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Ectropion Correction

Ectropion (Outward turning of the eyelid) is most commonly seen in the lower eyelid. It does occur in the upper eyelid, though that is very rare. I will be referring to lower eyelid ectropion below.

Ectropion Correction

Ectropion, or outward turning of the lower eyelid is essentially an ageing process. The eyelid turns outwards due to laxity of the eyelid and its tendons, and the red inner surface of the eyelid is exposed. Because of this exposure the eye feels uncomfortable, it looks red and causes a lot of watering and discharge. Sometimes the eyelids may not close properly and the cornea (clear window of the eye) can get exposed causing it to develop dryness and erosions.

The treatment for this is an operation, which is done under a local anaesthetic where the patient is awake and only the area to be operated is numbed. It is a day procedure and the patient would need to stay in hospital for approximately 6-7 hours. The eyelid is tightened and repositioned and there will be some stitches in the inner corner where a stitch to turn the inner corner of the eyelid inwards would have been placed. All the sutures are dissolvable and hence do not need removing.

There are other causes of an ectropion like a facial nerve palsy, sun damaged skin or tumours pulling the eyelid down and they will need treatment depending on the cause.

As with any surgery there is the risk of infection, bleeding and scarring. The eye can be uncomfortable in the outer corner for upto 6-8 weeks. This is another very successful operation and patients are relieved off the irritation and discomfort very quickly after the operation.

It’s natural to feel anxious when it comes to treatment and surgical procedures especially in relation to your eyes. I encourage you to ask questions about your condition, so I can help you to be better informed of your condition, the treatment options available and allay any fears that you may have. During the consultation I will explain the procedures to you and help you to make positive choices, and remember there is always the option of doing nothing, so you have nothing to worry about.

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Mrs Katya Tambe