Mumbai | Veteran movie star Zeenat Aman said on Tuesday that she underwent a surgery to treat a condition in her right eye called ptosis, which she described as "an elephant in the room with me for the past 40 years".
Ptosis is known as the drooping of the upper eyelid that usually leads to defective vision or makes things look blurry for the patient.
Aman said her younger son Zahaan and his partner, Cara, drove her to a city-based hospital here to get her admitted for the procedure on May 19, a day after the actor shot for the cover of a leading fashion magazine.
"There has been an elephant in the room with me for the past 40 years. It is time to show this elephant the door. I have a condition known as ptosis-the result of an injury I suffered many decades ago that damaged the muscles around my right eye.
"Over the years, it caused my eyelid to droop further and further. And a few years ago it became so acute that it began to obstruct my vision," the 71-year-old actor wrote in an Instagram post.
While she is still on the road to recovery, Aman said her vision has improved a lot.
"Recovery has been slow, steady and is ongoing. But I'm happy to share that my vision is so much clearer now," she added, thanking the medical staff of the hospital.
Aman, star of films such as "Hare Rama Hare Krishna", "Don", and "Satyam Shivam Sundaram", said ptosis impacted her career and also made her "the subject of unwanted attention".
"When so much of one's career is predicated on one's appearance, coming to terms with a dramatic change to it is difficult. I know for a fact that this ptosis narrowed my opportunities and made me the subject of unwanted attention.
"But despite the gossip, the comments, and the questions, I never felt diminished by it. It helped of course that there were always a few stalwarts that stood by me and chose to work with me still," she said.
The actor, who shared a series of pictures from the hospital, said the treatments available to her at that time, and for decades after, were "unsuccessful".
In April, a leading ophthalmologist informed Aman that a surgery "to lift the eyelid and restore" her field of vision was possible due to technological advancement in the field of medicine. She "dithered" for a long time, then underwent a battery of tests and finally committed to the hour-long procedure.
"That morning in the hospital I was terrified. My extremities turned icy and involuntarily shivers racked my body. Zahaan kissed my forehead, reassured me and wheeled me to the OT, where I surrendered to the hands of my medical team. I emerged from there an hour later - alive, well and looking like a pirate with an eye patch," Aman further said in the post.