Ptosis Surgery (Adult)

This page will provide you with information about ptosis surgery. For further details, you should speak to your consultant.

What is ptosis surgery?

As we grow older, the levator muscle in the upper eyelid stretches and as a result it can become weak and start to droop (see figure 1). Ptosis surgery aims to lift the muscle to improve its position and therefore improve your vision.

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What are the benefits to ptosis surgery?

With the upper eyelid lifted you should expect to have improved vision in that eye. What’s more, lifting the eyelid can also help you achieve a more youthful appearance by enhancing the harmony of your facial features.

Are there alternatives to surgery?

The eyelid can be raised through the use of ptosis props, which are fitted to your glasses. However, this only provides a short-term solution and many people find ptosis props uncomfortable. Ptosis surgery is the only effective method for permanently raising the eyelid.

What happens during the procedure?

The aim of the procedure is to strengthen the levator muscle’s attachment to the eyelid. This is achieved through your surgeon making a small incision along the natural crease of the eyelid and placing stitches in the muscle. In most cases, patients are given local anaesthetic for the procedure. The duration of your procedure will depend on whether you have both eyelids corrected, but most take between 45 and 90 minutes on average.

Risks and complications

Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.

How long will I take to recover?

Most patients are discharged within a few hours of the operation. Until the stitches are removed you should refrain from doing strenuous exercising or bending down, and you should try to keep the eyelid dry. Refrain from drinking alcohol and wearing eye make-up for several weeks after the procedure, and keep your face protected from sun exposure. Exercising regularly can help you return to your daily activities sooner, but you should seek advice from your consultant first.


Ptosis surgery is carried out improve the position and therefore aesthetics of the eyelid. The result is improved vision and a more youthful appearance. Make sure you consider all possible options carefully before making a decision. So long as you have realistic expectation about the effects of surgery you should be very happy with the results.


References: EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.