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Ptosis Surgery

What is Botox?

Botox, or botulinum toxin, is an injectable treatment that is primarily targeted to treat wrinkles, fine lines and creases on the face. It can also be used as a non-permanent facial contouring treatment to slim down your profile. Botox is more widely known as an effective anti-aging product for improving the appearance of your skin. Botox is able to treat signs of advanced aging as it promotes collagen production and skin elasticity. In Singapore, Botox is used to temporarily give patients a younger and tighter look.

What is Ptosis?

Ptosis, or droopy eye, is a benign condition where one or two of the upper eyelids begin to droop over the eyes. It is due to the narrowing of the area between the open eyelids (vertical palpebral fissure).

Ptosis can occur as the patient gets older or because of genetics where ptosis could be present from a young age (congenital ptosis).

Ptosis is a developmental condition that is relatively harmless and can be corrected through surgery. Patients with ptosis typically undergo surgical corrections for:

Cosmetic reasons: Ptosis/droopy eyelids can affect your appearance and make you look sleepy or ill.

Medical reasons: In more serious cases, ptosis/droopy eyelids will affect your eyesight as one or both of your eyelids partially or completely obscures your vision.

In Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) considers ptosis a medical condition. Surgery is Medisave/ Insurance claimable.
Normal Eyes
Normal Eyes

What causes Ptosis?

Ptosis is caused by the weakening of  the levator muscle, the muscle that helps to control eyelid movement. Some causes of ptosis in Singapore may include:
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Diabetes
  • Loosening of skin
  • Excessive rubbing of eyes
  • Weakening of eyelid muscles
  • Nerve damage
  • Swelling of eyelid due to a sty (red and painful lump near eye area)
  • Horner’s syndrome

What are some symptoms of Ptosis?

You may be suffering from ptosis if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Eyelids do not line up with each other 
  • Worsening of eyesight
  • Eyelids drooping over the pupil of the eye
  • Frequent squinting
  • Double vision
  • Headaches due to eye fatigue
  • Dry and/or watery eyes
  • Difficulty when closing the eyes

Ptosis is often left untreated and even undiagnosed, and patients learn to “live with it”. Do not tarry – ptosis can worsen over time and cause eye problems such as lazy eye (amblyopia), the inability to see well despite wearing glasses and permanent disfigurement. 

Is Ptosis painful?

While not painful, ptosis can cause visual impairments such as double vision. You may also experience a gradual worsening of your eyesight as the eyelids continue to droop over the eye and cover the pupils.

Patients also experience frequent headaches, eye irritation and dry/watery eyes.

Who is at risk of suffering from Ptosis?

Ptosis is more common in men than in women. It may present itself in patients who are older and those who have a history of ptosis in the family. Ptosis can also occur due to rare conditions such as Horner’s syndrome which begins with nerve damage that affects the face and eye on one side of the body.

How is Ptosis diagnosed in Singapore?

In Singapore, all medically-necessary ptosis procedures are MediSave-claimable. This is diagnosed using one or all of the following tests during the initial consultation with your plastic surgeon. 

Severity of droop: 

  • Minimal or mild ptosis (1-2 mm)
  • Moderate ptosis (3-4 mm)
  • Severe ptosis (>4 mm)

Marginal Reflex Distance (MRD) Measurement

The Marginal Reflex Distance (MRD) is a measurement of the distance between the lower eyelid margin and the upper eyelid margin. This measurement is used to diagnose ptosis and determine if surgery is necessary.

How is Ptosis treated?

Ptosis can be easily treated with droopy eyelid surgery, medically known as a blepharoplasty. This procedure is a minimally invasive outpatient surgery that involves tightening or strengthening the levator muscle to raise the eyelid. The eyelid may also be attached to other muscles for support, and excess skin causing vision obstruction is also removed.

Depending on the severity of your ptosis, the type of surgery will differ. Patients with mild upper eyelid ptosis may opt for a scarless suture technique; while patients with moderate to severe ptosis will require incisions.

Even with incisions and stitches, droopy eyelid surgery usually leaves no visible scars, especially if done by a skillful surgeon. It is a quick, outpatient procedure done under local anaesthesia.

Why Ptosis surgery?

  • 95% success rate
  • More youthful look
  • Brighter facial expression
  • Less tired and puffy eyes
  • Improved vision
  • Smoother and tighter skin
  • Defined upper eyelid crease

What can I expect from a Ptosis surgery?

After your surgery, you can expect to see tighter skin around the eye area and a more “awake” expression. Instead of looking tired, you will be able to look focused after your wounds have healed. Results can be subtle or dramatic depending on the severity of your condition prior to the surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any downtime for droopy eyelid surgery?
As with any plastic surgery procedure, ptosis repair will come with some downtime. The eyelid area will likely feel sore and you may experience bruising for the first week or so – patients are advised to avoid strenuous activity until symptoms have improved or after the stitches above the eyelid fold are removed.
How soon can I see results?
You will see an immediate improvement in vision and appearance after the wounds have healed from the surgery. This process can take up to 3 months.
How many procedures do I need?
Ptosis surgery is permanent; many patients typically do not require a revision surgery. In the event that they do, it is usually for aesthetic reasons or to correct the weakened muscle.
Is ptosis surgery safe?
While droopy eyelid surgery is considered a low-risk surgery, there can still be some risks as it is an extremely delicate surgery. These risks include bruising, swelling, and infection. In some cases, there may also be the chance of under or over correction in which case further treatment is required.
How much does ptosis surgery cost Singapore?
The cost of ptosis surgery in Singapore starts from $5000, depending on the severity of your condition. whether it's one or two eyes you're correcting and the type of anaesthetic you need. If your ptosis correction is deemed medically necessary by an ophthamalogist, then the cost of the procedure can be offset with MediSave.
Is ptosis surgery covered by Medisave?
In Singapore, ptosis is classified as a medical condition and is thus Medisave-claimable.
Is ptosis surgery covered by insurance Singapore?
Yes, ptosis surgery can be covered by insurance – you will need an official visual assessment by an ophthalmologist to certify that your ptosis is affecting your vision.

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