Many people believe that the drooping of your upper eyelid is a cosmetic issue. However, according to Dr Por, this is indeed a real medical condition.
The medical term for droopy upper eyelids is “ptosis of the upper eyelids”. Ptosis means “drooping”.
Dr Por Yong Chen is an experienced plastic surgeon who takes a holistic approach to patient care. He wrote an article on Ptosis to raise awareness on this condition. He wants to help you understand what causes ptosis, and your treatment options (cost included) in Singapore.
Here are the most important things you should know.
Drooping eyelids can happen to anyone
Ptosis can affect people of any age. It can be seen in people from various age groups and can range in severity. While it's more common in older age groups, it can occasionally occur in children. They are usually born with it.
This condition is caused directly by an eyelid muscle
The cause of the condition is directly related to the eyelid muscle (also known as the levator muscle). This muscle functions like a rubber band that can stretch and relax to control the opening and closing of your eyelids.
However, over time, this eyelid muscle can weaken and lose its 'elasticity'.
There are 5 main causes of weakened eyelid muscles
- Aponeurotic – When the muscle is detached due to ageing, excessive rubbing or pulling of the eyelids.
- Mechanical – When the eyelids are weighed down by excessive skin, fat or presence of a tumour on the upper eyelid which contributes to the appearance of a droopy eyelid
- Traumatic – When the eyelid muscle is weakened due to past accidents or injury to the upper eyelid.
- Neurogenic – When the nerves to the muscle are not functioning normally
- Myogenic – When the muscle is not functioning normally
3 common causes of Ptosis in Singapore
From his experience with patients, Dr Por has found three common causes in Singapore: ageing, excessive eye rubbing, and pulling of the eyelids.
Did your parents ever tell you to stop rubbing your eyes so much? Well, looks like they were right!
Children born with Ptosis might require surgical correction
If a child is born with Ptosis, he or she will require surgical correction at a young age in order to avoid any long-term complications.
Ptosis surgery in Singapore ranges from $5,000 to $12,000
These estimates don't include the anaesthetist and operating facility charges. Costs vary greatly depending on factors like the surgical technique used and the complexity of the case.
Less complex cases can cost slightly less, between $5,000 - $9,000. Other factors for pricing include; procedure fee, anaesthetist's fee, operating facilities and medication.
Functional improvements after Ptosis surgery
Ptosis surgery can help to:
- Reduce vision obstruction
- Eliminate the need to raise eyebrows or tilt the head back to see
- Eliminate headaches related to excessive use of forehead muscles
Aesthetic improvements after Ptosis surgery
Of course (as can be found with plastic surgery), some people undergo surgery for more aesthetic reasons, including:
- To look more awake and "well-rested"
- To have larger-looking eyes
- To alter the definition of the eyelid crease, which can be created or redefined in the same procedure
There are 3 main Ptosis surgical techniques in Singapore
1.Suture Ptosis Eyelid Correction - which involves stitching the eyelid tissue as high as required for unobstructed vision (Dr Por recommends this for mild Ptosis)
2. Incisional Ptosis Eyelid Correction - where an incision is made along the double eyelid crease and unnecessary fat and tissue are removed.
3. Frontalis Suspension Technique - when an eyelid muscle is too weak. This involves sutures which act like suspension cables to anchor eyelid tissue to the muscles above the brow.
Ouch, Ptosis surgery sounds quite gory, right?
Don't worry, the surgery is done under local anaesthesia. The only pain you'll really be feeling is before the operation when you're getting the injection.
During and after the surgical process, more local anaesthetics are given to prevent you from experiencing pain so chill out!
The results after a ptosis surgery is more or less permanent
A small group of patients that undergo surgery may require revision in the future but rejoice, for the most part, your drooping eyelid worries are over!
If your eyelid remains symmetrical 1 to 2 months after surgery, the correction is likely to be permanent.
However, Dr Por stated that doctors usually look at a revision rate of about 10%, meaning that about 10% of patients may need a repeat surgery if the eyelid droops again.
"Will I look like I got punched after surgery?"
Scars are usually hidden along the patient's existing upper eyelid crease so they’ll appear as a natural double eyelid crease.
You’re not likely to be shunned by society for looking abnormal because of this.
Speak up if you're unsatisfied about the results
In the early stages of recovery, uneven swelling on both sides of the eyelid might cause the crease to look slightly asymmetrical so, it's best to reassess the eyelid after the swelling has completely subsided (which would take around 1 month).
If you aren't satisfied even after that, you can consult your doctor about adjusting the height, asymmetry or excess skin of the eyelid. Further surgery might be required if the imperfections are extensive.
Good news, drooping eyelids can be treated!
Whether or not your reasons are purely aesthetic or instead functional in nature, make sure you consult your doctor if there are any issues that you would like to clarify before you commit to surgery.
This article is medically reviewed and based on an original article written by Dr Por Yong Chen. Click here to read the original article.
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