Melomed Articles


18 July 2019 - Dr. Michael  Djan

Droopy Eyes


The latin proverb Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi translated - The eyes are the window to the soul, is about 2000 years old. These precious organs are how we render the world around us, but almost as important, is how they render our self-worth and aesthetic value. They confer so many emotions - joy, surprise, sadness, embarrassment, confusion and disdain. Cosmetic eye plastic surgery is a great way of restoring an eye (shape, form) to a state of normal (or as close as possible to it).  There is, however, a stigma associated with cosmetic procedures, a notion mostly propelled by reality TV shows depicting wealthy society's disturbing obsession to stay youthful.  And despite how entertaining that may be, this is a far cry from the true origins of the science. Enter a paradigm shift from the Beverly-hills tainted idea of cosmetic plastic surgery to the saner realm where cosmetic eye procedures are used to repair droopy eyelids (Ptosis/lazy eye), squint eyes Baggy eyelids, Eyelid cancers and blisters or unsightly wrinkles. We will focus on 1 of these areas for the sake of brevity.

What is a Ptosis?
Ptosis is the medical term for droopy eyelids or a lazy eye. In this condition one or both upper eyelids sags and covers part of the pupil. Depending on how severe it is, it may also interfere with vision on the affected side prompting people to lift their forehead or tilt their head backwards in an effort to see past the low hanging eyelid.

What causes droopy eyelids?
There are various causes of droopy eyelids. Some children are born with it, while adults develop ptosis as a result of aging, having had a stroke, previous surgery or eye injury, long-term contact lens use, allergic eye conditions or other eye-neurological conditions (e.g. Myasthenia gravis).  It is particularly important to correct this affliction in children because the droopy eyelid derails proper development of the vision centre in the brain (Amblyopia).

How is Ptosis diagnosed?
Although most droopy eyes are fairly simple to spot, there are various other characteristics of this condition that require precise assessment by an eye specialist (Ophthalmologist). These pertain to measuring and grading the severity of the ptosis, establishing whether it is a stable droop or a fluctuating one, identifying other associated conditions, eliciting the actual cause of the ptosis and planning a detailed management strategy to address it. Most of the assessment is performed during a comprehensive office consultation.

Can a ptosis be fixed?
Most ptosis can indeed be repaired. There are various methods of correcting ptosis depending on the type, cause, degree and severity of ptosis. Mild ptosis caused by allergic conditions and contact lenses can be corrected without surgery by eliminating the inciting agents. While most ptosis will require some form of surgery to correct it, there are some rare instances where medication can be given to reverse the ptosis (Myasthenia gravis).

How long does it take to recover from surgery?
Recovery from ptosis surgery is usually quite rapid, and patients find themselves returning back to work within 2 to 3 days.

Are there any scars from surgery?
The surgery scar' is well hidden in the natural skin fold of the eye and is not at all visible.
If you have any further queries or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the writer. Kind Regards Sachin Nathoo Group IT Manager Melomed Head Office Tel: +27 21 699 0950 // Fax: +27 86 505 3072 // Website: www.melomed.co.za Unit 6 & 8 Melomed Office Park, Punters Way, Kenilworth, 7708 Email: sachin.nathoo@melomed.co.za Melomed24 Ambulance Services: 0800 786 000 Disclaimer: The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer.

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