Ptosis Surgery – What is Ptosis?
Ptosis is an eye condition described as the drooping of the upper eyelid, and can affect one or both eyes. Due to the obstruction caused by the drooping upper eyelid, part of an individual’s vision will be obstructed, preventing clear sight. In Singapore, ptosis is actually quite a common condition.
Ptosis can be congenital(present at birth) or acquired(present after birth). There are several different causes for Ptosis. Maldevelopment of the levator muscle responsible for lifting the upper lid can result in Ptosis. Ageing is also another cause, due to wear and tear of the levator muscle. It is also possible to develop Ptosis through the wearing of contact lenses, or from receiving direct impact to the eyes.
A more rare cause for Ptosis is a stroke, brain tumor or cancer of the nerves or muscles. Neurological disorders that affect the nerves and muscles of the eyes can lead to Ptosis as well.
An individual may try to ‘compensate’ for having Ptosis by naturally tilting their head or chin backwards slightly to allow more light to enter their eye. This can result in neck and head problems in the future. Having untreated Ptosis also puts an individual at risk for acquiring Amblyopia, also known as ‘lazy eye’. One eye ends up having better vision than the other. Astigmatism and Strabismus(crossed eyes) might also develop.
Some individuals might not even be aware that they suffer from Ptosis, as they just simply ‘adapted’ or ‘got used to’ to their drooping eyelid(s). Regular eye checks from a qualified ophthalmologist can help early identification of Ptosis.
Is Ptosis surgery an ‘aesthetic’ treatment or treatment for an actual medical condition?
Addressing concerns from those suffering from Ptosis, it is commonly thought that Ptosis is not a medical condition, and treatment for it are for ‘aesthetic’ and ‘vain’ reasons. This is definitely not true, as due to the reasons mentioned above, Ptosis can lead to other serious complications of the eye, such as Amblyopia, Astigmatism and Strabismus. Usually, these conditions acquired due to Ptosis worsen with time, so getting treatment for Ptosis as early as possible can help with having a good prognosis.
Having Ptosis can also lead to self-esteem issues, due to perceiving oneself as being ‘odd’ or ‘ugly’. Humans are social creatures, and we read each other not only through our words, but also our facial expressions and social cues. Having Ptosis can give others the impression that an individual is always ‘tired’, or ‘uninterested’. Thus, Ptosis surgery can greatly and positively affect one’s life.
Ptosis Cost in Singapore
Since Ptosis is classified as a medical condition and treatment done for it is not considered an ‘aesthetic’ treatment but instead a medical treatment, Ptosis surgery and cost is covered by Medisave and is insurance claimable.
This is in contrast to ‘aesthetic’ treatments attributed to plastic surgery, thought to be done for ‘vain’ reasons. This means that a substantial part of the cost of Ptosis surgery could potentially be covered, leading to reduced cost. The subsidy is very significant, as ptosis surgery costs in Singapore can go down by more than 50% on an otherwise costly procedure. In most cases, you actually end up paying very little compared to the original cost.
Not all doctors will tell you this though, as I had a friend who called more than 4-5 clinics and did not get any mention of this until she got to Allure Plastic Surgery. Dr Samuel is a proven name and they will give you more information on the claimable aspects of ptosis when you ask them.
Ptosis is often treated with surgery. Usually excess skin is removed from the drooping eyelid(s), and minor adjustments to the levator muscle are made. In some severe cases, the strengthening of the levator muscle may be necessary.
The surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia. Local anaesthesia prevents you from feeling pain from the procedure temporarily by numbing the area of incision. You will still be conscious during the procedure.
Before surgery, it is vital that you inform your doctor of any medications you are taking, as there may be contraindications present with the mixing of the anaesthetic and the medicines you are taking.
Surgeons also generally try to aim for perfect symmetry between the eyes, but may not be possible in all cases. However, moderately excellent to excellent results should be expected post surgery.
In some cases, Ptosis surgery may be unable to perfectly correct all functions of the eye, especially in abnormal muscle cases. The eyelid may be unable to fully close when closing the eyes, present even during sleep. This is a consequence of a birth defect, and not the fault or negligence of the surgeon.
Your surgeon will adequately discuss with you the pros and cons of the treatment prior to surgery, and inform you of what to expect, and of possible unintended consequences. Make you get an experienced doctor in Singapore for your ptosis surgery.