Droopy Upper Eyelids (Ptosis Repair)

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Causes of Drooping Eyelids

Drooping eyelids, or ptosis, may be congenital, the result of an injury or acquired over time as muscles thin and stretch through the normal aging process. This drooping occurs when the muscles that lift the eyelid are not strong enough to do so properly and may require surgical repair. Individuals who suffer from ptosis commonly complain that they always look “tired” and because of the constant effort to raise the eyelids, may experience fatigue and tension headaches.

Vision Improvement from Ptosis Repair

In some cases, surgical repair of the tendon that holds the eyelid up in a normal anatomic position increases the field of vision by removing obstruction caused by the drooping lid. Patients notice improvement in their ability to see peripherally, feel less fatigue and appear more alert.

Post-Surgical Scarring

Eyelid tissue tends to heal very well with little scarring. Since the incision is made in the crease of the eyelid, any residual scar is naturally hidden.

Insurance Coverage

Ptosis can be mild to severe, and not all cases are covered by insurance. It becomes medically necessary to perform a ptosis repair when the droopy lids obstruct the patient’s ability to see peripherally. Often, patients are not aware of the obstruction or how to gauge the severity, so it is best to have a consultation with a physician to make this determination.


Ptosis repair is normally performed on an outpatient basis under a local anesthesia with sedation. This type of anesthesia is also known as Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) and is performed by an anesthesiologist. Benefits of a MAC include: greater comfort, fast recovery, much lower risk of nausea after surgery and does not require intubation.


This surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, so you will go home the same day. There is minimal pain after the procedure, although some discomfort is normal. Temporary blurred vision is normal and should subside within the first 24 hours. Ice packs are recommended for the first two days while bending and heavy lifting should be minimized. Swelling and bruising around to eyes lasts for seven to ten days. Most patients can return to work after one week. Your physician will also provide detailed post surgical instructions.

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