Ectropion is the turning outward or sagging of the lower eyelid. This can occur naturally with time as a result of the aging process, but can also occur as a result of facial trauma, scarring, facial paralysis, infection or perhaps a previous eyelid blepharoplasty. The main cause of this condition is the relaxation of the eyelid structures and stretching of the tendons in the lid. Further, when the lower eyelid becomes excessively droopy, it sags outwards and the eye is no longer shielded by the lower eyelid, causing increasd exposure to the wind, dust and the sun, all of which can irritate the lining of the inner tisse of the lower eyelid. Over time, this can gradually make the eyes dry and sensitive and cause inflammation, redness and irritation of the eye.
Ectropion is an eye condition that can significantly affect your facial appearance. Fortunately, a cosmetic reconstructive procedure is available that can reverse the condition and give you a more youthful appearance. Ectropion repair is one of the procedures available and performed in both our Scarsdale and Manhattan offices in New York.
The condition is marked by the sagging or turning outward of your eyelid. Usually affecting the lower eyelid, ectropion results from a relaxation of its structures and the stretching of the tendons within. In addition to its unsightly appearance, the condition prevents your lower eyelid from properly covering and protecting the eye, leading to increased exposure to outward elements in the environment. Underlying causes include the following:
- The normal aging process
- A congenital condition
- Allergic reactions
- Facial trauma
- A reaction to cancer treatment
The symptoms of ecotropion include irritation, sensitivity to light, watery eyes or excessive dryness. The condition can usually be diagnosed during a general physical examination. Surgery is generally required to return the eyelid to the correct position, although the procedure can usually be performed on an outpatient basis and with a local anesthetic. In rare cases, the surgeon may have to remove a portion of the eyelid and in others may have to employ a grafting procedure, transplanting tissue from the upper eyelid or from behind the ear. The surgery will allow the underlying muscle to attach itself to the inner tissue.
What to Expect from Ectropion Surgery
This reconstructive procedure treats ectropion and restores ocular function by tightening the tendons in the lower eyelid to return it to its normal position. This will cause the underlying muscle to re-attach to the tissue in the lower eyelid. In some instances, tissue may be borrowed if the tendons are not strong enough.
The local anesthetic will be used to numb the area being treated, although you will remain awake throughout the procedure. Occasionally, sedatives will be administered to help relax nervous patients. The surgery itself can usually be completed in less than an hour. You will then have to cover the eye with a patch for at least 24 hours. Minor bruising or swelling may occur but will subside in one to two weeks.Additionally, the affected area will be treated with an ointment and you will be prescribed an antibiotic to prevent an infection. You may also have to use cold compresses on the area for a period of time. Any swelling or bruising that occurs should subside in less than two weeks. You will soon find that your eyelids are no longer drooping or sagging, bothering your vision or leaving your eye overly exposed. You can regain the rejuvenated and refreshed appearance you have long been looking for.