Ectropion is the medical term used to describe sagging and outward turning of the lower eyelid and eyelashes. This can lead to excessive tearing, crusting of the eyelid, mucous discharge and irritation of the eye. In most cases, ectropion occurs because of age-related relaxation of the tissues of the eyelid. Some cases are caused by scarring as a result of many years of sun-exposure, chemical and thermal burns, injury, skin cancers, or previous eyelid surgery. Occasionally, ectropion can be present at birth if the eyelids do not form properly.
Ectropion should be repaired surgically before the front of the eye (the cornea) is damaged. The surgery to repair ectropion is usually performed under local anesthesia as a day case procedure. In most cases, Mr Malhotra will tighten the eyelid and its attachments, usually through a small incision at the outer corner of the eyelid, but also internally (trans-conjunctivally), in order to re-attach the internal eyelid attachments known as retractors. Occasionally, a skin graft may be required.