgery is an outpatient procedure, but a friend or caregiver will need to drive the patient home afterward. Patients should not drive or partake in strenuous activity for the first couple of days. Eye drops and a lubricant will be given to keep the eyes from becoming dry or sore.
Minimal bruising, swelling, and discomfort are normal for the first week, and residual bruising may last up to three weeks. Most patients feel they can return to normal activity levels after the first few days. A follow-up appointment is necessary 6-10 days after the procedure to confirm the eyelid is healing properly. Results are best after the eyelid has had time to settle—up to several months after the procedure—and scars should be unnoticeable in the crease of the eye.
Eyelid ptosis is covered by insurance if it is considered medically necessary. If your insurance company denies the procedure as a medical necessity, there are cosmetic options available as well. In order to determine if you qualify for the surgery, we will need to submit the clinical and photos to your insurance company and allow 3-4 weeks for the preauthorization process.
To make quality care accessible to everyone, Milan Eye Center offers zero-down financing options with approved credit through Wells Fargo, CareCredit, and Alphaeon. We also accept all FSA/HSA plans.