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Can you fix ptosis without surgery?

I had a young man come with his mother the other day, he was aged 15, and he wanted to know whether he had to have surgery to fix his congenital ptosis. 

He had already been to see other practitioners who had done some non-surgical treatment said to help to tighten and elevate the upper eyelids. Although it looked quite good for three or four weeks, his eyelid had again dropped, and it was looking sleepy still.


Are there non-surgical treatments for ptosis?

In my opinion, there are very few non-surgical treatments for upper eyelid ptosis

Probably the only real one would be where the eyebrows are quite heavy and pushing the eyelids down so I can do what is called an anti-wrinkle treatment (injectable) brow lift. That is a selective injection of what we usually regard as an anti-wrinkle treatment, but into the upper outer brow and various specific points on the forehead and glabella. This helps open up the eyelids and therefore takes the weight off the brows and sub-brow tissue of the upper eyelids and makes them look less ptotic. 

I am not convinced that the various treatments with radiofrequency are effective and cosmetically pleasing long-term:

  • Drops cannot fix ptosis. 
  • Creams cannot fix ptosis.


A tiny number of patients will get an improvement of their ptosis with a tiny injection as well as anti-wrinkle treatment into the eyelid near the lash line, but this is not a standard treatment. It has risks of actually doing the reverse effect which is to lower the eyelid if the dose is not tiny enough. It has been used in some circumstances as a temporary medical treatment to fix ptosis without surgery.

So, I think you are gathering that you cannot fix ptosis reliably without surgery. However, there is one place where you can. That is if you have a medical condition causing your ptosis, such as myasthenia gravis. Then you have a chemical problem with the motor endplates, and when we treat this, the ptosis will go away. Apart from reversible medical causes, where treating the systemic disease reverses the ptosis, there is no non-surgical treatment of ptosis.


What treatment should I get for ptosis?

This may sound very disappointing, but the surgical treatments of ptosis done by an oculoplastic surgeon specialising in eyelid surgery such as myself can be very successful and rewarding to the patient. If you want to find out more about surgery for ptosis, I will be glad to assess you and advise you at a specific Eyelid Consultation at Clinica London.


What is the next step?

Please book a consultation for a written quote with a full breakdown of treatment costs.

Read more about ptosis treatment.

Miss Jane Olver

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Oculoplastic (Eyelid) & Lacrimal Specialist
Medical Director

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