Ectropion Surgery in London
Rolling out eyelids
Ectropion is the term used to describe a condition where the lower eyelid turns out and droops away from the eye. It can also be described as the rolling out of the lower lid and eyelid margin. It is usually not serious but can be uncomfortable and affect a person’s image and self confidence. Artificial tears may help with the symptoms, foreign body sensation and any mucous discharge.
Symptoms of ectropion include the following:
Ectropion and rolling out of the eyelids is caused by:
Age – Involutional ectropion develops as the eyelid muscles and tendons become weaker and loosen with time.
Eyelid lump or cyst – An eyelid lump or cyst where the additional weight pulls the eyelid away from the eye causing an mechanical ectropion.
Nerve paralysis – Facial paralysis of the nerves supply the eyelid as in a condition called Facial Nerve Palsy can result in weakness of the eyelid muscles and paralytic ectropion.
Skin shortening – Damage to the eyelid skin in burn injuries, long term sun damage, eyelid surgery and contact dermatitis can also result in ectropion due to shortening of the skin which is also known as cicatricial ectropion.
Congenital – Less common cases present at birth are known as congenital ectropion.
Why is ectropion surgery done
What are the risks?
Possible risks of ectropion surgery include:
To know which risks most apply to you talk to your doctor to understand more about ectropion surgery as well as the benefits and if they apply to you. This way you can decide with your doctor if ectropion surgery is a good option. There are different surgical procedures used ectropion depending on whether there is severe ectropion or not. Severe cases may require skin graft but the majority are mild and the most common surgical intervention is a lateral canthotomy and lateral tarsal strip procedure with possible tightening of the orbicularis muscle. The surgical technique depends on the underlying cause and treating that whilst addressing any issues with the anterior lamella portion of the eyelid and the posterior lamella portion is needed.
Non surgical treatments for ectropion are often to provide temporary relief and include:
Using artificial tears to the eye to relieve the discomfort
Injection of filler to the eyelid to push the eyelid back into position
How you prepare
Before having ectropion surgery you will meet your Oculoplastic surgeon who specialises in ectropion surgery to discuss:
Your medical history including any previous surgery and current eye conditions.
Your expectations with an honest discussion about what can be realistically achieved.
A vision examination to check the eyes prior to surgery.
A physical examination of the eyelids to ensure that this is the correct procedure.
Eyelid photography which can help with surgical planning and to provide evidence for any insurance claim.
It is preferable to stop taking any blood thinner medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, apixiban and any other medication that can cause increased bleeding during ectropion surgery. Your doctor will discuss these with you to ensure that it is safe for you to do so prior to your ectropion surgery and will tell you how long before the operation.
Stoping smoking several weeks before surgery can help improve the healing after ectropion surgery.
You should arrange for someone to take you home after the procedure and stay with you for the first night following the operation and Mr Ahmad Aziz advises this. Surgery is usually done in Central London.
What you can expect before the procedure
Ectropion surgery is usually done as a day case where you can go home the same day. Your surgeon will inject anaesthetic into your eyelids to numb the area and you can also have medication through a drip to help you relax.
What you can expect during the procedure
If the ectropion is age related your oculoplastic surgeon will remove a small section of the eyelid to make it tighter. If the ectropion is more significant, then an incision is made on the inside of the eyelid to access the eyelid muscles which are then tightened to give a better turning in of the eyelid. The incision is then closed with stitches.
If your ectropion and rolling out of the eyelids is caused by scarring, injury or previous surgery a skin graft or flap is placed on the outer surface of the eyelid to help the eyelid turn inwards. This can be done under a general anaesthetic with you asleep.
What you can expect after the procedure
After surgery you are monitored for complications. You are able to leave later that day to recuperate and begin the healing at home.
After surgery you may temporarily experience:
Your doctor will likely suggest you take the following steps after surgery:
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following: