Ectropion is the medical term for a condition in which an the lower eyelid sags or turn outward. The sagging eyelid leaves the eye surface exposed and can cause redness, tearing, discomfort and discharge. The condition usually results from laxity of the eyelid skin that develops with age. It can also result from trauma, scarring or other conditions. If left untreated scarring and infection of the cornea may also result. Ectropion can be diagnosed with a routine eye exam.
Ectropion surgery involves tightening the muscles of the eyelid and its attachment to restore the eyelid to its more normal position. The procedure can also help to improve a more normal youthful contour to the eye.
Ectropion surgery is for those who:
- Have an eyelid which is rolling in, causing irritation and inflammation
- Want a more normal appearance of the eye and eyelids
The doctors at Advanced Eye Care Center will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your eyes. You will be evaluated for potential causes of ectropion. Specifics regarding your vision, tear production, use of contact lens, use of medications and personal expectations will be discussed. A plan will be discussed regarding surgical technique, risks and benefits, and type of anesthesia.
What to expect on procedure day
You will arrive 30-60 minutes prior to the procedure. Once you have been checked in and settled comfortably, you will be prepared for surgery. Ectropion repair is usually performed under local anesthesia. You may be given medication to control anxiety. You should be quite comfortable during the procedure.
After the procedure you will need someone to drive you home. You may experience some bruising and swelling for 1 week to 1 month after surgery. Cold compresses and head elevation may be helpful for the first few days after surgery. The doctor may prescribe an eye ointment or eye drops to use for a few days after surgery.
Postoperative discomfort is usually relatively mild, but the eyes may fell sticky, dry or itchy for a week or so after the procedure. You will need to take special care in cleaning around the eyes for the first week or two.
Stitches are usually removed within 5 to ten days after surgery. Self absorbing stitches will dissolve on their own. The doctor will instruct you when it is safe to be resuming make-up and cosmetics.
The vast majority of patients are extremely happy with the improved level of comfort and appearance of the eyelid after ectropion repair. Although most of the positive effects on your eye are immediate, your eyes may subtly change and improve over several months after surgery as the healing process continues.
Serious complications from ectropion repair are extremely rare, but like any surgical procedure there are some inherent risks. You will be given all the information you need to make an informed decision about surgery. Be sure to have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.
Ectropion repair is usually covered by medical insurers as “medically necessary”. We would be happy to contact your insurance carrier in advance to determine if they cover the procedure.