Drooping Eyelids (Ptosis)

ptosis surgery

Are you considering surgery for your drooping eyelids? Thousands of people around the world seek treatment for drooping eyelids, also known as ptosis, every year. As with any elective or medically necessary procedure, it’s always best to make an informed decision. For sufferers of Ptosis, or droopy eyelids, finding the right treatment can be revitalizing. At Vision Care Specialists, we use the most updated research and advanced technologies to help patients improve their line of vision. Ptosis can affect you at any age and not every case is the same. Is droopy eyelid surgery a must-do or are other solutions a possibility? Recognizing the symptoms can start you on a journey towards optimal eyesight.

Characterizing Symptoms of Ptosis

Ptosis, aka droopy eyelids, refers to an eyelid that is droopy and interfering with superior vision. The excess eyelid skin weighs down the eyelid causing hooding and cutting off peripheral vision. This can affect one or both eyes and can affect adults and children. It might be time for a visit with an eye care specialist if any of these symptoms have become the disturbing norm:

• Sight blurriness
• Tired facial features
• Aching centered around the brows
• One or both eyelids sagging
• Excessive lid drooping

The Causes of Droopy Eyelids

This medical condition usually results from gradual weakening of the eyelid muscle.  In children it can result from a congenital defect causing a weak eyelid muscle. Ptosis can also result from certain neurologic conditions and trauma. What factors lead to Ptosis? There are three main “whys” behind droopy eyelids:
• It begins at birth. Known as Congenital Ptosis, a child born with weak levator muscles cannot open their eyes fully. This can lead to lazy eyes in the future.
• It was an accident. Sometimes incurring eye injuries or debilitating diseases can break down the muscles that hold your lids open.
• Time. One of the more prevalent causes of droopy eyelids is aging. The muscles can slip back and not work effectively.

Common Questions

Are your eyelids affecting your vision? Is it merely a cosmetic concern? The severity of Ptosis determines if the procedure is considered medically necessary or cosmetic. So what will a skilled eye professional suggest? Below are treatment options that a vision care specialist may recommend:

For Adults with Ptosis:
• See an Oculoplastics specialist
• Discuss all options including non surgical and surgical
• Discuss general health symptoms that might be related
• Find the medical procedure that addresses your unique needs

Post procedure recovery time is usually 1-2 weeks of bruising and swelling. Many patients go back to deskwork about 5 days later, but avoid lifting or strenuous exercise for 2 weeks. Surgery can be performed in the office or at a day surgery center. No overnight stay is necessary.

Treatments & Recovery

During ptosis treatment, excess fat and other soft tissue is removed from the upper eyelid to eliminate the “droopy” look. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and recovery usually takes up to five days.

Is it the same thing as lazy eye?

In children, ptosis can be commonly considered to be a form of lazy eye and if the droop is low enough to cover the pupil and block vision, then amblyopia, a second form of lazy eye can occur. Surgical repair for a more open eye results in light reaching the retina and better vision.

Is correcting ptosis medically necessary or purely cosmetic?

Ptosis can be purely cosmetic. However, most patients find that by the time they seek treatment, the condition does have a noticeable effect on eyesight. In these cases, correction of the issue becomes medically necessary and may be covered by insurance.


Locals in the Denver area can schedule an appointment at any one of our convenient Vision Care Specialists locations. To set a date for a consultation or for more information, schedule an appointment with us and “see” what a qualified eye doctor in Colorado can mean to your life!