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What is Ptosis? Droopy Eyelid Causes, Correction, Treatment, Surgery & Everything to Know
ptosis droopy eyelid causes treatment surgery

What is Ptosis? Droopy Eyelid Causes, Correction, Treatment, Surgery & Everything to Know

Ptosis, also called drooping eyelids or blepharoptosis, is when the upper eyelid’s border falls to a lower position than normal. This condition can sometimes interfere with vision when the droopy eyelid covers all or part of the pupil.

The condition affects one or both eyes, may be present at birth or develop over a few years, and may change a person’s appearance without affecting health or vision. In some cases, it can be a warning sign for a serious underlying condition affecting the nerves, muscles, eye socket, or brain.

This article will discuss ptosis in detail – what it is, the causes, treatment, correction, surgery, and the recovery time for droopy eyelid treatment.

Everything you need to know about the condition and its treatment.

Who Does Ptosis Affect?

The condition can affect anyone. Though it is mostly seen in older individuals, the condition can also be spotted in people of all ages. There is no significant evidence attributing it to a particular gender or race.

ptosis in children

Congenital Ptosis; Ptosis in Children

Drooping eyelids can occur at birth, and this is called congenital ptosis. This is usually caused by the muscle that lifts the eyelids. The journal, Ophthalmology, points out that congenital ptosis occurs in one out of every 842 births. This shows an occurrence level in children higher than what we think.

Sometimes, children born with ptosis have other eye-related problems, including eye movement issues, tumours, and eye muscle diseases.

ptosis in adults

Ptosis in Adults

Ptosis occurs in adults when the levator muscle of the eye stretches away from their eyelids. This is usually caused by an eye injury or aging and can also occur as a side effect of certain eye surgeries. In rare instances, diseases or tumours can affect the eye muscle, leading to sagging eyelids.

If you want to undergo ptosis surgery in Singapore, the ptosis surgeon or ophthalmologist will determine your condition’s cause in a move to deliver suitable treatment.

What Causes Ptosis?

Ptosis causes are different in children and adults. Causes of congenital ptosis are mostly genetic factors because the condition is present from birth.

In adults, there are several causes of ptosis. A common cause is an accidental tearing or stretching of the levator muscle, which allows the eyelid to move.

The damage to this muscle may occur from a variety of things including;

  • Eye surgery
  • Use of rigid contact lenses and
  • Excessive eye rubbing

Because the eyelids are delicate, there may be many other potential ptosis causes ranging from muscular problems, neurological conditions, eye trauma, botox injections (often by inexperienced injectors), eyelid tumours and cysts, Horner’s syndrome, drowsiness, and trauma.

What are Ptosis Treatments?

The droopy eyelid treatment, often called ptosis correction, depends on the precise cause and the severity of the drooping eyelid.

Your doctor may explain that you do not need to do anything if it is congenital ptosis or age-related drooping eyelids. This is because the condition is not usually harmful to your health.

However, you may seek ptosis correction from a board-certified plastic surgeon in Singapore if you want to reduce the drooping.

This is often suitable for people that wish to correct the condition to enhance their facial appearance.

If your ophthalmologist discovers that an underlying condition causes your condition, the underlying condition will be treated. That usually stops the eyelid sagging.

On the other hand, if your ptosis eyelid blocks your vision or is not caused by an underlying condition, your doctor may recommend a ptosis correction surgery in Singapore.

Drooping Eyelids Correction Techniques and the Scarless Suture Method

The essence of ptosis correction surgery is to tighten the levator muscle. When this is done, the eyelids are lifted into the desired position. A scarless suture technique is often used in the correction of mild upper eyelid ptosis.

Besides adults, doctors sometimes recommend ptosis surgery for children with the condition. This is often done to prevent the onset of a lazy eye (amblyopia).

Candidates who are not suitable for surgery or have temporary ptosis are often given a prescription of glasses that hold the eyelids up.

These are called ptosis crutches and are attached to the frame of eyeglasses.

