Cosmetic, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery/Ptosis

Ptosis surgery improves both vision and appearance

Ptosis is a condition which describes a drooping upper eyelid. The drooping of an upper eyelid can affect vision by reducing your visual field, particularly the top part of the superior visual field. It may also induce strain on the eyes and on the forehead and brow muscles which are trying to open the eyes. Additionally, ptosis can cause cosmetic concerns for many people, which can consequently impact on mental well-being.

Ptosis most commonly develops as one gets older but may also occur in young people and may be present from birth or in childhood. Ptosis can occur in either one eye or both eyes. Ptosis may develop after prolonged contact lens use, following eye surgery or laser, or after trauma. This is known as acquired ptosis. More rarely it can develop due to serious neurological causes, which require further investigation.

During your initial consultation, one of our expert ophthalmologists will evaluate your individual condition and advise you on the best options for you personally. For many people, surgery is necessary to reverse the issues associated with ptosis however there are occasionally some other options for those with ptosis.

Ptosis surgery may be performed for a number of reasons, including reduced vision, difficulty keeping the eyes open, a tired look, facial asymmetry, eye strain or headaches from continually using the eyebrows and forehead in order to raise the eyelids.

Ptosis surgery involves advancing and reattaching the main muscle that lifts the eyelid. It is usually performed by making an incision through the natural skin crease on the eyelid (anterior approach); the scar is hidden in the eyelid crease so is not visible. The surgery can also be performed from the underside of the eyelid, so the scar is on the inside (posterior approach). Ptosis surgery is performed in an operating theatre under local anaesthetic. It may be performed either with or without sedation. If you opt for ‘twilight’ sedation, then you will feel very sleepy and will not be aware of what is going on for the anaesthetic injection and first part of the surgery. However, the anaesthetist will wake you up fully for the eyelid height adjustment part of the surgery so that the height of the eyelid can be assessed as accurately as possible and matched to the other side. The surgeon may sit you up during the surgery to assess the eyelid height and symmetry.

During ptosis surgery you will be given local anaesthetic and therefore no pain or discomfort should be felt. Most patients are pain free after the surgery and do not require any pain killers after the operation.

Procedure Overview

  • Functional procedure to improve the drooping of the upper eyelid
  • Usually occurs in older people but not uncommon in young people and may be present from birth
  • During surgery the muscle is reattached to the rigid tarsal plate in the eyelid, resulting in lifting of the eyelid
  • The majority of the healing of the eyelid occurs within 1-3 weeks
  • Each eyelid takes around 45 minutes to complete
  • You will have an initial consultation with an expert specialist in this area
Lady getting the eye checked by a doctor

The majority of the healing occurs within the first 2-3 weeks and most patients will only have a small amount of residual swelling after the first 1-2 weeks. The complete healing process takes many months (up to 2 years). Factors such as older age, smoking, blood thinning medication and other medical conditions such as diabetes can affect wound healing and slow down the speed of recovery.

Ptosis surgery takes approximately 45 minutes per eyelid.

The cost of ptosis surgery starts from £2240. The price will vary according to whether it is one side or both sides, whether you have local anaesthetic alone or local anaesthetic with sedation. It will also depend on whether you decide to have other surgery at the same time, such as blepharoplasty, to remove excess skin on the eyelids. This is often performed at the same time and may enhance the cosmetic benefit of the surgery.

"I had what's known a ptosis in both eyes, when I was a teenager I got it fixed at the NHS however was never happy with the result. Process was really smooth, I had a meeting with Tessa to go over what she recommend a month later I was in for surgery. Not going to lie, my eyelids were sore however that's normal with this surgery. After about 2-3 weeks I had my stitches out, I'm now a couple months after surgery. What a difference! Tessa has done an amazing job and my confidence in my appearance has increased. Also a huge shout out to Jo, who was the nurse that dealt with removing the stitches and giving advise to me via WhatsApp."


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