Eyelid Ptosis

Ptosis (“toe-sis”) is the medical term for drooping. This is a separate issue from excess eyelid skin/dermatochalasis (which is addressed with a blepharoplasty). Ptosis occurs when the muscle that lifts the upper eyelid becomes loose. This may occur with age, after eye surgery (cataract, glaucoma or retina surgery), or with prolonged contact lens use. In rare cases, it may be a congenital condition.  Blepharoplasty (eyelid skin removal) surgery alone will not correct ptosis. The affected muscle in the middle layer of the eyelid must be addressed to correct the drooping eyelid. Dr. Hui will meet with you and perform a thorough exam. Many factors must be taken into consideration to determine the optimal ptosis repair procedure for you. After measurements are taken, together you will discuss the most appropriate treatment plan. If appropriate, ptosis repair surgery may be performed in conjunction with cosmetic blepharoplasty. Procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with minimal postoperative pain. Most patients resume their normal activities one week after surgery.

Types of ptosis surgery

  • Internal repair In certain cases, the incision may be placed on the underside (inside) of the eyelid. The muscle is shortened from this inner surface to lift the eyelash line and restore the proper eyelid height and contour. This surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, usually with IV sedation to help you relax. 
  • External repair – In some patients, an external skin approach is needed. The incision is hidden in the natural upper eyelid crease. The loose muscle is then isolated and internal stitches are used to elevate the drooping eyelid. This surgery is performed with the patient awake (IV sedation may be given if needed to relax you for parts of the surgery) so you may open and close your eye.  Your participation during this portion of the procedure helps Dr. Hui to place the stitches in the optimal location to achieve the desired result.
  • Sling – When the eyelid opening muscle (levator) of the upper lid is not functioning in a normal range, a different approach must be undertaken. Poor eyelid function may be seen in congenital ptosis, congenital/acquired muscular dystrophies, myasthenia gravis, and after eyelid trauma. In these cases, we must recruit other muscles to help this poorly functioning levator. A sling may be used to harness the function of the forehead muscles to lift the drooping upper eyelid. Dr. Hui will help to determine the most appropriate type of sling to use in your case during this outpatient procedure.

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Dr. Jennifer Hui is a board certified oculoplastic surgeon providing state of the art treatments for eyelid surgery and other eye and face related procedures.


An oculoplastic surgeon specializes in surgery of the eyelids and orbit (tissues around the eye) and the lacrimal system (tear duct system). After medical school, a one year internship and three year residency in Ophthalmology (eye surgery) are completed. An additional two year fellowship in Oculoplastic surgery gives your surgeon the intricate knowledge of eyelid, orbital and lacrimal anatomy that is required for an optimal outcome. Dr. Hui is a board certified Ophthalmologist and a member of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (a very select group of approximately 1,000 Oculoplastic surgeons in the United States).
Dr. Hui will meet with you personally to discuss your goals. After a review of your history and an examination, she will recommend the optimal plan for you. Dr. Hui personally performs all surgeries and cosmetic procedures (filler and Botox). We have a small close knit office, and the staff and I are in constant communication to take the best care of you possible.
Surgery may be performed in the office with local anesthesia or at an outpatient surgery center with intravenous sedation. Dr. Hui will help you determine the ideal location for your procedure after your first meeting.
In most cases, after a week of light activity (no strenuous exercise OR heavy lifting), you are able to return to your usual activities. Dr. Hui will review the recommendations for your particular procedure after she reviews your history and the treatment plan.

In most cases, patients do not take any post-operative pain medication, or Tylenol. If needed, additional pain medication may be prescribed.

Dr. Hui will examine your surgical sites and assess your healing. Any specific concerns will be addressed and post-operative care tailored to your particular needs. In most cases, dissolving sutures are used. However, if non dissolving sutures are used, she will remove those 1-2 weeks after surgery.

In some cases, insurance MAY cover some of your surgical procedures IF deemed medically necessary. Dr. Hui will evaluate your history particular case and discuss if insurance coverage may be possible.

A few happy clients

I had a great experience!

From my first office visit to my surgery I was treated with great care. Dr. Hui and her staff made me feel very comfortable and very at ease. Thank you for everything.


Dr. Hui and her staff are exceptional!

I had the best experience ever! She is very knowledgeable and helpful and her staff is very professional. I am very pleased with the results and will definitely see her again in the future.


Ptosis Repair

Right Upper Lid

Left Upper Lid