An ectropion occurs when the lower eyelid sags or is pulled away from the eye. In extreme cases, the eyelid can be completely rolled away from the eye, causing the pink conjunctiva, which is located on the back of the lid, to be visible. Eyelid ectropion is related to eyelid laxity, where the tendons and the tissues in the eyelid have become loose and can no longer firmly hold the eyelid against the eye. Ectropion is most commonly caused by age and lid laxity, but it can also have other causes. These include paralysis of the eyelid muscles, or a heavy lesion or scar tissue pulling the eyelid down and away from the eye itself. When the eyelid is pulled away from the eye, the cornea of the eye can become dry and uncomfortable. This can lead to tearing, redness and “foreign body sensation” of the eye.
Dr. McKevitt can perform an ectropion repair, a procedure where the eyelid is tightened back against the eyeball. A small, minimally visible incision is made at the outer corner of the eyelid in the natural crease and the tissues are gently replaced into their normal anatomic position with sutures. Once the tissues are healed, the majority of the sutures will melt away. This procedure is usually performed in an outpatient surgery setting with IV sedation and local numbing medication. Some eyelid bruising can occur, and this typically resolves within 1-2 weeks of the procedure. Some discomfort can occur and is usually treated with mild to moderate oral pain medications.