What is Ectropion?

Ectropion is the out-turning of the eyelid.  This causes constant foreign body sensation, tearing and redness of the eye.  Untreated ectropion can cause severe visual consequences.
Patient with a severe ectropion of lower eyelid.

The eyelids are essential structures for the protection of our eye. That is why the quality of our vision is directly related to the health of our eyelids. The position of the eyelids is critical in protecting the eye. The eyelids may suffer from position problems or malposition. The two groups of eyelid malposition are entropion and ectropion.

Ectropion is a very common condition in which the margin of the eyelid is turned away from the eye (the lid is not in contact with the eye), leaving the surface of the eyeball exposed and vulnerable to irritation. Most ectropion patients experience redness of the eyes and the margin of the eyelids, foreign body sensation, tearing, and irritation. In severe cases, the symptoms can be disabling and affect the patient’s quality of life. Ectropion is a frequent cause of tearing confused witht tear duct obstruction. The common causes of ectropion can be divided into three groups: involutional, cicatricial, and neurological.
* Involutional (aging): As we progress in age, all the tissues of our body, including our face, tend to become lax and the eyelids are no exception. Basically, the lower eyelid becomes lax and ectropion may occur. Therefore, it should not surprise us that this group is the most frequent cause.
* Cicatricial (scaring): The healing of the skin of the eyelids can cause retraction of the eyelids away from the eyeball. This scarring may be due to trauma, resection of a lesion or tumor in the eyelid, sun damage and post aesthetic or cosmetic eyelid surgery.
* Neurological: Although to a lesser extent, conditions such a stroke or a tumor can cause facial nerve palsy. Since the facial nerve is responsible for the innervation of the orbicularis muscle, which makes blinking and maintaining the position of the eyelid possible, ectropion can be a result of this cause.

Regardless of the cause, surgery is the definitive treatment to cure ectropion. There may be circumstances in which a patient cannot undergo surgery or simply does not want surgery as a treatment. For this group of patients, there are temporary measures such as use of artificial tears in the presentation of drops frequently during the day and in the form of gel before bedtime. Intradermal fillers can be used transiently to raise the eyelids to its anatomical position while waiting for surgery. Remember that depending on the type of fillers, the effect can be from 6 to 12 months. In summary, the important thing with ectropion is an accurate and timely diagnosis for the right treatment.

Corrective ectropion surgery in Costa Rica
In order to eliminate the annoying symptoms of ectropion such as tearing, redness of the eyes, foreign body sensation, surgery is the solution. An operation that oculoplastic surgeons perform is called canthopexy or canthoplasty. Canthopexy alone or associated with other techniques can solve most of the causes of ectropion. There are different surgical approaches in resolving ectropion. Probably, the best known operation is the tarsal-strip procedure. This is a simple and painless technique that returns the eyelid to its normal anatomical position without affecting its contour.

Surgical treatment for ectropion caused by scarring is of greater complexity and difficulty. The oculoplastic surgeon recurs to the use of skin graft plus canthoplasty. For this group of patients, more than one surgery is necessary to achieve the adequate eyelid position.

Corrective ectropion surgery is an outpatient procedure, without the need for hospitalization, and this can be performed under local or local anesthesia plus sedation. In general, the patient can expect mild inflammation and bruising around the eyelids that resolves in a week or 10 days. Usually, corrective surgery that does not require skin grafting takes about 30 to 45 minutes. The procedure that requires skin grafting probably requires more time and the recovery takes a little longer.

In Costa Rica, Dr. Lin Yang is an oculoplastic surgeon with extensive experience who can offer you the definitive treatment to correct ectropion, giving back the functionality to your eyelid with the best cosmetic result. He approaches this condition with innovative and minimally invasive techniques, with rapid recovery. And most importantly, corrective ectropion surgery is NOT painful. Eliminate ectropion once and for all. You can call us at 2208-8322 / 2289-8137 or write us through info@doctorparpados.com to schedule your appointment.