November 25, 2005 10:08 PM   Subscribe

My three-month old son has congenital ptosis. Next month he might have surgery to correct it. Any experiences with said surgery? Did it work? Additional surgeries needed? Anything else you might add?
posted by panoptican to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
Have they checked for strabismus as well?

I had congenital ptosis and strabismus when I was a kid. I had surgery at seven to correct the strabismus (in my case my eyes didn't align vertically); they didn't correct the ptosis because they thought it was false (ie, a result of the strabismus). Leaving it to that point, I wound up with a fairly light case of amblyopia: My depth perception is terrible and my right eye, which was the unaffected one, is pretty nearsighted from the stress of being the only eye I used for the first part of my life. When I am tired, I have to consciously put the disparate images from my eyes together.

The surgery itself wasn't a big deal, though I was older than your child. It was outpatient. I went back to school two days after. I did scream like hell coming out of the anaesthesia apparently. Everyone I know who has had ptosis surgery (often as adults) has not had to go back.

So definitely fix it, but maybe be sure that the ptosis is all that's going on so you don't have to do it twice. If you have other questions, please feel free to email & I can ask my mom, as she clearly remembers this better than I do.
posted by dame at 8:45 AM on November 26, 2005

The plastic period for vision is between 6 months and 2 years; it's a good idea to get this sort of thing fixed before then, to avoid the amblyopia that dame refers to. "Ptosis" as I hope has been explained to you just means a droopy eyelid; it can have many causes. The droopy eyelid interferes with vision because you cannot see through it; if the eye is not receiving visual input during the plastic period, the occipital cortex of the brain does not develop normally and can never accept binocular visual input thereafter.

I am not an expert in these things - I am an adult neurologist - but I believe the usual thing is that the correction is done, baby heals over a week or two from the surgical wound, and no one ever thinks about it again. The potential risks and benefits of course should be explained by the ophthalmologist who is doing the procedure.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:26 PM on November 26, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for your help. He is going to get the surgery. We'll see how it goes. But the combination of your answers plus what I've found all across the internet has put me a little more at ease.
posted by panoptican at 11:50 PM on November 29, 2005

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