Ptosis Singapore – Is Surgery Needed?
A droopy eyelid is medically known as Ptosis. When an individual has a droopy eyelid condition, it could either be classified as a medical condition or, it could be considered as a cosmetic problem. The basis for classification depends on the degree or severity of the droopiness.
If you are experiencing eyelid ptosis of any degree, you should see a doctor to get it graded. And don’t feel that you are being vain because an untreated droopy eyelid can have serious health consequences. Eye ptosis causes changes to your vision which could be affecting you in many ways. This is because a droopy eyelid can cover part of the pupil, preventing light from entering it, and thus preventing clear vision.
What’s more, it is a condition that worsens gradually with time, so you may not realise how bad it has become. Eye ptosis will not heal on its own, hence the only solution for it is to get it treated. This article will explore treatment options for Ptosis Singapore.
Don’t leave Eye Ptosis untreated
Untreated Ptosis can lead to a myriad of other eye-related health issues, such as ‘lazy eye’(Amblyopia), ‘crossed eye’(Strabismus) and Astigmatism.
Individuals might try to naturally compensate for Ptosis by lifting their chin or head higher than their natural resting position, which can cause neck and head issues in the future.
Especially for younger patients, ptosis correction is deemed a necessary treatment for a legitimate medical condition first, with ‘aesthetic’ improvements being a positive secondary effect. Having poor vision affects a child’s learning abilities and can have permanent effects on their growth.
If you suspect you or your child may be experiencing ptosis, go for a health checks or seek a medical opinion. A primary care physician, ophthalmologist or plastic surgeon can help to diagnose this, although the best person to treat it is usually the plastic surgeon.
Causes of Ptosis Singapore
The eyelids are held up by a muscle, more specifically known as the levator muscle. This muscle functions very much like a rubber band, tightening and relaxing in order for us control the opening and closing of our eyelids.
When this muscle is weak, ptosis starts to occur. The weakening of this muscle can be due to several reasons:
- Nerve issues
- Lifestyle habits
Ptosis can be present at birth (Congenital). This means that the individual was born with weak eyelid muscles leading to inadequate development of the levator muscle.
The term aponeurotic refers to the levator muscle being weakened (or in severe cases detached) due to ageing.
This happens when the upper eyelids have too much skin, fat or sometimes due to the presence of a cyst or tumour that causes the upper eyelid to droop.
Occurs when the levator muscle is weakened as a result of injury, accident or over exertion. This is commonly seen in body builders or sportsmen.
The levator muscle is sometimes prevented from functioning normally due to nerve issues. This is more often seen among stroke patients and those suffering from neurological disorders.
Habits such as excessive eye rubbing or pulling of the eyelids can cause the levator muscle be damaged or detached. This is a type of acquired ptosis that is common among contact lens wearers.
Treatment Options for Ptosis Singapore
Treatment for Ptosis often requires surgery. This is an operation done under local anaesthesia meaning that the patient will be sedated and sleeping throughout. Typically the surgeon will repair the levator muscle by tightening it. Depending also on the cause of ptosis, excessive skin and fat may be removed from the drooping eyelid(s). The severity or grading of the Ptosis would determine what adjustments are needed to the levator muscle, whether major or minor. This is more or less a judgement call and is also the reason why choosing a highly experienced, skilled Ptosis sugeon is of vital importance.
Unfortunately, aside from surgery there is no other option for ptosis correction. It is a matter of getting the levator muscle repaired, which is something that needs to be done surgically.
Will my eyelid appearance change?
It is common for the plastic surgeon to reposition your eyelid crease (also known as the crease profile) at the same time, hence you will see a nice aesthetic improvement as a positive side effect.
The good new is, your final eyelid appearance is something you can choose and tailor to your preference. Remember to discuss with your doctor what your desired double eyelid crease profile is and whether you prefer it to have a tapered or parallel shape.
How is the severity of Ptosis graded?
The severity of Ptosis is classified in 3 grades that is measured by the amount of droop affecting your vision, also known as the Marginal Reflex Distance (MRD). MRD is the distance between the upper lid margin and light reflex.
Mild – 2mm of DROOP
Moderate – 3mm of DROOP
Severe – 4mm of DROOP or more
It is crucial that the anaesthetist or doctor treating you is fully informed of any medications you are taking at the time of the ptosis surgery. This is to prevent any negative effects that might arise from the different drugs being introduced into your body, called contraindications.
What Results Can I Expect?
In most cases, ptosis correction gives a permanent result. For a select few, revisions or enhancements may be required. In either case, the improvements should significantly improve your life.
In the worst possible scenario, the patient does not experience any improvement. This is usually due to a misdiagnosis of the cause of ptosis and /or poor surgical technique of the surgeon.
Depending on the surgeon’s technique, there may or may not be any scarring. Again in the worse case scenario, abnormal scarring may occur. We recommend that you discuss with your surgeon extensively about their technique and their strategy to manage scars. Also be sure to discuss expectations, healing time and pain management.
How much does surgery cost to treat Ptosis Singapore?
The cost of Ptosis surgery in Singapore is usually insurance claimable or covered by Medisave if it is classified as a medical condition. This means certain health benefits can be enacted in insurance claims, thus reducing a substantial amount if not all of the cost of Ptosis surgery.
To determine whether or not it is deemed a medical condition, doctors will need to use the Marginal Reflex Distance test. So the first step is to visit either a plastic surgeon or an ophthalmologist.
Ths surgery can cost from $5,000 to $15,000. Variations include the anaeshetist’s fee, operating facility fees, surgical consummables, aftercare medication, reviews, etc.
Strangely, a common reason why people do not seek Ptosis correction surgery is that they believe that Ptosis surgery is an ‘aesthetics’ treatment, and perhaps they did not realise that when classified as a medical condition it is actually claimable from insurance companies.
It is high time to be more informed of having a droopy eyelid condition and recognize that Upper Eyelid Ptosis is a serious medical condition that can result in even more issues if left untreated.
Looking for a recommendation for Ptosis correction? See our list of the best plastic surgeons in Singapore for Ptosis Surgery