Eyelid ptosis surgery is usually performed as a day case and will not require an overnight stay.
It is done under local anaesthetic, with or without sedation. This allows the oculoplastic surgeon to adjust the height of the eyelid whilst the patient is awake, optimising success. The operation takes up to one hour per eyelid. If there is both ptosis and excess upper eyelid skin, both ptosis surgery and a blepharoplasty will be done simultaneously.
Local anaesthetic will be injected into the eyelid, numbing it. This injection can sting slightly.
Patients may be given sedation before the injection to make them drowsy so they don’t feel the injection. Most patients claim to feel little or no pain during surgery. You will be aware of some sensations such as pressure, although these do not cause discomfort. After the operation, the eyelid may ache for a few days. Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen will settle this.
The eyelids are often bruised and this can take two to three weeks to clear. There may also be some residual mild swelling for up to six weeks.
It often takes several months for the lids to settle into their new position, and only then can the effectiveness of the surgery be assessed. The scars will fade gradually, but in any case are very small and tend to be hidden within the crease of the eyelid.
This depends on the nature of your work. There may be bruising and swelling after surgery and some discomfort.
Avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting and swimming for at least two weeks after surgery. You should not drive or operate machinery for 48 hours after a general anaesthetic and 24 hours after intravenous sedation.
Normally, you will be reviewed six to ten days after surgery and on one or two further occasions after that, up to three months after surgery.
As with all surgery, there is a small risk of complication. Serious complications such as infection, bleeding or loss of vision are extremely rare.
A temporary inability to fully close the eye is common during the first few days, especially if the eyelid ptosis is pronounced. Whilst good symmetry between the two eyelids is normally achievable, sometimes it is not possible. Occasionally, more than one operation is necessary to achieve the best result.