The common misconception for droopy eyelids is that it only occurs as a sign of aging. While this is true, droopy eyelids can be an effect of a number of other different causes which has nothing to do with age at all.
Ptosis, or more commonly know as falling or drooping eyelid, is a condition where the upper eyelids’ muscles called levator muscles weakens, leading to a drooping skin that covers the upper part of the eyes. This condition can mostly be seen in ageing men and women, but it can also appear to a baby as young as a newborn.
There are two major types of ptosis. Congenital ptosis is a condition that appears when there is a maldevelopment in the upper eyelids of a fetus. The result is droopy eyelids condition for a newborn baby.
Another type is the acquired ptosis. This type of droopy eyelids condition can be caused by a number of factors, among them are ageing, over-stretching of the levator muscles, prolonged use of contact lenses or an after-effect of any form of eye surgery.
Ptosis can become very uncomfortable and can limit an individual’s eyesight. The level of discomfort may vary per individual and depending on the severity of the ptosis. As such, the level of ptosis can be measured in 3 ways: (1) mild ptosis with 2mm eyelid drop, (2) moderate ptosis with 3mm eyelid drop, and (3) severe ptosis with 4mm drop or more.
The good news for those who have ptosis is that it can be corrected and restored back to its former appearance and function. Doctors recommend upper eyelid surgery for ptosis correction. As of now, there are no supporting information on non-invasive treatments for ptosis correction. So if you are planning to have your drooping eyelids corrected, surgery is your best option.
What to Expect on Your Ptosis Correction Journey
Like any kind of cosmetic surgery, ptosis correction begins with the first consultation and the doctor’s identification of the severity of ptosis. It is highly recommended to go to trusted clinics that have a long record of successful ptosis correction cases, to ensure that you get quality services and a successful ptosis surgery.
Ptosis surgery administers local anesthesia. Your doctor may require some clearances prior to surgery especially if you have preexisting medical conditions such as hypertension, heart conditions or diabetes. However, these are not hard requirements and as long as there is no other form of discomfort felt in the eye area, anyone can undergo ptosis correction surgery.
There are 3 surgical techniques done for ptosis correction:
(1) Frontalis Suspension. This technique is done by anchoring the eyelid tissues to the muscles that are located above the eyebrow. The anchor acts like a suspension cable from above to keep the eyelids from drooping. This technique is recommended for severe ptosis cases.
2) Incisional Ptosis Correction. The eyelid muscle that causes the dropping is accessed by making a small incision on the eyelid. The extra fat or tissue is removed to bring the eyelid higher.
(3) Suture Ptosis Correction. This technique is done by stitching the eyelid tissue to move higher and avoid the obstructed eyesight.
During the surgery, an incision will be made on the eyelid to either stitch or remove the extra fat, depending on the ptosis correction technique that will be done. After the surgery, the doctor will ask you to assess the result and if the eyelid opening is improved and better. This is also to ensure that both the right and left eyelids are symmetrical.
What are the risk factors?
Undergoing any form of surgery will always have risk factors. In the case of ptosis correction, since this is a minor surgery involving aesthetic correction, the risk factors included also revolve around the possible result of the correction.
In Singapore, there are reported cases of poor surgical technique which led to uneven eyelids. Unsurprisingly, these complaints rooted from clinics that are not one of the trusted clinics, and performed by doctors that are not yet certified to perform these procedures.
Other possible risk factors include scarring of the eyelids and possible bleeding or infection. It is important to discuss and report after effects to your doctor right away, should you feel anything unnecessary.
How about downtime?
Doctors recommend to take at least 7 days off work to make way for the downtime post surgery. This will allow your body and face to fully recuperate. During downtime, your may experience bruising and tolerable pain around the eye area.
Patients are strongly advised to avoid applying any creams or eye make up during downtime. Use the antibiotic ointments or eye drops that the doctor gave you to ensure fast healing and recovery.
The overall costs of ptosis correction may vary with every clinic, doctor and the type of surgery recommended for the patient. In Singapore, patients are advised to prepare around $2500 to $4500 per eye for the surgery. Costing will be determined once you have had your consultation with a doctor.