What is ptosis?
Ptosis is a term used to describe the drooping of the upper eyelid, a condition that can affect one or both eyes. Ptosis can be mild when the eyelid is above the pupil, or can partially cover the pupil therefore blocking the upper part of the visual field. In severe cases the eyelid fully covers the pupil.
Why does it occur?
Ptosis that has been present from birth is called congenital ptosis. Ptosis can be congenital when the muscle lifting the eyelid up has not developed properly. In the older age ptosis the tendon of the elevator muscle of the eyelid dis-inserts from the site of its attachment to the eyelid, as a result the eyelid becomes droopy.
Surgical correction is required to repair the drooping upper lid. Surgeons who specialise in this type of corrective surgery perform this operation mostly under local anaesthetic, but general anaesthetic is sometimes used. This will involve re-attachment of the elevator muscle to its site of insertion. Congenital ptosis is repaired by shortening of the levator muscle. This is a meticulous operation that can take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour for each eye. There is a chance of over or under correction and need for fine adjustment in 10% of cases.
Two weeks before surgery patients should liase with their doctors to discontinue any medications that increase the chance of bleeding: such as Aspirin, Warfarin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents.

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