Moderate to severe droopy eyes require surgery. The procedure typically involves an incisional cut done on the eyelid crease under local anaesthesia. This is then followed with the stimulation of the levator muscle that lifts the upper eyelid.

incisional ptosis correction surgery

How the ptosis surgery will be depends on how the ptosis has been graded, the plastic surgeon, the technique used, and other factors.

Dr. Vincent Yeow performs ptosis surgery using a modified ‘under through’ levator application technique and has been getting successful results for years.

Ptosis Surgery Price in Singapore

Ptosis surgery cost in Singapore ranges between $5,000 and $12,000 and is typically dependent on how complex your case is and the type of procedure used. Some other factors that affect drooping eyelid surgery’s price include medication, procedure, anaesthetists, and operating facility’s fees, consumables, and the need for stitch removal.

If you are concerned about the cost of ptosis surgery in Singapore, it is worthy to note that the procedure has been classified as a medical condition by the Ministry of Health. Thus, it is Medisave and insurance claimable.

However, you may need to undergo tests to determine if your case’s severity meets the benchmark.

Am I a Candidate for Ptosis Correction?

Ptosis correction will be recommended for you if your droopy eyelid partially or entirely blocks your vision in the affected eyes.

We always recommend consulting with us before surgery.

Our surgeon, Dr. Vincent Yeow, will measure the distance from your pupil’s centre to the upper eyelid. This is called the marginal reflex distance.

ptosis mrd diagram

When the distance is below a certain level, ptosis correction is required.

What is the Recovery Time for Ptosis Surgery? When the distance is below a certain level, ptosis correction is required.

Ptosis surgery is a common surgical procedure and is done on an outpatient basis. You will be given anaesthesia and made comfortable during the procedure.

After the surgery, you may experience minor swelling and bruises around the eyes. Not to worry, they will subside in a few days.

The good news is that usually, there are no visible scars resulting from eyelid surgery.

Who Performs Drooping Eyelid Surgery?

Dr. Vincent Yeow, an experienced plastic surgeon of more than 20 years in Singapore, performs the droopy eyelid surgery in our clinic. He has extensive experience in performing intricate and delicate procedures like ptosis correction.

How does he work?

For starters, the ptosis plastic surgeon will conduct a detailed consultation to evaluate your eyes, facial anatomy and discuss the changes you desire. He will also discuss with you any concerns you may have during the consultation before finalizing on a personalized treatment plan.

Can Droopy Eyelids be Prevented?

The most common cause of droopy eyelids is the natural aging process which is an inevitable phenomenon. Other etiological factors include trauma, surgery, and muscle or nerve injury that are also challenging to avoid.

Besides, a research study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal in 2015 has found no association between droopy eyelids and lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, sleep, work stress, or obesity. So, it is difficult to prevent the development of droopy eyelids.

However, there are a few things we can do in this regard. For instance, a 2016 study, published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, claimed that the incidence of ptosis was high among those patients who had undergone Botox treatment done by an inexperienced doctor. Hence, one way to prevent droopy eyelids is to always choose an experienced doctor for the eye procedures.

Other tips for preventing ptosis include;

  • Avoid using contact lenses as much as possible.
  • Avoid excessive rubbing of the eyes.
  • If it is felt that the eyelids have started becoming droopy, seek medical assistance to prevent it from worsening.

Can I Fix Ptosis Naturally Without Surgery?

Some people are deterred from getting surgical treatments for droopy eyelids due to fear of pain and getting under the knife. So, is there any remedy to fix ptosis naturally?

Certain facial exercises can help improve the degree of droopy eyelids. Although, no research study has been conducted so far to check the effectiveness of any such exercises in this regard, however, researchers believe that using any muscle more often allows it to overcome its weakness and recover its strength and functioning to a significant extent.

As ptosis eyelid condition is fundamentally due to muscle laxity, the only definitive treatment of ptosis is surgery.

