Vision Scotland : Everything you need to know

Ptosis surgery

Eyelid ptosis affects the muscles in the eyelid that are designed to lift the upper eyelid. It causes drooping of the upper eyelid, but can be effectively treated with surgery.
Friendly optometrist talking to patient

What is Ptosis?

Ptosis occurs due to a dysfunction of the muscles or nerve supply that control the raising and lowering of the eyelid. It can affect one or both eyes. The drooping may be worse after being awake longer when the individual’s muscles are tired.

Why does Ptosis happen?

There are a number of causes of ptosis. Typically, it develops with ageing, but it is also possible to be born with the condition, to acquire it alongside neuromuscular disease, or for it to develop in contact lens wearers who are regularly touching the eyelid to insert and remove lenses.

There are also a few drugs that can trigger eyelid ptosis, as can eyelid trauma or eyelid lumps such as a large chalazion or tumour. If severe and left untreated, ptosis can cause other conditions such as amblyopia or astigmatism. In rare cases where children suffer from the condition, it is important that ptosis is treated to prevent onward development of vision.
Mr Sanjay Mantry, Consultant Ophthalmic surgeon in scrubs

Vision Scotland : Eye care specialists

Treating Ptosis


The only permanent way to treat eyelid ptosis is with surgery. Before any surgery is carried out, a full ophthalmic examination is performed to check visual function, eye movement, the eyelid condition, and the ocular surface. A full face examination is also performed, where special eyelid measurements are taken, combined with a phenylephrine test to assess the degree and type of ptosis. This helps decide the specific surgery that may be required

Ptosis surgery

Upper eyelid ptosis surgery is used to treat age-related drooping of the eyelids, contact lens-related drooping, or eyelids which have been droopy from early childhood. Occasionally, injection treatments or eye drops can be used to temporarily rectify minor upper eyelid ptosis, but this is not a long-term solution.

During surgery

The position of the eyelid is fine-tuned, which makes it important that it is carried out with local anaesthetic, and that you are awake throughout to cooperate with the surgeon’s instructions. You should expect the procedure to be slightly uncomfortable during the initial anaesthetic injections and also when the eyelid muscle is actually tightened. The site will be closed with either glue or stitches


You may have to return to vision Scotland for the removal of stitches 7-10 days after your procedure.

Make an appointment to discuss Ptosis surgery.