in St. Louis MO & St. Peters MO
What is Ectropion?
Ectropion of the eyelid is a condition in which the lower eyelid droops downward and begins to turn out. It’s usually a result of the aging process as the cartilage of the lower lid becomes stretched over time, but disease or injury can sometimes cause it as well.
If your lower lid has begun to turn out and causes eye irritation, you may be a candidate for Ectropion Repair at Ophthalmic Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery, Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri.
What causes Ectropion?
Ectropion is a blanket term that describes the turning of the eyelid. There are several types of ectropion, each of which may have a different underlying cause. Some people are born with this condition (congenital) and some develop acquired ectropion later in life. Various types of acquired ectropion include:
- Involutional ectropion, which occurs when the elastic and collagen fibers in the eyelid weaken. Without adequate elasticity and firmness, the eyelid becomes loose to a point of falling open.
- Involutional ectropion is the most common type and is most commonly seen in older adults.
Cicatricial ectropion is related to an abnormal contraction of the lower eyelid. This often results from scarring caused by infection or injury.
- Paralytic ectropion is caused by a malfunction in the facial nerve that operates the muscle beneath the lower eyelid. This type of ectropion may result from a stroke or other neurological conditions.
- Mechanical ectropion occurs when a mass such as a tumor pulls down on the eyelid, causing it to fall open.
The most noticeable symptom of ectropion is the visible position of the lower eyelid. A person may notice that more of the white of the eye is showing or that the eyelid visibly falls away from the eyeball. In more severe cases, the eyelid may turn inside out when a person sleeps. Additional symptoms of ectropion include:
- Dry eyes and a gritty sensation due to poor tear film
- Excessive tearing
- Inability to completely close the eyes
- Eye pain, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision
- Burning or itching sensations
- Crusting around the eyelashes or eyelid caused by conjunctivitis
Reasons For Ectropion Repair
While ectropion repair will make you look better, it’s also necessary for the health of your eye. For this reason, your health insurance will probably cover the cost of your surgery. Without repair, you will most likely experience:
- Dryness and excessive crusting on your eyelid.
- Excessive tearing of the affected eye.
- Sensitivity to dust and wind because your lower lid is no longer sufficiently protecting your eye or cleansing it properly with your tears when you blink.
Eventually, you could even suffer eye scarring as a result of the foreign bodies that can reach your eye without the protection of the lower lid. In extreme cases, an untreated ectropion eyelid can even lead to blindness. Therefore, it’s very important to have the condition corrected as soon as possible.
What Are the Treatment Options for Ectropion?
Early treatments for ectropion include remedies such as lubricating eye drops, antibiotics to treat existing infection, and steroid ointments to reduce inflammation. If the condition of the lower eyelid worsens, surgery may be considered.
Surgery for ectropion is planned around the cause of eyelid turning.
Stretching of Scar Tissue
Ectropion that results from scar tissue buildup on the lower eyelid may be treated with controlled stretching. This process involves injecting a steroid medication into the scar and massaging tissue to reduce tightness that is pulling the eyelid.
Depending on the severity of a scar caused by injury, previous surgery, or sun damage, a doctor may reduce ectropion by placing a skin graft in the affected area. A skin graft may be taken from behind the ear or the upper eyelid. Both areas typically heal within a few weeks.
Ectropion that is caused by the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers that keep the eyelid intact may be corrected with plastic surgery. In this outpatient procedure performed with a local anesthetic, the surgeon shortens and tightens the lower eyelid so it fits against the eyeball.
Learn More About Entropion & Ectropion
What To Expect During Your Consultation With Our Team
When you arrive at our St. Louis office, you will need to provide your medical history. We need to know about any major illnesses or problems you have had, such as heart disease, hypertension, prior surgeries (especially facial surgery), etc. We also need to know your medication history, including medications or supplements that thin the blood.
During the consultation, our team will thoroughly discuss the ectropion repair surgery with you. A mutual understanding of the goals, expectations, and outcomes is essential to a great result!
Our team will then perform an examination look for any eye conditions such as a dry eye. This could limit or alter the surgical plan and be a possible post-operative concern. As a board-certified ophthalmologist (eye surgeon), as well as an ophthalmic plastic surgeon, Our team is attuned to eye diseases and concerns. Some of the best facial and cosmetic surgeons in the area regularly refer patients to our team because of his expertise and ability to operate safely on patients who are at higher risk for complications.
Ectropion Repair Procedure
Ectropion repair with our team is a simple procedure and only takes about 15 minutes. You will only need a local anesthetic and mild sedation to prevent you from feeling any pain.
For the procedure, our team will shorten and tighten your lower lid so that it looks normal once again. This is done by making a tiny incision in the outer corner of your eyelid so that just enough of the excess tissue of the lower lid can be removed.
When your lid is stitched back into place, it will be tighter to your eye as it was before the sagging began, and your eye will no longer be so vulnerable to irritants.
Bear in mind that ectropion repair is a specialized surgery that absolutely must be performed by an experienced ophthalmic plastic surgeon or ophthalmic cosmetic surgeon like our team in St. Louis.
What Patients Say
“I am 100% satisfied with my experience at Dr. Hold’s office. The staff is so friendly & their customer service is unparalleled. I was a little nervous about the procedure but the staff & Dr. Holds put me at ease. I can not say enough good things about this office. The results of my procedure are top notch & everything that I had hoped the results would be. I would recommend Dr. Hold’s to anyone. The attention to detail, the actual procedure, the customer service, the follow ups & the end results were more than I expected.”
“Dr. Holds and his staff are the best. I would highly recommend them. They insure you are happy with anything they do. They produce great results.”
“I was a patient of Dr. Holds several times. We are extremely happy with everything he has done. His staff is very friendly and knowledgeable.”
Recovery from ectropion surgery is usually very easy. You will need to use antibiotic ointment and wear an eye patch for a week. You may experience some minor bruising and inflammation, but this is generally very minimal.
The stitches that are used will dissolve on their own within a week or two, so you don’t have to return to our office to have them removed.
What Are the Complications Associated with Ectropion?
Can Ectropion be prevented?
how much does ectropion surgery cost?
Schedule a Consultation
Call our office today at 314-567-3567 for a consultation with our team to find out how Ectropion Repair can restore your health and appearance. Ophthalmic Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery, Inc serves St. Louis, St. Peters, and surrounding areas in Missouri.