Ptosis is a condition in which the upper eyelid or eyelids droop. The eyelid may droop only slightly or it may droop enough to partially or completely cover the pupil, restricting or obscuring the field of vision. Ptosis should not be confused with extra skin, fat or muscle to the eyelid, which are typically addressed with blepharoplasty surgery. When ptosis can be shown to reduce vision (peripheral vision), its corrective procedure is covered by most insurance plans. If the degree of ptosis is not as severe (does not affect vision), it is considered an elective surgery and can be corrected as a cosmetic procedure.
The most common type of adult onset ptosis is due to a weakening of the attachment between the levator muscle (the muscle that raises the upper lid) and the eyelid. This may occur as a result of the aging process, after cataract surgery or contact lens wear, or from an injury.
Ptosis surgery is an outpatient procedure which involves tightening of the muscle that lifts the eyelid. The surgical approach taken depends on specific findings and testing performed during the preoperative evaluation. In many cases, the excess skin or fat may be removed by performing a blepharoplasty at the same time. Your Minnesota Eye Consultants oculoplastic surgeon will discuss your treatment options fully and will perform all the proper testing to determine whether or not your ptosis is deemed medically necessary. To see more before and after photos, please visit our Before & After Gallery.