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Outward-turning lower eyelids — ectropion


Ectropion is the medical term used to describe sagging and outward turning of the lower eyelid and eyelashes. This can lead to excessive tearing, crusting of the eyelid, mucous discharge and irritation of the eye. In most cases, ectropion occurs because of age-related relaxation of the tissues of the eyelid. Some cases are caused by scarring as a result of many years of sun-exposure, chemical and thermal burns, injury, skin cancers, or previous eyelid surgery. Occasionally, ectropion can be present at birth if the eyelids do not form properly.



Ectropion of the right eye, pre-surgery


A month after surgery

Treatment


Ectropion should be repaired surgically before the front of the eye (the cornea) is damaged. The surgery to repair ectropion is usually performed under local anesthesia as a day case procedure. In most cases, Mr Malhotra will tighten the eyelid and its attachments, usually through a small incision at the outer corner of the eyelid, but also internally (trans-conjunctivally), in order to re-attach the internal eyelid attachments known as retractors. Occasionally, a skin graft may be required.


What to expect


  • You will need to apply an antibiotic ointment to the eye for a week and to the incision line for about two weeks.
  • Any stitches that have not dissolved will be removed at your first return visit to Mr Malhotra.
  • You may have a tender, lumpy area at the outer corner of the lower eyelid for a few weeks.
  • After your eyelids heal, your eye should feel comfortable and you will no longer have the risk of corneal scarring or infection.
  • If a skin graft is required, you will have an eye pad over one eye for a week.

All procedures begin with a consultation. For full information about what to do before and after surgery, see Patient information.




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