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Oculoplastic Surgery

Entropion and Ectropion

Entropion

Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid becomes unstable and rolls inward towards the eye. This condition may lead to severe discomfort, sight-threatening erosions, and infections of the ocular surface and should be dealt with urgently.

The most common form of entropion is attributed to looseness of the eyelid margin and instability of the lower eyelid retractors (ligaments that keep the eyelid from turning in). Occasionally the orbicularis muscle that functions to close the eyelid is too powerful and causes the eyelid to turn in. Another less common cause of entropion is scarring on the posterior (back) surface of the eyelid.

At your office visit, our oculoplastic surgeon will discuss the cause of the problem and explain your surgical options. Most cases of entropion can be fixed under local anesthesia in University Physician Ophthalmology's minor procedure room.

Ectropion

Proper positioning and tension of the lower eyelid in relation to the eye is crucial to the health and comfort of the ocular surface. An ectropion is when the eyelid does not maintain good contact with the surface of the eye and falls outward away from the eye.

This problem can be likened to dirty windshield wipers that don’t clean the windshield well due to poor contact with the glass. Tears are not distributed evenly across the surface of the eye leading to discomfort, dry eye, abnormal tearing, and possibly sight-threatening erosions or infections of the cornea.

There are multiple causes of ectropion, but by far the most common is excess looseness of the eyelid margin, which allows gravity to pull the eyelid away from the eye. Scarring, certain skin disorders, previous surgery, and eyelid tumors are other possible causes of ectropion

Surgical options for the correction of ectropion typically involve tightening the lower eyelid margin to reposition the eyelid into good contact with the eye. If significant scarring is present in the eyelid skin, a skin graft is sometimes necessary.

At your office visit, our oculoplastic surgeon will discuss the cause of the problem and the most appropriate surgery for you. Most cases of ectropion can be fixed under local anesthesia in University Physician Ophthalmology's minor procedure room.