The eyes are a central facial feature. There is no way to hide them, nor their cosmetic imperfections. When the eyelids become droopy or heavy, many people seek rejuvenation via blepharoplasty. This common eyelid procedure can be performed for cosmetic or functional improvements. However, it isn’t the only eyelid surgery that addresses issues in the upper eye area. Patients seeking eyelid surgery benefit from a consultation and examination from an oculoplastic surgeon because this specialist evaluates the eyes for signs of ptosis, a structural condition that could be at the heart of a drooping eyelid.
What is Ptosis?
Ptosis can appear as excess or sagging eyelid skin. In reality, it is the descent of the upper eyelid due to dysfunction in the muscle located in this part of the eye. Most people don’t give much thought to their eyelids beyond what they see, and what they see is skin. There are also two muscles located in the upper eyelids, the Muller’s muscle and the levator muscle. These muscles are what raise and lower the eyelids. Ptosis occurs when the muscle stretches, which can occur with age. Ptosis may also be congenital or caused by trauma or a neurological condition that causes the muscle to grow weak.
Ptosis Repair vs. Blepharoplasty
The way that blepharoplasty works is that the surgeon removes excess skin through tiny, hidden incisions. This procedure corrects the sagging that occurs when the skin loses elastin and collagen. Ptosis surgery may be performed with blepharoplasty if necessary, or as a standalone procedure. This technique is tailored to the patient’s structural abnormality. For example, a weak levator muscle may be surgically tightened. The evaluation of the eyelids for ptosis is vital to an optimal eyelid surgery outcome. Tightening the eyelid skin only, when the muscle is lax or malpositioned, may result in an unsatisfactory appearance.
Heavy, drooping upper eyelids are not always what they seem. An oculoplastic surgeon has the extensive training to spot signs of ptosis and correct this condition. To learn more about the surgical techniques used to treat ptosis, contact our Amarillo office. We’re happy to schedule a consultation for you at (806) 351-1177.