Treatment: Ptosis surgery2018-12-14T16:05:08+00:00

Ptosis surgery for drooping eyelids

  • Conditions Treated

    Upper eyelid ptosis

  • Treatable Areas

    Upper eyelid

  • Practitioner


  • Downtime

    The recovery time is about 4 weeks. We advise you to take 3-5 days off work.

  • Your Specialist

Jane Olver

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Eyelid & Lacrimal Specialist

More about specialist

Ptosis surgery

The Problem

Eyelid ptosis in adults is usually a result of ageing changes that affect the muscles that are designed to lift the upper eyelid. Eyelid ptosis can also occur in younger adult patients, especially those who wear contact lenses, due to a continuous micro trauma from insertion and removal of the lenses.

In rare cases, eyelid ptosis can be related to a neuromuscular disease. Eyelid ptosis can also occur with the use of some drugs, following eyelid trauma or with the extra weight of an eyelid lump such as a large chalazion or tumour.

The Treatment

We perform a full ophthalmic examination to check visual function, eye movement, the eyelids and the ocular surface. Then we perform a full face examination. It is common for us to also take photographs.

We assess the surface of the eye and the lids using a slit lamp. We may use drops to dilate the pupil, whilst the surface of the eye is checked for signs of dry eye. Occasionally, we may find it necessary to order a visual field test to check if the vision is impaired.

The only permanent way to treat eyelid ptosis is with surgery. There are several possible surgical techniques.




Skin Incision

Usually eyelid ptosis is treated with a single incision, hidden within the skin creases of the upper eyelid. When the incision is made, we can also remove excess amounts of drooping skin, should this be necessary. This surgery is called a blepharoplasty.

Posterior Eyelid Incision

In some cases, we can achieve the same outcome with a conjunctival incision on the reverse surface of the eyelid. The conjunctiva is the inner layer of the eyelid. If the eyelid ptosis is corrected via an incision in the conjunctiva, we can simultaneously excise any excess skin folds with a blepharoplasty.

Other treatments

Occasionally, we will use eye drops to help rectify upper eyelid ptosis. However, these will only last for a few hours. You must not use drops without first having an examination by your Ophthalmologist.

The Results

We can lift the upper lid so vision is no longer impaired. The eyes and eyelids look younger, with tighter and softer skin, are more open, with better eyelash position, fewer wrinkles and fewer visual problems.

Product Range

Our product range includes:

  • Blepharoplasty

Talk to us about your options on 020 7935 7990

The best way to figure out whether this is something for you is to give us a call. We can answer any questions you have and help you clarify which treatment options are best for you.

Book a consultation

Eyelid ptosis in children

The cause of congenital ptosis in children is different to adults. In adult ptosis the levator muscle thins at eyelid level (levator aponeurosis) whereas in children, the actual levator muscle is replaced by fatty tissue and is short and ineffective. We therefore use different operations for children in which a strip of the fatty levator muscle is removed and the remaining muscle reattached to the tarsal plate. In some children, a brow suspension using a thread of suspension material between the eyelid and the forehead is used. This joins the weak eyelid to the frontalis muscle in the forehead, so that when the brow is raised, the eyelid is as well (know as a frontalis suspension). This can be done with tissue from the child’s leg (fascia) or a synthetic suture.

Video: Ptosis explained

“Dr. Jane Olver was fantastic! She was so caring and sweet and it was clear that she knew what she was doing – very professional! I am absolutely over the moon with my results now!”

Toni C.

“Jane Olver is your woman – I wish I had found her at the start. I will be forever grateful for her care and expertise.”

Nancy W.

“Just wanted to thank you for your exceptional assistance with my eye condition. I was so worried but you really helped me feel at ease.”

David T.

“I felt much better after speaking to you and being reassured. I am much calmer and actually got some sleep last night.”

Catherine M.
“I was deeply impressed by the politeness and empathy shown to me. I found the surgery very peaceful and beautifully decorated and I hope to see Jane again soon.”
Jeffrey W.
“I highly recommend Jane Olver. The whole experience was calm and highly professional.”
Lorraine M.
“I am writing to you to say thank you to you, Cloe and Jane for taking care of me this week. You were all really lovely and professional and I am very grateful. Big cheer for The Clinica London Team.”
Rick A.
“Many thanks for taking care of my ptosis surgery today. I am now back home and resting but wanted to send a quick note to thank you for taking such good care of me.”

“The treatment was a great success; within 24 hours of starting the treatment the pain and swelling subsided and as a result, I was able to enjoy a great holiday in Argentina.”
“Thank you, my eye is recovering brilliantly (you almost can’t see I had it). Jane was amazing, please pass on a huge thank you.”


Recognised and trusted as a premium eye care and skin care specialist

We are accredited with the major private health and professional speciality bodies who have bestowed upon us the qualifications to carry out aesthetic and medical treatments at the highest levels of quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

We will inject local anaesthetic into the eyelid, numbing it. This injection can sting slightly. We may give patients 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.

30 to 40 minutes
It can take up to 6 months until you can see the final results. Although swelling will be gone by 4-6 weeks after surgery.