Pediatric Ptosis Droopy Eyelid
Some children are born with a condition called congenital ptosis – in which the upper eyelid on one or both sides hang down lower than is normal and can interfere with your child’s vision. If you have noticed that your child has a droopy eyelid on one side, which can present at birth or within the first few years of life, then your child may have congenital ptosis.
Congenital ptosis is not a rare condition. Many people have an asymmetry in the height of their eyelids and it may be a very mild case not requiring surgery or a more severe case. If you notice that you are not able to see your child’s pupil – the dark circle in the middle of the colored part of your child’s eye – because it is covered by the eyelid, or if the eyelid is encroaching on the pupil, contact your pediatrician or Dr. Eftekhari’s office for an evaluation. Dr. Eftekhari has extensive experience treating congenital ptosis. During his training, he worked with one of the foremost experts on pediatric eyelid disease, Dr. James Katowitz, who published the main textbook on this topic Pediatric Oculoplastic Surgery. In addition, Dr. Eftekhari practiced as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where a significant portion of his practice was dedicated to caring for children.
Evaluation of Congenital Ptosis
During your consultation, Dr. Eftekhari will measure the height of your child’s eyelid and the strength of the muscle that lifts the eyelid. Depending on these two factors, Dr. Eftekhari may recommend surgery. If you have pictures of your child when the eyelid is drooping, it would help Dr. Eftekhari to bring those to your consultation.
Treatment of Congenital Ptosis
Unfortunately, there is no medical treatment for congenital ptosis. Surgery is the only treatment option, but Dr. Eftekhari is very conservative and will only recommend surgery for your child when he believes it is necessary for developing normal vision. The surgery can range from a small eyelid procedure performed on the underside of the eyelid with no visible scar to a more extensive procedure called a frontalis sling where Dr. Eftekhari will connect the eyelid to the forehead muscles to help your child’s eye open more. This is required when the strength of the eyelid muscle is so poor that it will not lift the eyelid more than 4 millimeters. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and is under 45 minutes per eye.
If your child has a droopy eyelid, contact Dr. Eftekhari’s office for a consultation and evaluation.