Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery is a common method of treatment for entropion (inward turning of the eyelid), ectropion (outward turning of the eyelid), ptosis (drooping of the eyelid), and some eyelid tumors.

Ectropion

Ectropion is an outward turning of the lower eyelid, most commonly caused by aging, although eyelid burns or skin disease may also be responsible.

Normally, the eyelids help lubricate and cleanse the eye during blinking. An eyelid that is drooping and has lost contact with the eye can cause dry eyes, excessive tearing, redness and sensitivity to light and wind.

Surgery can be performed to tighten the eyelid and return it to its normal position. The eyelid can then protect and lubricate the eye properly, so that irritation and other symptoms subside.

Eyelid surgery to repair ectropion is usually performed as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia. After surgery, an eye patch is usually worn and antibiotic ointment is prescribed.

Entropion

Entropion is an inward turning of the eyelid and lashes toward the eye, usually caused by relaxation of the eye muscles and tissue due to aging.

Entropion usually affects the lower lid. The skin and eyelashes rub against the eye and cause discomfort and tearing. The irritated eye can produce mucous, and become red and sensitive to light and wind. If entropion is not treated, rubbing of the skin and eyelashes can cause infection or scarring of the eye, which can cause vision loss.

Surgery can be performed to tighten the eyelid and return it to its normal position. The eyelid then protects the eye properly, and irritation and other symptoms subside.

Eyelid surgery to repair entropion is usually performed as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia. After surgery, an eye patch is usually worn and antibiotic ointment is prescribed.

Ptosis

Ptosis is drooping of the upper eyelid. The lid may droop only slightly or it may cover the pupil entirely. In some cases ptosis can restrict and even block normal vision.

Congenital ptosis, or ptosis that is present at birth, requires treatment for normal visual development. Uncorrected congenital ptosis can cause amblyopia, or lazy eye. If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to permanently poor vision.

Except in mild cases, the treatment for childhood ptosis is usually surgery to tighten the levator muscle that lifts the eyelid. In severe ptosis, when the levator muscle is extremely weak, the lid can be attached or suspended from under the eyebrow so the forehead muscles do the lifting. Children with ptosis, whether they have had surgery or not, should be examined annually by an ophthalmologist for amblyopia, refractive disorders, and associated conditions.

Ptosis in adults is commonly caused by separation of the levator muscle from the eyelid as a result of aging, cataract or other eye surgery, an injury, or an eye tumor. Adult ptosis may also occur as a complication of other diseases involving the levator muscle or its nerve supply, such as diabetes.

If treatment is necessary, it is usually surgical. Sometimes a small tuck in the levator muscle and eyelid can raise the lid sufficiently. More severe ptosis requires reattachment and strengthening of the levator muscle.

After eyelid surgery, a black eye is common but goes away quickly. It may be difficult to close your eyelids completely, making the eyes feel dry. This irritation generally disappears as the surgery heals.

To most people, the improvement in vision, comfort and appearance after eyelid surgery is very gratifying.