Ptosis is a medical term meaning “droopy”. 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 looks smaller or they look tired.
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 goal of the surgery is to restore normal height of the eyelid by repositioning the levator muscle to its normal anatomical position. 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.