Ptosis is the medical term for a dropped eyelid. A patient who has ptosis is not able to fully open the eye, and the upper eyelid covers the pupil. In addition to causing an aesthetic problem, it can also cause functional vision problems, in children it can delay the development of vision and in adults ptosis can interfere everydays activities. When present at birth, it is called congenital and develops due to malformations in the development of the child while still in the womb. If a child is born with ptosis, the drooped lid will prevent normal vision development so congenital ptosis requires surgery as soon as possible to enable normal development of the child's eye. If the treatment is not performed in time the child will remain visually impaired for life.
Contrary to the congenital ptosis the so called acquired ptosis in adults occurs as a result of a injury or degenerative changes in the muscles and tendons of eyelids.. Ptosis can be treated surgically, there are a few types of surgery. The choice of procedure depends on the type and degree of ptosis. If a muscle that raises the eyelid (levator palpebrae) has preserved a part of its function, the operation is performed by the shortening of this muscle. In the case when muscle function is too week, it is necessary to perform a special procedure of suspending the eyelid to the frontal muscle which take over the function of the lid (brow suspension). The ptosis correction surgery is performed under local anesthesia and the patient goes home the same day and the recovery isfast. Although the process of this surgery in children is usually the same, the surgery has to be done under general anesthesia.