What is entropion?
Entropion is where your eyelid turns in and causes your eyelashes to rub against the cornea.
What is ectropion?
Ectropion is where your eyelid turns out and does not touch your eye (see figure 1).
What causes ectropion?
Usually the problem is caused by ageing. Sometimes it is caused by scar tissue pulling the eyelid out of position. Usually only the lower eyelid is affected.
What are the benefits of ectropion and entropion repair?
If the operation is successful, the eyelid should be in a better position and your symptoms should improve.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Artificial tears and ointments can be used to protect the surface of your eye. Your surgeon may recommend a special bandage contact lens for you to wear. If you have entropion, your surgeon may recommend using tape to prevent your eyelashes from rubbing against your eye, using stitches to make the eyelid stop turning in, or injecting botulinum toxin into the muscle that turns your eyelid inwards.
What does the operation involve?
An entropion or ectropion repair is usually performed under a local anaesthetic. The operation usually takes between half an hour and one hour, depending on whether the operation involves both eyes.
Your surgeon may need to remove a small section of the eyelid where the tissues have slackened most. If the problem is caused by tight skin or scar tissue, they may need to use a skin graft.
What complications can happen?
General complications of any operation:
- Infection in the surgical wound
Specific complications of this operation:
- Corneal abrasion
- Lid notch
- Cosmetic problems
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home a few hours after the operation.
You should avoid getting your eyelids wet and any strenuous activity for the first week. You should not have sex for the first two weeks. Avoid wearing eye make-up and drinking too much alcohol for a few weeks, and keep your face out of the sun.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
The results of an entropion or ectropion repair last for a long time. However, as you get older the skin and soft tissues of your eyelids will continue to slacken and the problem may come back.
An entropion or ectropion repair is an operation to correct an eyelid that turns in or turns out. The operation should improve symptoms caused by chronic irritation of the eye and eyelid.
Paying for your procedure
Entropion or ectropion repair costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own procedure the cost will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the procedure. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.
Author: Mr Anthony King MD FRCOphth
Illustrations: Medical Illustration
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The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.