What Should I Take Note Of Before A Droopy Eyelid Surgery

Here are some prerequisites you should take care of before getting a ptosis surgery;

Before the day of surgery

  • Avoid any medications that thin blood or potentiate the bleeding tendency of a person, e.g. aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, other NSAIDs, etc, for at least 2 weeks before the surgery.
  • Avoid vitamin E, herbal, and fish oil supplements for 2 weeks.
  • Refrain from smoking as it may interfere with the healing process.
  • Steer clear of alcohol consumption for 2 weeks – etc

On the day of surgery

  • Do not drink or eat anything from midnight till the time of surgery.
  • Do not apply makeup, lotion, or any other facial cosmetic product.
  • Don’t wear contact lenses.
  • Arrange someone to take you home from the hospital or facilitation center as it is not recommended to drive after getting ptosis surgery for at least 24 hours – etc

Important Details to go through with your Droopy Eyelid Plastic Surgeon during your consultation.

Our surgeon Dr. Vincent Yeow will help you get the details you need to help you get ready and prepared for the procedure in our clinic.

Some of the essential details he will discuss with you during consultation include;

Before and After Pictures of Ptosis Surgery

Viewing this will help you know what is obtainable and give you a better picture of the procedure’s final result.

The Procedure’s Detailed Pathway

Every ptosis surgeon in Singapore has a different approach to Ptosis Surgery. Our surgeon discusses his approach’s benefits and gives you the information you wish to know about the procedure and how it works.

A Breakdown of the Ptosis Surgery Cost

Ptosis surgery cost is usually high. Thus, it is usual to find out the breakdown of the surgery fee to help you understand what is involved in the price you are to pay. This will help you make your budget right.

The Pre and Post-Surgery Care

Taking care of the eye before and after the surgery is crucial towards the success of the procedure; it’s as important as the surgery itself. It’s essential to know the best ways to take care of your eyes before and after the surgery to ensure you get optimal results.

Patients in our clinic are welcome and encouraged to address any of their concerns or questions so that they can make a confident decision about undergoing ptosis surgery in our Singapore clinic.

Ptosis is a medical condition and can be treated

Even though droopy eyelids are usually harmless and require no cause for alarm, certain instances need you to take action.

If you notice a droopy eye that is accompanied by stroke symptoms like blurred vision, facial, arms, and legs muscle weakness, several headaches, and/or trouble sleeping, you may have to consult your doctor.

If you experience a droopy eyelid that appears suddenly or develops rapidly over a short period, you may also have to consult your doctor.

Furthermore, if you experience eye redness and/or pain, along with a fever and difficulty moving the eye, we recommend you see a doctor.

Parents should also observe their baby’s eyes for signs of ptosis. When noticed, it’s crucial to see an eye doctor.

In all situations, with proper consultation, an eye care professional or plastic surgeon can discuss treatment options and establish whether ptosis surgery is right for you.

About Dream Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery

Bespoke surgical for cosmetic or medical reasons is what Dream covers to bring out the beauty in every individual. Going beyond the aesthetics and working on physical anomalies are what we value the most in leading our patients to cherish self-improvement and confident lifestyles.

Derived from Associate Professor Vincent Yeow’s long-standing experience performing plastic surgery in Singapore, our treatment plans deliver physical remodelling in our patients’ favour. One of the notable remodellings is droopy eyelid correction. The ptosis surgery used for treatment eventually fixes drooping eyelids, improves vision and enhances appearance.

Most importantly, as a trustworthy plastic surgery and aesthetic clinic, we treasure positive and natural outcomes for each individual. We will ensure to deliver the beauty refinement of your dream without compromising your safety and privacy.


  1. Satariano N, Brown MS, Zwiebel S, Guyuron B. Environmental factors that contribute to upper eyelid ptosis: a study of identical twins. Aesthetic surgery journal. 2015 Mar 1;35(3):235-41.
  2. King M. Management of ptosis. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. 2016 Dec;9(12):E1.