In our upper eyelids, there are three muscles.
When these muscles are too weak, they slip or lose nerve stimulation and are unable to function properly. The margin of the upper eyelid (where the lashes come out of the lid) can droop to the level of the pupil. This is called ptosis.
As you can imagine, because of this droop, ptosis can interfere with vision. It can also give the appearance of exhaustion and fatigue. Most often, ptosis develops as we age when gravity and the loss of elasticity causes our upper eyelid tissues to sag. Ptosis may also worsen as the day progresses and muscles become tired.
Children can be born with ptosis as well. When ptosis occurs unrelated to the natural aging process, it is usually associated with muscular and nerve conditions. Ptosis cases that are mild or moderate may not require surgery early in life but examinations by an ophthalmologist for amblyopia, refractive disorders and associated conditions should be conducted routinely. If ptosis develops quickly over a period of days or weeks a thorough neurologic and physical exam is needed to evaluate for serious medical problems.
Ptosis repair surgery involves tightening one of the two muscles responsible for raising the eyelid. Most of the time, this can be done on the back side of the upper lid (the side facing the eyeball) so that there is no visible scar. Other times, an incision is made in the lid crease of the upper eyelid in order to locate and tighten one of the muscles.
Ptosis repair surgery involves tightening one of the two muscles responsible for opening the eyelid. Most of the time, this can be done on the back side of the upper lid (the side facing the eyeball) so that there is no scar. Other times, an incision is made in the lid crease of the upper eyelid in order to locate and tighten one of the muscles. Surgery to correct ptosis generally involves tightening one or both muscles responsible for raising the eyelid.
Recovery from ptosis surgery varies among patients depending on multiple factors including age, health, genetics and previous surgery. After most eyelid surgeries, heavy physical activity and sports are not recommended for the first week after surgery, however, normal activity (walking, shopping) is permitted. There are usually no bandages and showering is permitted the day after surgery.
It is common for patients to develop bruising and swelling. Most of the swelling goes away in two to three weeks. Some swelling can last for a longer period of time as every patient heals at different rates, depending on age and skin type. Dr. Marshak will personally see you frequently in the post-operative period to monitor your healing and ensure you are on course.
If a sagging upper eyelid is interfering with your vision and life, contact Dr. Marshak in Palm Desert, California today for a consultation to discuss your individual needs and desired outcomes. Together we can find the right solution for you.