What is an 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.

What are the causes for this condition?

Most cases of ectropion are due to relaxation of the tissues of the eyelid as a result of ageing. Some cases result from scarring of the eyelid caused by chemical and thermal burns, trauma, skin cancers, or previous eyelid surgery.

How is this condition managed?

Ectropion is usually corrected surgically. Prior to surgery, the eye can be protected by using lubricating drops and ointment.

The surgery to repair ectropion is usually performed under local anaesthesia as a day patient. In most cases, your doctor will tighten the eyelid and its attachments. You may have a patch overnight and then will commonly use an antibiotic drop or ointment for about a week.

Are there any risks or side effects of the operation?

  • There may be bruising around the eye.
  • There is a small risk of infection of the lid or eye.
  • There is a possibility of recurrence or over correction of the eyelid which may require a further operation.
  • Occasionally you may have an allergic reaction to the local anaesthetic injection or the antibiotic drops.

What are the benefits?

  • Relief of symptoms.
  • Reduction of risk of eye infection.
  • Restoration of the normal appearance of the eyelid.