Oculoplastic Service

Ptosis (Droopy Eyelid)

Improve upper eyelid symmetry


Rated 5/5

drooping eyelid or ptosis close up of woman's eye

Ptosis (droopy eyelid) surgery can improve the position of the upper eyelid.

A ptosis is a condition of the upper eyelid, where its border droops to a lower position than before. This can make the eye seem to appear smaller than it truly is. Often the appearance can be cosmetically unpleasant, but in more severe cases, the vision can be affected. This is due to the drooping eyelid obscuring the pupil and may result in neck ache as the patient attempts to lift their chin to overcome the visual defect. Some patients also report eye strain.

There are many causes of ptosis, ranging from aging (most commonly) to serious neurological disease. It is important to seek urgent medical advice if the eyelid drops suddenly, you develop double vision, severe headache or weakness of any other muscles.

It can affect one or both eyes at the same time. Most cases are due to age-related muscle weakness and can be managed with surgery. This surgery is only performed by oculoplastic surgeons who undergo extensive specific training.

The main reason to undergo this type of procedure would be to improve the height of the upper eyelid and achieve a more symmetrical facial appearance. It can be performed through the natural upper eyelid skin crease or inside of the eyelid (scarless posterior approach).

"Always a pleasant experience with Elizabeth. Results are amazing and she is very professional and polite."

How long does Ptosis surgery take?

Surgery is usually performed under local anaesthetic. The duration is approximately 30-45 minutes for one upper eyelid, or 90 minutes for both upper eyelids.

Small sutures are used during the repair. Serious complications from surgery are rare. All risks and benefits of surgery are discussed at a pre-operative appointment.


It is recommended to plan for 1-2 weeks off work after surgery. The first week is the most important for healing. During this time, it is essential to rest with your head elevated and use regular ice compressions. Sutures are typically removed at day 5-7. Most patients return to their normal lifestyle after 2 weeks, but this can vary on a case by case basis.


Surgery is very effective in improving the position and appearance of the upper eyelid. In severe cases, surgery can improve the field of vision.

Most patients are happy with their results, and the vast majority will not require a second operation.

Dr Hawkes' Results

Before & Afters

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British Oculoplastic Surgey SocietyESOPRSAmerican Academy of OphthalmologyImperial College LondonThe Royal College of OphthalmologistsIranian Medical SocietyAestheticsIndependent Doctors FederationCMAC Specialist Advisory BoardPembroke College Circle

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