Current management of childhood ptosis

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Purpose of review

Blepharoptosis is a common problem encountered in the pediatric ophthalmology clinic. The presentation is obvious to both parents and referring physicians and often prompts urgent consultation. The current classification and management of childhood ptosis will be reviewed.

Recent findings

Recent refinements in techniques utilizing new materials hold promise for better, more predictable outcomes and improved long-term results. Autogenous tensor tendon fascia lata harvested from the patient's thigh remains the gold standard for many ptosis surgeons in frontalis suspension; however, other materials are commonly utilized, including silicone rod, Gore-Tex (ePTFE; W.L. Gore & Associates, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA), Mersilene polyester fiber mesh and Ethibond braided polyester (Ethicon US LLC, Somerville, New Jersey, USA), Supramid monofilament nylon (S. Jackson, Inc, Alexandria, Virginia, USA), prolene, and banked fascia lata. Other techniques include levator resection, posterior approach levatorpexy, and Muller's muscle conjunctival resection both with and without superior tarsectomy. Recent studies suggest that ptosis repair can be effectively combined with strabismus surgery.


The management of ptosis in infants and children demands a structured and disciplined approach to avoid the development of amblyopia and long-term visual compromise. Underlying systemic problems must be identified and surgical planning discussed in a timely fashion with caregivers. Recent studies help to further define the proper timing of surgical intervention and the optimal techniques to provide the best long-term results for these patients.

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