Entropion and ectropion repair

Entropion and ectropion are conditions that can dealt with.

It is normal for people to develop either entropion or ectropion, this is usually correlated with aging, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be sorted out.

What is entropion and ectropion?

Entropion and ectropion are conditions that affect your eyelid.

  • Entropion – Where your eyelid turns in and causes your eyelashes to rub against the cornea (the clear, dome-shaped outer layer at the front of your eye).
  • Ectropion – Where your eyelid turns out and does not touch your eye.

How does entropion or ectropion happen?

The problem is usually caused by ageing. Sometimes the problem is caused by scar tissue pulling your eyelid out of position. Only the lower eyelid is usually affected.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Your eyelid should be in a better position and your symptoms should improve.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

As an alternative, you can use artificial tears and ointments to protect the surface of your eye and improve your symptoms. Your surgeon may recommend a special soft contact lens (bandage lens) for you to wear.

If you have entropion, your surgeon may recommend one of the following simple treatments:

  • Using tape to prevent your eyelashes from rubbing against your eye.
  • Injecting Botox into the muscle that turns your eyelid inwards (orbicularis muscle).
  • Using stitches (called everting sutures) to prevent your eyelid from turning in.

What does the procedure involve?

The operation is usually performed under a local anaesthetic that is injected in your eyelid and given as local-anaesthetic eye drops.

The operation usually takes 30 minutes to an hour, depending on whether the operation involves both eyes.

Your surgeon may need to remove a small section of your eyelid where the tissues have slackened most. If the problem is caused by tight skin or scar tissue, your surgeon may need to use a skin graft.

What complications can happen?

Like all surgical procedures, there are some complications that can be serious and can even cause death. Please bear in mind the general and specific complications regarding this type of operation.

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Bleeding

Specific complications of this operation

  • Cornea abrasion
  • Lid notch
  • Cosmetic problems

How soon will I recover?

Nowadays, you should be able to go home after a few hours. However, don’t get your eyelid wet.  You will need to do strenuous exercise or bend down until the stitches are removed.

It’s very important that you do not wear eye make-up or drink alcohol for a few weeks, as well as keep your face out of the sun.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Although, before you start exercising, ask 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 your skin and soft tissues of your eyelids will continue to slacken and the problem may come back.

Summary

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 entropion or ectropion. To find out more, call us on 0808 101 0337.

Acknowledgements

Author: Prof Anthony King MD FRCOphth

Illustrator: Medical Illustration Copyright ©Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved.

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