Some people suffer from ptosis, in which the eyelid droops noticeably in either one or both eyes. This can obstruct vision while also affecting the patient's appearance, which is why ptosis eyelid surgery is often desired. This procedure, which is also often called blepharoplasty, involves tightening the muscles responsible for lifting the eyelids. In some cases, the eyelid is attached directly under the eyebrow, allowing the forehead muscles to lift the lid. This is usually an outpatient procedure that requires the use of local anesthetic drops and dissolving sutures.
In most cases, ptosis eyelid surgery starts after the patient is given local anesthetic drops to numb the upper eyelid. The surgeon then typically makes an incision where the lid naturally creases so that he can access the levator muscle, which is in charge of raising the eyelid. This muscle is shortened, and then the incision is closed with dissolving sutures. In some serious cases, shortening the levator muscle is not helpful, requiring the eyelid to bypass the muscle and be attached directly under the eyebrow instead. This way, the forehead muscles raise the eyelids.
During the recovery process, patients are usually given an eye pad to wear over the affected area for the first two days. The doctor may also offer instructions for keeping the eye clean and dry while it heals so that it does not become infected. Additionally, antibiotic ointment and lubricating eye drops are often given, which the patient is usually instructed to use for one to three weeks after ptosis eyelid surgery. The eyelids may be swollen during this time, and until the inflammation dissipates, the results may not be apparent. In fact, the final results are often not evident until about three to six weeks after ptosis eyelid surgery.
One of the main risks of this procedure includes infection of the eyelid, which is a common risk of any type of surgery. In some cases, ptosis eyelid surgery may result in overcorrection, resulting in the muscle being too short, while others require another procedure due to the muscle not being cut enough. Additionally, some patients find themselves unable to close their eye completely, which may be either temporary or permanent. In fact, some patients may be unable to move the eyelid at all after surgery, though this complication is rare. Finally, correction of just one eyelid may make even slight droopiness of the other eyelid more apparent than before, sometimes requiring a slight alteration to that eyelid.