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Ptosis surgery

Private surgery to remove excess skin on your eyelids, improving your vision and appearance

Ophthalmologist examining a patient's drooping eyelid ahead of ptosis surgery
Ptosis is the medical term for a drooping upper eyelid, which can happen on one or both eyes. It often happens due to the muscles around your eyes stretching and weakening over time as you age.

Although some people with ptosis find they don't need treatment, others find that their droopy eyelid or eyelids can affect their vision or become uncomfortable. Other people with ptosis seek treatment because they are unhappy with how their eyes look, which is particularly common when ptosis affects just one eye, causing a lack of symmetry in the face.

If you have droopy eyelids or excess skin on your upper eyelids, it is possible you may have ptosis. Speak to an ophthalmologist or other eye specialist for a diagnosis.

Ptosis surgery, also known as blepharoptosis surgery, can correct the condition by lifting the eyelids. This surgery may be necessary for cosmetic reasons, medical reasons or both, depending on the severity of the ptosis. At Circle Health Group, we have a network of surgeons experienced in performing private ptosis surgery, including consultant plastic surgeons and consultant oculoplastic surgeons.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make incisions along your eyelid creases and remove any excess skin or muscle in order to lift the eyelids. The surgery usually takes about an hour, and local anaesthetic will be used to numb the area. You will be able to go home on the same day, and most people return to normal activities within a week.

If you are experiencing any discomfort or vision problems due to droopy eyelids, book today for a consultation with one of our specialists. They can help you decide whether ptosis surgery is the right choice for you. Call or book online and you can usually find an appointment time within 48 hours.

Common symptoms that can lead to ptosis surgery

The main reasons people have ptosis surgery are:

  • Drooping eyelids that interfere with your vision
  • Difficulty opening your eyes fully
  • Tired or fatigued eyes
  • Uneven or asymmetrical appearance of your eyelids

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to consult with a qualified specialist who can help determine if ptosis surgery is right for you.

When you come to Circle Health Group for your initial consultation for ptosis surgery, we will begin by asking you about your medical history and examining your eyes to make a diagnosis. Depending on your individual case, we may recommend further tests or scans to get a better understanding of your condition.

Your first consultation is very important because it allows us to understand your specific needs and how ptosis surgery can benefit you. During this appointment, we will discuss the potential risks and benefits of the surgery, as well as answer any questions you may have.

After evaluating your condition, our consultant will work with you to decide the best course of treatment for your individual needs. At Circle Health Group, we are committed to providing personalised care and ensuring that you are fully informed and comfortable with your treatment plan.

If you have any questions or concerns about your consultation, our team is here to help. Don't hesitate to contact us to learn more about how we can help you with ptosis surgery.

The aim of ptosis surgery is to lift your eyelid or eyelids to a higher position so that they no longer obstruct your vision, and in some cases to correct the look and symmetry of your eyelids.

The surgery usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the severity of the ptosis and the technique used.

You will usually be given a local anaesthetic for ptosis surgery. This means you will be awake during the procedure, but your eye area will be numbed to prevent any pain or discomfort.

During your operation, your surgeon will make a small incision in the eyelid crease or underneath the eyelid, depending on the type of ptosis and the technique used. They will then tighten or reattach the levator muscle, which is the muscle responsible for lifting the eyelid. This will lift the eyelid to a higher position, allowing for improved vision.

Recovering from ptosis surgery

After the procedure, your eye area will be swollen and bruised for a few days. You will need to keep your head elevated and avoid any strenuous activities for at least a week. Your surgeon will provide you with specific aftercare instructions and schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress.

In general, recovery from ptosis surgery can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months, depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery.

Like any surgery, there are risks associated with ptosis surgery. These can include bleeding, infection, scarring, and an adverse reaction to anaesthesia. Additionally, in some cases, patients may not achieve the desired cosmetic outcome.

Some risks associated specifically with ptosis surgery include dry eye, difficulty closing the eye, and double vision. However, it's important to note that many of these risks are rare and can be minimised through the careful selection of a qualified and experienced surgeon.

Your consultant will discuss the risks and potential complications of ptosis surgery with you during your initial consultation. They will also assess your individual circumstances and help you determine whether ptosis surgery is the best option for you. By making an informed decision, you can feel confident in your choice to pursue this treatment.

We answer some of your most commonly asked questions about ptosis surgery.

Are you awake during ptosis surgery?

Ptosis surgery is typically performed under local anaesthesia, meaning you will be awake during the procedure. The area around the eyes will be numbed, so you should not feel any pain or discomfort. However, if you feel anxious or uncomfortable during the procedure, you can discuss with your surgeon to see if additional sedation is possible.

Can ptosis be corrected without surgery?

Ptosis can sometimes be corrected without surgery, depending on the cause and severity of the condition. In some cases, non-surgical treatments such as eye drops or eyeglasses can help improve the appearance and function of the affected eye. However, if ptosis is caused by a muscle or tendon problem, surgery is often the best option to achieve a long-lasting correction.

Can you close your eyes after ptosis surgery?

It is common to experience some temporary difficulty closing your eyes after ptosis surgery, as the eyelid muscles may be swollen or weak. However, this is usually a temporary side effect of the surgery, and the ability to close your eyes should gradually improve over time as you heal. In rare cases, additional treatment may be necessary to correct any lingering eyelid drooping or difficulty closing the eyes.

Does ptosis surgery hurt?

During ptosis surgery, you will be given local anaesthesia to numb the area around your eyes, so you should not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. After the surgery, you may experience some mild discomfort, swelling, or bruising around the eyes. However, these side effects are usually temporary and can be managed with pain medication, ice packs, and rest.

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations to fit your routine
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant suit your needs
  • Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Private ensuite rooms as standard and delicious healthy meals
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care

If you would like to learn more about ptosis surgery, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in May 2023. Next review due May 2026.

  1. Ptosis, NHS Moorfield Eye Hospital
  2. What Is Ptosis?, American Academy of Ophthalmology
  3. Ptosis Correction (Adults), NHS Cambridge University Hospitals
  4. Ptosis (Droopy eyelids), Moorfield Private Eye Hospital
  5. Blepharoplasty Ptosis Surgery, NIH

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