Seventeen patients with ptosis as a feature of chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia were managed in accordance with a new protocol. An anterior approach levator advancement was performed on seven patients (13 lids) with more than 4 mm of levator function and a brow suspension procedure on eight patients (14 lids) with minimal levator function, in whom the frontalis muscle was relatively spared. Ptosis props were prescribed for two patients with a very weak orbicularis and poor lid closure. Six patients required long term lubricants, and one developed a postoperative corneal abscess associated with a poor Bell's phenomenon. Satisfactory elevation of the lids was achieved in 16 patients (25 lids).