Ptosis, or blepharoptosis, occurs when the upper eyelids droop over the eyes. The condition generally gives the face a tired or severe appearance. It can also result in both dry eyes and watery eyes. At its most severe, ptosis can obstruct vision, as the upper eyelid sags so much that it begins to cover the pupil. Many people with severe ptosis find themselves tilting their heads back to speak. Ptosis can cause tiredness and aching around the eyes because the eyebrows must be constantly lifted to see properly. Michael Neimkin, M.D., at the Ophthalmic Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Atlanta, GA, is a board-certified expert in treating patients with this condition. He will consider your ocular and medical history before making a recommendation for ptosis repair surgery.
The most common cause of ptosis is aging. As the muscles around the eyes weaken, the upper eyelids may begin to droop. Sometimes, a head injury, eye trauma or another condition or disease can cause ptosis. Occasionally, children can be born with ptosis.
Children born with ptosis have what is called congenital ptosis. This can be caused by problems with the levator muscle, the muscle that lifts the eyelid. In most cases, Dr. Neimkin recommends surgery to treat ptosis in children. The goal is to either tighten the levator muscle or attach the eyelid to other muscles that can help lift the eyelid. And to improve vision.
If severe enough and left untreated, the drooping eyelid can cause other conditions, such as amblyopia or astigmatism. Thus it is especially important to treat children at a young age before the condition can interfere with vision development. If the child also has amblyopia, that condition must be treated as well. Amblyopia may be treated by wearing an eye patch or special eyeglasses or using certain eye drops, to strengthen the weaker eye.
About Ptosis Repair Surgery
Ptosis repair surgery is done as an outpatient procedure. A local anesthesia is used to numb the eye and the area around it. The procedure takes about 45 minutes per eye. Sometimes, only a small adjustment to the lid’s lifting muscle is needed. For more severe ptosis, the levator muscle may need to be strengthened and reattached to the eyelid. Surgery elevates the droopy lid, delivers a symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing appearance, and corrects any vision interferences caused by the lid.
Aftercare and Recovery
After surgery, your eyelid will be swollen and vision will be blurry. Make sure to elevate your head and use cold compresses as much as possible to reduce the swelling. The eyelid will be stiffer than normal. When you go to sleep and your facial muscles relax, your eyelid will tend to open slightly. To prevent dryness use lubricating ointment and/or drops for a few weeks after surgery.
You might experience serious drying of the eye. Dr. Neimkin will discuss how to lubricate your eye properly. The final position of the eyelid depends on the healing of the tissue. In some cases, later adjustment is necessary to ensure the eyelid is at its’ optimum height.
You may resume wearing contact lenses when your eyelid is closing properly and your eye feels comfortable. Please note, some patients need to update their eyeglass prescription after surgery. Two months after surgery is the best time to schedule a new examination.
Dr. Neimkin will schedule a follow-up appointment for one week after ptosis repair surgery to ensure that your eye is adequately lubricated. Regular appointments are needed until you can close your eyelid well. Post-surgery care and follow-up will be discussed. You can always call our office during business hours with questions. Your well being is our priority.
Each patient is unique; therefore, results of treatment may vary.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms requiring ptosis repair don’t hesitate. Call us at (404) 946-8323 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Neimkin at the Ophthalmic Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Neimkin and his staff take pride in only offering patients the highest level of care in a family-like environment. Our office serves patients in the metro Atlanta, GA area including the surrounding communities of Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Roswell. We look forward to helping you soon!