Why Blepharoplasty is Not the Answer to Ptosis

The eyes are more than the windows to the soul, they are a central feature of the human face. We look at a person’s eyes to observe sincerity, trustworthiness, enthusiasm, and so much more. The prevalence of eyelid rejuvenating procedures is evidence that most people are very aware of what their eyes say about them. Usually, blepharoplasty is sought when the upper or lower eyelids become heavy with sagging, loose skin, bulging fat pads and loss of the youthful eyelid appearance.

However, it is critical to recognize the presence of ptosis, in addition to the aging eyelid skin. Ptosis is the true descent of the upper eyelid, with loss of the normal eyelid contour and the eye appearing smaller. Most patients are aware of the droopy eyelid but see it primarily as the excess eyelid skin.

What Causes Ptosis

It is commonly assumed that the eyelids are a compilation of tissue and tiny blood vessels and nerves. The upper eyelids also have two muscles that enable the eyelids to rise: the levator muscle and the Muller’s muscle.  There are various reasons why ptosis develops. Most commonly, it is the result of the muscle stretching.  Other causes include congenital where the muscle does not develop normally from birth, trauma, or a neurological condition that weakens the muscle. Various surgical techniques exist to correct ptosis. The underlying cause and degree of eyelid droop determine which surgery is best for the individual patient.

Ptosis Repair vs. Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty is the surgical technique that removes excess skin from the upper (or lower) eyelids. It is performed to correct the sagging that results from the loss of collagen and elastin in the skin.

It is very important to recognize when ptosis is present. Failure to do so may result in an unsatisfactory result in a patient who undergoes only blepharoplasty but needed ptosis surgery, or both.  Often ptosis surgery is done together with blepharoplasty but this is determined based on each individual patient’s needs.

Case ID: 3112


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