What Is Ectropion?
Ectropion is an outward turning of the eyelid margin and may be classified as congenital, involutional, paralytic, cicatricial, and mechanical. Most of the cases at the Mack Center are referred by Optometrists or Ophthalmologists in the Tampa Bay area.
The most common type of ectropion seen is in the involutional category, which is secondary to aging changes of the eyelid, including eyelid laxity. Ectropion typically occurs in the lower eyelid; this is probably related to the gravitational effects on the lower lid.
What Kind of Symptoms Would a Patient Have With Ectropion?
Ectropion symptoms include foreign body sensation, tearing, mucus discharge, irritation, and possibly even scarring of the cornea or even decreased vision.
This condition can occur in one eyelid or it can occur in both eyelids and is much more common in the lower eyelids than in the upper lids. This condition tends to be a chronic condition as patients typically present with these symptoms for many months.
What Causes Ectropion?
The most common cause of ectropion is involutional, which is related to aging changes of the eyelid. Other conditions can include cicatricial, which is from scarring on the cheek area pulling the lower lid down; paralytic, which could be from Bell’s palsy or other nerve-related conditions; or mechanical, such as a lesion causing the lower eyelid to be pulled inferiorly. By far the most common is involutional or aging changes.
What Is the Treatment for Ectropion?
The treatment for ectropion is surgery with different surgical procedures depending on the cause of the ectropion. The goal is to reposition the eyelid to the correct anatomic position.
Ectropion surgery is performed at a local surgery center and is performed on an outpatient basis. The surgical time for repair of ectropion is approximately 10 to 20 minutes per eyelid depending on the type of ectropion that is corrected.
What Type of Anesthesia Is Used for Ectropion Surgical Correction?
IV sedation (MAC Anesthesia) is the anesthesia of choice for correction of ectropion. This is performed on an outpatient basis. This is a procedure where the anesthesia team administers small increments of a sedative to allow the patient to be in a relaxed state. At that point, local anesthetic is administered for the patient’s comfort. The patients find this to be a pain-free procedure, and they will go home the same day.
What Is the Recovery Following Ectropion Repair?
Recovery following ectropion repair includes applying topical antibiotic ointment for the first week. Sutures are removed at approximately one week. At times, dissolving sutures may also be used. The patient is asked to apply ice compresses for the first 24 to 48 hours following the ectropion repair. Post-operative evaluations will occur at the Mack Center following this procedure.
What Can a Patient Expect Following Surgical Correction of Ectropion?
Following surgical correction by Dr. Mack of ectropion, the patient will notice swelling, which is worse for the first week and will improve.
The patient should note relief of their symptoms – decrease of foreign body sensation, decrease of irritation, improvement with tearing, and decrease in mucus discharge. This is secondary to the lower eyelid being returned to its natural anatomic position and allowing protection of the cornea while decreasing the exposure of the cornea.
Many times these patients have had symptoms from the ectropion for many months, and they are very pleased with the relief of their symptoms following the surgical repair of the ectropion.
For more information on ectropion correction, contact Dr. Mack’s office to schedule a consultation today.
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