Ectropion is the medical term used to describe sagging and outward turning of the lower eyelid and eyelashes, exposing the pink conjunctiva lining in the eyelid. Tearing in patients with this problem occurs because the eyelids are not able to wipe the surface of the cornea properly to pump the tears into the tear duct.
Entropion is the medical term used to describe rolling inward of the lower eyelid and eyelashes towards the eye. The skin of the eyelid and the eyelashes rub against the cornea (the front part of the eye) and conjunctiva (the mucous membrane that protects the eye). This rubbing can lead to excessive tearing, crusting of the eyelid, mucous discharge, a feeling that something is in the eye, irritation of the cornea, and impaired vision.
Surgery is performed in an outpatient setting; patients are able to go home directly following their procedure.
Patients are given a mild sedative intravenously, and then a local anesthesia is then applied to the operative area to further ensure patient comfort. On average, surgery for bilateral lower eye lid repair takes approximately 30- 45 minutes to complete.
The surgeon will shorten and tighten the eyelid and its attachments. This is done by making a tiny incision in the outer corner of your eyelid to access the muscles and tendons that stabilize the eyelid. When your lid is stitched back in place it will hug your eye as it was before the sagging began and your eye will no longer be so vulnerable to irritants.
AFTER THE SURGERY:
Recovery from this surgery is usually easy. You may experience a small amount of bleeding from the outside corners of your eyes, especially in the morning when you first awake. Dab with a damp, clean cloth or gauze pad to keep the area clean. You will need to use ointment for 1-2 weeks to help the sutures dissolve. Minor bruising and inflammation may occur. You must avoid strenuous activity for 2 weeks following surgery. Likewise, treat the area gently and avoid rubbing. You may shower the day following surgery, but keep your face out of the direct shower stream and pat dry. The stitches will dissolve on their own within a week or two.
Specific instructions for post-operative care will be provided and explained at the time of surgery. As always, please call with any concerns or questions that are not addressed in your materials.