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What is Ectropion and how is it treated

Ectropion is a condition in which the lower eyelid turns outward, exposing the inner eyelid and causing the eye to become irritated and red. This condition can occur due to a number of factors, including aging, injury, and certain medical conditions, such as facial nerve paralysis or skin conditions like dermatitis. While ectropion is not necessarily a dangerous condition, it can be unsightly and uncomfortable. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments of ectropion, with a focus on ectropion surgery.

Causes of Ectropion

Ectropion can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Aging: As we age, the skin and muscles around the eye can become lax, causing the lower eyelid to turn outward.

  • Facial nerve paralysis: Damage to the facial nerve can cause the muscles around the eye to become weak, causing the eyelid to turn outward.

  • Skin conditions: Certain skin conditions, such as dermatitis, can cause the skin to become thin and stretchy, causing the lower eyelid to turn outward.

  • Scarring: Scarring from injury or surgery can also cause the eyelid to turn outward.

  • Muscle weakness: Muscle weakness in the eyelid can also cause ectropion.

Symptoms of Ectropion

The main symptom of ectropion is an outward-turning lower eyelid. This can cause the eye to become irritated and red, and may also cause excessive tearing and discharge. In severe cases, ectropion can cause vision problems, such as double vision.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Ectropion

Diagnosis of ectropion is typically made through a physical examination of the eye. Your doctor may also use a small, handheld light to examine the inside of your eyelid to determine the cause of the condition. If the cause of the ectropion is unknown, additional tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, may be ordered to determine the cause.

Treatment of ectropion varies depending on the cause and severity of the condition. In mild cases, treatment may involve the use of artificial tears and ointments to keep the eye moist and reduce irritation. In more severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the position of the eyelid.

Ectropion Surgery

Ectropion surgery, also known as eyelid correction surgery, is a procedure used to correct the position of the lower eyelid. The surgery is typically performed under local anaesthesia, although in some cases, general anaesthesia may be used. The surgery involves making an incision in the lower eyelid to tighten the muscles and skin around the eye. The incision is then closed using sutures, and the eyelid is repositioned to its normal position.

The recovery time after ectropion surgery varies depending on the severity of the condition and the type of surgery performed. Most people are able to return to their normal activities within a week or two after the procedure. However, it is important to follow your doctor's instructions and take steps to protect your eye during the recovery process.

After ectropion surgery, it is common to experience some swelling and redness in the eye. This should subside within a few days. Your doctor will also provide you with a postoperative care plan, which may include the use of eye drops, antibiotics, or other medications to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Below are some pre-op and post-op pictures of a patient who underwent ectropion surgery.

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