Ptosis Repair Surgery in Scottsdale
Also Serving Patients in Mesa, AZ
Drooping upper eyelids, caused by weakened eyelid muscles, not only give a person an aged, tired appearance, but also interfere with vision.
In eyelid ptosis, the upper eyelid margin (the edge of the eyelid) falls below its normal level and it blocks the field of vision. The eyelid may encroach or cover the pupil. Ptosis may affect just one eye or both eyes. Ptosis is different from the loose and redundant skin of the upper eyelids (dermatochalasis) or extra fold of skin caused by droopy eyebrows.
Patients with upper eyelid ptosis complain of having to raise their eyelids or eyebrows to see, turning their head to see, not getting enough light into their eyes, having difficulty to see from the corner of their eyes, eyestrain and fatigue towards the end of the day. Many patients have complains relating to cosmetic appearance of their eyes as one eye may look smaller, asymmetrical or droopy.
In cases of moderate to sever ptosis, when the patient is symptomatic as described above, a visual field test is performed to document the field of vision obstructed by the droopy eyelids. Depending on the results of the test many insurance carriers will cover the ptosis repair surgery.
There are many causes for ptosis including; congenital, age related, neurological, trauma, and myogenic, etc. It may also be related to long term contact lens wear or cataract surgery. The most common cause of the ptosis in the adults is related to aging changes resulting in stretching or weakening of the levator muscle. This is the main muscle responsible for opening of the eyes.
The ptosis repair procedure solves the problems associated with drooping lids by tightening or shortening the eyelid muscle so that it can once again raise the upper eyelids adequately. Depending on the cause of the nature of the ptosis, appropriate surgical approach is tailored on an individualized basis. The surgery may be combined with an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) to provide optimal aesthetic and functional results.
This procedure requires the surgeon to have a thorough understanding of both the eye muscles and their function, and the delicate aesthetics of working with the eye area to achieve a natural look. As an oculoplastic surgeon specializing in eyelid surgery, Dr. Ghafouri has the training and surgical experience of both an ophthalmologist and a cosmetic surgeon, and has the skillset needed to perform ptosis repair effectively. For more information on the ptosis repair procedure, contact Arizona Oculoplastic Specialists today.
Would You Benefit from Ptosis Repair?
You may benefit from the ptosis repair procedure if you experience one or more of the following:
- Impaired vision due to falling upper eyelids
- Having to tilt your head or keep your chin elevated to see through your lids
- Feeling a constant heaviness of your upper eyelids
- Fatigue and/or headache due to forehead and eyelid muscles straining to work
- Eyes appear droopy, sleepy or asymmetrical
Ptosis Repair Procedure Details
The ptosis repair procedure typically takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete, depending on the degree of ptosis and the surgical method used to correct it. Dr. Ghafouri will begin by making a small incision in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. From this point, he will expose the levator muscle and either trim it to shorten it (in cases where it is stretched out), or tighten it if it has weakened. If the patient has excessive loose upper eyelid skin , an eyelid lift or blepharoplasty may be performed at the time to achieve better cosmetic results. In mild cases of ptosis a different muscle ( Muller muscle ) is tightened through an internal eyelid incision. Dissolvable sutures are then used to close the incision.
Recovering from Surgery
It is normal to experience mild to moderate bruising and swelling of the eye area for the first few days after surgery.. Patients may also experience temporary vision problems, such as blurry vision, during this time. Dr. Ghafouri will provide post-operative instructions to follow, to ensure proper healing and a quick and comfortable recovery. Most patients can manage discomfort with over-the-counter medications, but Dr. Ghafouri can provide you with prescription pain medication if necessary. Eye drops and/or ointments may also be provided to keep the eyes lubricated and avoid dry eye. Patients should refrain from wearing contact lenses for at least two to three weeks after surgery. They can typically return to work after three to five days, though exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for 10 to 14 days after surgery.
Q: How long does the ptosis repair procedure take?
A: The procedure itself takes approximately 30-60 minutes, though you will need to arrive at the surgery center approximately one hour before surgery and will be discharged about 30-45 minutes after the surgery.
Q: Is the surgery painful?
A: The ptosis repair procedure involves minimal discomfort. Afterwards, most patients find that taking Tylenol and gently applying a clean, cold compress to the eyes provides all the relief they need. Dr. Ghafouri also provides post-operative instructions for each of his patients to follow in order to ensure a comfortable recovery.
Q: What type of anesthesia is used for ptosis repair?
A: The procedure is performed under local anesthesia with IV (intravenous) sedation administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. The IV sedation will put you in a twilight sleep while the local anesthesia numbs the eyelid skin.
Q: Will the surgery leave a noticeable scar?
A: Since the surgical incisions are small and strategically placed in the upper eyelid crease, scarring will be minimal and unnoticeable.
Q: How long will my results last?
A: The results of the ptosis repair procedure are permanent; however, if the eyelid muscle continues to weaken over time, a second surgery may be required to correct it.
Q: What are the possible risks and complications of the surgery?
A: As with any type of plastic surgery, general risks include infection, poor healing, scarring, and bleeding. The risks specifically associated with ptosis repair include dry eyes, photosensitivity (sensitivity to the sun), eye irritation and visual changes. Please read our informed consent form for a more detail discussion. In the hands of an experienced and specialized surgeon like Dr. Ghafouri, eyelid surgery is very safe, with minimal risk of complications.
Q: Is the ptosis repair procedure covered by medical insurance?
A: Medical insurance (like Medicare and private health insurances) usually pay for all or a portion of the ptosis repair procedure costs when it is considered medically necessary (as opposed to cosmetic).
Q: Why should I have Dr. Ghafouri perform ptosis repair?
A: Dr. Ghafouri has the combined training and experience of both an ophthalmologist and a cosmetic surgeon specializing in eyelid surgery, and has helped numerous patients gain clearer sight and relief from heavy, sagging eyelids through ptosis repair.