Ptosis is the drooping of the eyelid. While ptosis is usually the result of aging, some people develop ptosis after eye surgery or an injury, and some children are born with the condition.
Causes of Ptosis
Ptosis does not involve excess skin or tissue in the eyelid and can be caused by some of the following:
- Normal aging process
- Congenital condition
- Eye surgery
- Myasthenia gravis
Symptoms of Ptosis
Symptoms of ptosis may include:
- The drooping of one or both of the eyelids
- An increase in tearing of the eyes
- Difficulty closing the eye or blinking
- Reduced vision
Treatment of Ptosis
Patients may seek treatment for droopy eyelids for cosmetic and/or medical purposes. Severe drooping may obstruct vision as the eyelid gradually droops lower and lower, eventually covering the eye. If ptosis interferes with a patient's vision, a brief surgical procedure will be performed to eliminate the drooping. Other patients are simply bothered by the appearance of their eyelids. Patients who have excess skin around the eye may choose to undergo a blepharoplasty at the same time as the ptosis repair. Many young patients with mild to moderate ptosis do not need surgery early in life. Children with ptosis should be examined regularly to check for other vision problems including amblyopia, refractive errors and muscular diseases.
eyelid cancers and tumors
Skin Cancer Removal
Skin cancers often involve the eyelid, particularly the lower lid, as well as the eyelid margins, the corners of the eye, the skin around and beneath the eyebrows, and areas of the face near the eye. The most common eyelid cancer is basal cell carcinoma. Whether the skin cancer is slow- or fast-progressing, it needs to be removed as soon as possible to minimize the chance of spreading to other parts of the body (metastasizing) or of recurring in the future.
The two goals of eyelid skin cancer surgery are complete removal and reconstruction. First, the cancer is removed and the tissue is tested to ensure that the entire tumor has been excised. Next, the surgeon reconstructs the eyelid so that it both functions properly and looks normal. The reconstruction surgery is tailored to each patient based on the size and location of the defect. There are many advanced techniques for removing eyelid skin cancers as well as for reconstructing the lid so that it looks cosmetically appealing.
Eyelid Tumor Removal
Tumors are abnormal growths of tissue that can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Tumors on the eyelid or orbit (eye socket) should be evaluated and treated as soon as possible. Cancers require immediate medical attention. Even a benign tumor can cause pain or damage to the eye, such as blocking the tear ducts or preventing the eyelids from closing. A biopsy will usually determine whether the eyelid or orbital tumor is benign or malignant.
Most cancers of the eyelid (about 85-95%) are basal cell carcinomas that form on the inside of the inner eyelid. They are malignant but rarely spread to other parts of the body. Treatment is usually surgical removal.
If there is a defect after the tumor has been removed, the surgeon will reconstruct the eyelid or orbit so that it both functions properly and looks normal. Reconstruction is tailored to each patient based on the size and location of the defect. Oculoplastic surgeons are ideal for tumor removal and reconstruction, since they are trained in both ophthalmology and plastic surgery.