Ptosis is a condition in which the upper eyelid droops down over the eye, partially—or sometimes completely—blocking a full range of vision. This issue can affect one eyelid (unilateral ptosis) or both eyelids (bilateral ptosis), often to varying degrees at different times during the day.
Individuals with ptosis are frequently told they look tired or fatigued. In addition, many find that the position of the eyelid(s) impairs their ability to read, drive, and/or perform other basic tasks, potentially disrupting their daily life.
Ptosis will occasionally resolve naturally, but when this is not the case, surgery can often provide an effective solution. Dr. Michael Connor, our oculoplastic surgeon in Palm Beach Gardens, is highly skilled in treating ptosis of all severities and is able to customize the procedure to achieve optimal functional and aesthetic results.
To learn more about ptosis and Dr. Connor’s approach to droopy eyelid treatment, we encourage you to read the sections below and/or contact our practice today to schedule a consultation.
- Ptosis Causes
- Ptosis Repair Procedure
- Ptosis Surgery Recovery
- Ptosis Insurance Coverage
- Ptosis Surgery Cost
What Causes Droopy Eyelids?
Although its cause is often unclear, the most common reason for developing ptosis is improper functioning of the levator muscle—a major muscle responsible for elevating the upper lid. Some people are born with a droopy eyelid (congenital ptosis), but ptosis is more commonly a result of aging, trauma, or muscular or neurological disease. Occasionally, ptosis is a symptom of an underlying ocular condition and should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist.
How Is Ptosis Treated?
Ptosis can usually be addressed with a minor, outpatient surgical procedure. Depending on the patient’s unique needs and goals, Dr. Connor can treat ptosis by reattaching stretched muscles to their proper location, shortening the congenitally non-developed levator muscle, or utilizing a “sling” that enables the forehead to elevate the eyelid in cases where the levator muscle does not function due to neurologic or medical cause.
To correct a minor degree of eyelid drooping, the ptosis repair procedure can often be performed without making a skin incision. For moderate to significant amounts of ptosis, however, a small, hidden skin incision is made in the eyelid crease or on the backside of the eyelid—both of which typically leave no noticeable scarring.
Ptosis surgery generally takes about one hour to complete, though the exact length of time will depend on the complexity of the procedure. After treatment, patients are usually able to return home with the help of a friend or family member.
What Is Recovery Like After Ptosis Repair Surgery?
Following ptosis repair surgery, the majority of individuals are able to go back to work and resume non-strenuous daily routines within one week, with all restrictions typically being lifted after about four weeks. Some initial swelling and/or bruising in the upper eyelid region can be expected, but these symptoms should fade rather quickly. If needed, any discomfort experienced can be effectively controlled with medication.
Is Ptosis Repair Surgery Covered By Insurance?
Your insurance company may cover ptosis repair surgery if the ptosis significantly inhibits your ability to function. However, strict guidelines exist, and insurance companies will not pay for cosmetic eyelid surgery. In many cases, treatment is considered aesthetic, which is commonly referred to as upper blepharoplasty.
How Much Does Ptosis Surgery Cost?
The cost of ptosis repair is dependent upon the surgical technique employed, the overall complexity of the procedure, and how much—if any—of treatment is covered by insurance. Due to the high level of customization involved, Dr. Connor will need to perform an in-person assessment to provide an accurate quote for surgery. At this time, a member of our team can also help determine what specific guidelines must be met to qualify for insurance coverage based on your particular healthcare plan.
Contact Oculoplastic & Orbital Consultants
If you are affected by ptosis and are interested in treatment, please feel free to schedule a consultation with our physician to discuss surgical options.