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Ptosis surgery (adult)

3-minute read

This page will give you information about ptosis surgery. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

You can also download and print a PDF version of this factsheet, with space for your own questions or notes.

What is ptosis surgery?

Ptosis surgery is an operation to tighten the muscle that lifts your upper eyelid.

Is ptosis surgery suitable for me?

As you get older, the levator muscle that lifts your upper eyelid stretches and weakens, causing your eyelid to sag.

If you have a sagging eyelid that is interfering with your vision, ptosis surgery can be an effective treatment.

Ptosis surgery can also be performed to make you look younger if one of your eyelids has begun to sag or there is a difference in the height of your eyelids.

Illustration showing a normal eyelid in comparison to one with ptosis.
aA normal eyelid
bPtosis

What are the benefits of surgery?

The position of your eyelid should improve and your face should look younger. If your eyelid is interfering with your vision, your vision should improve.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Ptosis surgery is the only effective way to tighten the levator muscle.

Ptosis props, fitted to glasses, can keep your eyelid lifted up, but ptosis props can be awkward to wear and do not treat the problem.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is usually performed under a local anaesthetic. The operation usually takes 45 to 90 minutes, depending on whether the operation involves both of your upper eyelids.

Your surgeon will usually make a cut on the natural skin crease of your eyelid. They will place stitches in the levator muscle to strengthen its attachment to your eyelid and to adjust the height of your eyelid.

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • pain
  • bleeding
  • infection of the surgical site (wound)

Specific complications

  • over-correction
  • under-correction
  • bleeding into your eye socket
  • cornea abrasion
  • cosmetic problems

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home after a few hours.

Do not get your eyelid wet, do any strenuous exercise or bend down until the stitches are removed.

Do not wear eye make-up or drink alcohol for a few weeks, and keep your face out of the sun.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

The results of ptosis surgery last for a long time. Your face will still continue to age but should always appear younger than if you had not had surgery.

Summary

Ptosis surgery involves lifting your eyelid to improve its position and improve your vision. You should consider the options carefully and have realistic expectations about the results.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The operation and treatment information on this page is published under license by Healthdirect Australia from EIDO Healthcare Australia and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

For more on how this information was prepared, click here.

Last reviewed: September 2018

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