Our oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Amy Kulak specializes in ptosis repair as one of her most common surgical procedures. This droopy eyelid treatment is often combined with the removal of saggy upper eyelid skin (known as upper eyelid blepharoplasty) to give the eyes a more awake and rejuvenated appearance. Dr. Kulak is highly regarded in her field and has helped countless patients regain confidence with a more youthful eyelid appearance. If you’re ready to rejuvenate your appearance, contact our Jacksonville Beach office for a ptosis repair consultation!
Ptosis is the involuntary drooping of the upper eyelid. Ptosis can often give your eyes a sleepy or tired appearance and can affect how you feel and how you see yourself. Your eyelids may droop just a little or so much so that it covers the entire pupil interfering with vision.
Ptosis is a relatively common problem that can impact anyone, but most commonly adults, due to stretching of the muscle that lifts the upper eyelid known as the levator muscle. This condition is known as involutional or acquired ptosis and most often occurs due to aging but is also caused by other conditions such as trauma, previous surgery, and some medical conditions.
Children born with ptosis have a condition known as congenital ptosis. For this type of ptosis, the issue is with how the muscle was formed, and more typically affects one side only, although rare cases can affect both sides. Congenital ptosis can also become more apparent in adulthood when the muscle stretches with aging.
Ptosis repair describes the various surgical techniques that correct droopy upper eyelids to restore appearance, eyelid function, and a full field of vision. Ptosis repair involves either tightening or shortening the eyelid muscle or tendon so your upper eyelid can open once again.
External Ptosis Repair
External ptosis repair, or levator advancement, is the most commonly performed ptosis repair. The procedure involves producing an incision in the eyelid crease. Then, the levator muscle is advanced and tightened to the upper connective tissue in the eyelid. The result is an elevated eyelid that allows you to see better and have a more cosmetically appealing eyelid.
External ptosis repair is performed under sedation to help you relax, although you will still be present to respond to your surgeon. The patient is sometimes asked to open their eyes and perform certain eye movements during the procedure. This is to create the best possible symmetry and contour between both eyelids.
Internal Ptosis Repair
Internal ptosis repair involves Dr. Kulak turning the eyelid inside out, then shortening the eyelid muscles from inside the eyelid. The muscles involved include either the levator muscle or the Mueller’s muscle, both of which play a role in lifting the eyelid. The procedure is performed either under general anesthesia or sedation.
Frontalis Sling Fixation
Frontalis sling fixation is reserved for those with severe ptosis and poor levator muscle function. In this procedure, Dr. Kulak will attach the upper eyelid to the frontalis muscle (the muscle above the eyebrow) with a small silicone rod positioned underneath the skin. This arrangement allows the forehead muscle to lift the eyelid.
Frontalis sling fixation is usually performed using general anesthesia. One common side effect is the inability to close the eyelid after the surgery. Dr. Kulak will provide you with eye drops and ointment to keep the eye properly lubricated.
It is rare to perform frontalis sling fixation for ptosis repair. The procedure is reserved for those with poor muscle function often caused by congenital ptosis, neurogenic ptosis, or myogenic ptosis.
Ptosis repair begins with speaking to an expert in the field. Dr. Kulak is a board-certified and highly-trained oculofacial surgeon. She’s an ophthalmologist with extensive training in eye surgery and ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery. She is well-versed in the intricacies of eyelid anatomy and is qualified to make the right decisions to help you achieve the best possible outcome. She will examine your eye for complications and make your eye health a top priority. It’s these unique qualifications of ophthalmology that separate her from regular plastic surgeons.
Dr. Kulak will determine which surgical technique is best for you and discuss your surgical plan in detail. The procedure is performed as an outpatient surgical procedure taking typically less than an hour for both upper eyelids. You should inform Dr. Kulak if you are allergic to any medicines, disinfectants, or plasters. You will also need to stop taking blood thinners with permission from your general practitioner 10 days before the operation.
During the day of the operation, you will not need to refrain from eating. You should take all your medications as usual unless specified by Dr. Kulak. You shouldn’t wear make-up, contact lenses, or jewelry. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing on the day of your procedure, including sunglasses or a protective hat for after the surgery.
Ptosis surgery is an outpatient procedure that allows patients to return home shortly after the procedure to recover in the comforts of their own homes. You can expect minor swelling and bruises after the procedure for approximately 1-2 weeks.
During the first 2-3 days after surgery, you will be given instructions to apply cool compresses or ice to the upper eyelids to reduce the swelling. It’s important to avoid heavy lifting, bending, or strenuous activity after surgery until your first post-operative appointment with Dr. Kulak. You will be given lubricating ointment and drops to use after surgery to prevent your eyes from feeling dry.
Although everyone heals differently most people only have mild discomfort after surgery. You will be seen 5-7 days after surgery for the removal of your sutures and your first post-operative appointment. Many patients return to normal activity and work 7-10 days after surgery. Results can be seen once the swelling subsides but can take up to several months to see the final results.
Are you ready to correct your tired or droopy eyelids? Please call us today to schedule an appointment with our oculofacial plastic surgeon. Dr. Amy Kulak specializes in ptosis repair and has performed thousands of ptosis repair surgeries as well as many other eyelid surgeries. Contact us today at 904-775-5275 or email@example.com to schedule an appointment for a ptosis consultation!