Ectropion/Entropion Repair (Eyelid Turnout/ Turn-in)
WHAT IS ECTROPION REPAIR?
Ectropion describes a significant medical condition in which the rim of the lower eyelid folds outward instead of remaining close to the eye. This prevents the eyelid from creating a seal around the eye, which in turn allows dust and other particles to enter.
Ectropion may also inhibit the eye’s second line of defense, tears, to flush away contaminants, and contribute to uncomfortable drying of the eye. Each of these effects can impair vision. When left untreated, ectropion can cause severe diminishment of vision, or even permanent damage to the eye.
In most cases, ectropion is a natural result of aging. As we grow older, connective tissues throughout our body grow looser; when the tendon responsible for keeping the lower eyelid taut against the eye begins to slacken, ectropion often results.
In other cases, ectropion is caused by physical damage to the tendon, and genetic factors can play a role as well. Because ectropion can be caused by a variety of factors, including some that may point to underlying medical issues, a thorough examination is necessary before the right treatment can be chosen.
The right treatment for ectropion is typically limited to repair of the loosened tendon. Each different cause of ectropion may indicate a different approach to repairing this tendon, so patients should expect a thorough screening from their surgeon before treatment is planned.
Ectropion surgery itself is a delicate procedure, the tendon in question is tiny, but recovery from successful surgery tends to be quite brief, and the results long-lasting.
WHAT IS ENTROPION REPAIR?
The canthal tendon controls the lower eyelid’s position. When this tendon becomes loose, the edge of the eyelid can fold inward, toward the eye. This condition, called entropion, can cause significant discomfort and if left untreated can scar the cornea itself.
Entropion can be caused by trauma to the lower eyelid, by genetic factors, or over time by the aging process. The exact cause of entropion determines the proper course of treatment: a canthal tendon that has grown loose with age may require a different surgical procedure than one that never developed properly during a child’s infancy, or one that was ruptured after a blow to the eye. Because its diagnosis is so critical to a full recovery, entropion should be assessed by Dr. Stout who is a highly experienced oculofacial plastic surgeon.
I AM INTERESTED. HOW SHOULD I PROCEED?
Dr. Stout’s goal during the consultation is to provide the patient with information and teach them as much as possible. He begins by listening and will ask the patient what they would like to discuss and what their goals are. The patient’s input is very important. This allows Dr. Stout to work together with the patient through the decision-making process and establish a plan based upon their goals. He believes that knowledge is empowering as it enables his patients to make decisions with confidence and makes them a better partner in the entire process.
Dr. Stout is happy to have the patient bring a family member or friend to the consultation to ask questions and listen. He encourages patients to bring up any concerns that they may have. His consultations are designed to understand each patient’s situation, teach them and give them honest advice so they leave with useful knowledge with which to consider their options.
If you are considering this procedure, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stout.