Ptosis is a common eye condition, especially in older people, as age tends to weaken the delicate muscles around the eyes. Ptosis causes the upper eyelids to droop, eventually interfering with the line of sight. With time, patients have to raise their eyebrows or use their fingers to raise their eyelids to be able to see comfortably.


Ptosis causes a progressive difficulty in clearing the upper portion of the line of sight. This can cause inconvenience with daily activities, and tends to become worse towards the end of the day. Common activities such as reading in the evening can become difficult.


The most common cause of ptosis is an age-related weakening of the tendon of the muscle raising the upper eyelid. It can be exacerbated by mechanical causes such as contact lens wear and previous eye surgery.

The condition can also be caused by:

  • A weakness of the upper eyelid muscle from birth.
  • A weakness of the upper eyelid muscle due to another muscular or neurological cause.


In most cases, surgery to repair the damaged eyelid tendon is required. This operation is usually performed under local anaesthetic, and takes about 45 minutes per eyelid. The eyelids can be operated in succession or on the same day. The procedure involves the use of small dissolvable sutures (stitches) in the upper eyelid, and the incision is hidden in a natural fold of skin. This usually means that there is very little visible scar once the eyelid has recovered from surgery. It is also possible to perform ptosis surgery via the inside lining (conjunctiva) of the upper lid. This can be a convenient way to have surgery if upper lid skin does not need to be removed at the same time.

Your eye will usually be padded until the next morning and you will be given eye drops and ointment to take for 2 weeks following the operation.

In more complex cases, your Mr Ismail will discuss the surgery with you in more detail according to the cause of the problem.

Although ptosis surgery is very successful, a minority of operations can result in a small asymmetry between the two eyelids. If significant, subsequent minor adjustment is possible.

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