Will eye surgery such as LASIK or Cataract Surgery cause ptosis?

Doctor's Answers (3)

Dr Terence Goh

"Plastic Surgeon at AZATACA Plastic Surgery"

It is an uncommon occurrence for patients to have ptosis after LASIK or Cataract Surgery although it can still happen. There are several possibilities.

The first is the eyedrops that are used during the surgery, but that should be short-lived and you should not have any long term sequelae.

The second is swelling from inflammation or infection after the surgery. This too should resolve with time.

Finally, devices used to open up the eyelid can cause injury to an already weakened levator mechanism (the mechanism that opens up the upper eyelid) and that can create or worsen a pre-existing ptosis. 

You may notice a higher eyelid crease, not present before the surgery and drooping of the eyelid. This is caused by the loosening of the muscle that elevates the upper eyelid (levator). This is a common age-related occurrence (senile ptosis) but can also be caused by trauma or surgery.  Do check in with your surgeon to ascertain the cause.  

Whilst cataract and myopia can affect your vision, ptosis (droopy eyelids) is an under-diagnosed reason causing patients to have obstructed vision. Having corrected your vision, you may also then start to notice the pre-existing ptosis.

Prolonged contact lens wear can also lead to weakening of the levator mechanism and a ptotic eyelid. As you can see there are numerous reasons that can cause the ptosis. Nonetheless, the solution is still the same and ptosis repair can be done to reattach the levator to the tarsus restoring the eyelid opening mechanism.

Hope this helps and All the best on your journey!

That’s a good question because a lot of my patients they will have either LASIK or Cataracts done or lens implant around the time of surgery, it does not affect, but the problem really is when they do eye surgery whether its LASIK or cataracts, they need to put a surgical retractor to open the eyeball big for them to do the surgery right, this retraction will worsen any ptosis you have or it may loosen any repair,

So I would tell them if they have ptosis repair done, for the first one month, you can't go for LASIK, because you run the risk of having the retractor loosen up the repair, but after that it is ok. Your own tissue has reached a state where it is strong enough, conversely, I have patients who ask me “What if I have Lasik, cataracts or lens surgery done, when can I come and get ptosis surgery?'' I would say that depends on the ophthalmologist, whoever has done your Lasik and he determines your vision is quite stable and you feel fine and you do not have too much eye dryness or anything and your vision is stable, then yes you can come anytime.

The closest I have done was for this lady who has had lens implantation done 3 days before she came for eyelid procedure but that is not recommended, I prefer we work with the eye surgeons who have done your procedures and get some clearance to make sure they are ok.

This is possible, but unlikely.

More common causes include:

  • age
  • previous injury or infection
  • previous upper eyelid surgery (with excessively high creases, excessive fat removal or muscle injury)
  • botox injections inadvertently into the levator muscle,
  • neurological disorders and diseases that cause generalised muscle weakness (e.g. myasthenia gravis).

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