What You Need to Know About Droopy Eyelid Surgery

What You Need to Know About Droopy Eyelid Surgery


Do you find yourself constantly lifting your eyelids or frequently tilting your head back to see more clearly? You may be experiencing ptosis, a condition characterised by the sinking of one or both upper eyelids.

Ptosis occurs when the muscles that lift your eyelid (levator muscles) are weakened or stretched, causing the lower mobile eyelid to droop below its normal position. This can change your resting expression and, in severe cases, can obstruct your visual field, especially in the upper periphery.

If you are looking for a way to address these functional or cosmetic effects, you may benefit from droopy eyelid surgery, or ptosis correction. Ptosis correction is a functional surgery aimed at improving eyelid mechanics and visual field, with the added benefit of changing your eye-area aesthetics.

What Causes Droopy Eyelids?

Ptosis can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, and the underlying causes can vary. Understanding the different types of ptosis and their origins can help you and your surgeon determine whether droopy eyelid surgery might be beneficial for you. 

Congenital Ptosis

Congenital ptosis is present from birth and occurs when the levator muscle fails to develop properly. This can cause one or both eyelids to droop, often asymmetrically. Congenital ptosis can run in families, suggesting there may be a genetic component for some people. It may be accompanied by heavy, redundant eyelid skin.

Age-Related Ptosis 

The levator muscles and surrounding tissues can stretch and weaken with age, leading to a gradual drooping of the eyelids. This natural process is the most common type of ptosis in adults. It often occurs in conjunction with other signs of ageing, such as excess eyelid skin or brow descent, which can contribute to a hooded eye appearance.

In addition to these two categories, ptosis can also be classified as:

  • Neurogenic — occurs when the nerves that control the levator muscles are damaged or impaired
  • Myogenic — results from primary weakness or dysfunction of the levator muscles themselves
  • Mechanical — occurs when an external force or mass, such as a tumour, physically weighs down the eyelid
  • Traumatic — caused by any kind of direct or indirect injury to the eyelid that compromises the levator muscle

In cases of age-related or congenital ptosis, surgery is the primary solution. However, in cases of neurogenic or myogenic ptosis, treating the underlying medical condition may be necessary before considering surgical intervention.

When Should I Consider Droopy Eyelid Surgery?

Droopy eyelid surgery can offer significant benefits for the right patient. But how do you know if this procedure is right for you? These are some key indications that you may be a candidate:

  • Your droopy eyelids are reducing your field of vision, making activities like reading, using a computer or driving more challenging and possibly even dangerous
  • You are constantly lifting your eyelids or tilting your head back to see more clearly or alleviate the feeling of pressure on your eyes
  • Your eyelids sit at different heights, giving your eyes an asymmetrical appearance
  • You wish to change the appearance of your eyelids and your resting facial expression
  • Nonsurgical treatments are unable to give you the degree or duration of correction you desire

Many people have more than one condition at the same time. For example, it’s common to have some excess eyelid skin that could be targeted with a blepharoplasty as well as levator muscle weakening that could be addressed with ptosis surgery. Skin removal and ptosis reconstruction can be combined if required.

What Is the Droopy Eyelid Surgery Process?


The decision to undergo droopy eyelid surgery should be made in consultation with a qualified specialist plastic surgeon. During your consultation, your surgeon will evaluate the severity of your ptosis and its underlying cause to determine whether ptosis correction is a suitable course of action for you.


Droopy eyelid surgery is typically performed under local anaesthesia with oral or intravenous sedation. This means that you will be awake but relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure, with the surgical area numbed for pain control. In some cases, such as with more extensive procedures or patient preference, general anaesthesia may be used.


The specific surgical technique used for your ptosis correction will depend on the cause and severity of your ptosis, as well as your individual anatomy and goals. The most common techniques include Müller's muscle-conjunctival resection (MMCR), levator advancement and frontalis suspension.


Expect some swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area. These side effects typically subside in one to two weeks, at which point you can return to work and other daily activities. You will receive detailed postoperative instructions, including how to care for your incisions, manage discomfort and protect your eyes during the healing process.


Realistic expectations are important for any surgery. While ptosis correction can significantly improve the position and function of your eyelids, it may take several weeks to months for your final results to be apparent. Minor asymmetry or residual ptosis may persist, and additional procedures may be necessary to fine-tune your results.

How Is Ptosis Correction Different From Other Eyelid Surgeries?

Our surgeons perform several different types of eyelid surgery. Although they have some similarities in terms of procedure steps and recovery times, they address different concerns and have distinct goals.

Ptosis Correction vs. Blepharoplasty 

Standard blepharoplasty, also known as an eyelid lift, is a cosmetic procedure that focuses on removing excess skin and fat from the upper and/or lower eyelids. The goal of blepharoplasty is to address age-related changes such as eyelid hooding and puffy under-eye bags.

In contrast, ptosis correction is a functional surgery that targets the weakened levator muscles responsible for lifting the eyelid. The appearance of the eyelids will change as a result of the surgery, however, its primary goal is to restore eyelid function and visual field.

Ptosis Correction vs. Asian Eyelid Surgery 

Double eyelid surgery, also known as Asian blepharoplasty, is a specialised cosmetic procedure designed to create an upper eyelid crease in individuals of Asian descent who naturally lack this crease. 

Double eyelid surgery may create the illusion of a more open eye; however, it does not specifically address ptosis or levator muscle weakness. In fact, performing double eyelid surgery on a patient with untreated ptosis can lead to disappointing results.

Meet With a Specialist Plastic Surgeon to Discuss Your Droopy Eyelid Surgery

One of the most critical decisions you'll make is selecting the surgeon to perform your procedure. The outcome and safety of your ptosis correction depend largely on your surgeon's expertise, experience and understanding of your unique needs. While all specialist plastic surgeons have training in eyelid surgery, not all have experience with ptosis correction specifically or the anatomical and cultural considerations that are relevant for Asian patients.

Our soft tissue-focused surgeon, Dr Ellis Choy, meets both of these requirements. Request a consultation at Asian Plastic Surgery today to meet with Dr Choy and discuss your eyelid surgery options. You can reach us by phone on 02 8962 9388 or through our contact form.

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