Ectropion is an eversion or outward turning of the eyelid margin leading to loss of the normal apposition of the eyelid to the globe. Ectropion may be classified as congenital, involutional, paralytic, cicatricial, or mechanical. Involutional ectropion is caused by horizontal eyelid laxity of the medial and/or lateral canthal tendons. Cicatricial ectropion can be caused by the shortening of the anterior and/or middle lamella. Paralytic ectropion can be caused by CN VII paralysis or palsy resulting in loss of orbicularis oculi muscle tone. Lastly, mechanical ectropion can be caused by gravity, mass-effect of a tumor, fluid accumulation, herniated orbital fat, or poorly fitted spectacles. The patient may experience symptoms of corneal exposure, irritation, or epiphora due to ocular exposure, inadequate lubrication, and corneal disease. An individual is at increased risk with age, eyelid rubbing, excessing eyelid pulling or manipulation, contact lens use, skin conditions involving the lid, injury, or previous surgery.
The eyelid is composed of seven tissue layers unique to this facial region. Superficial to deep the layers are skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles of protraction/orbicularis oculi, orbital septum, orbital fat, muscles of retraction, tarsus, and conjunctiva. The skin along the eyelid, in relation to the other skin in the body, is much thinner.
Multiple nerves supply the eyelid. The superior lid is innervated by the infratrochlear, supratrochlear, supraorbital, and lacrimal nerves of V1. The innervation of the lower eyelid is via the infratrochlear and infraorbital nerve of V2.
The arterial supply of the eyelids is composed of the internal carotid artery by way of the ophthalmic artery and its supraorbital and lacrimal branches and the external carotid artery via the angular and temporal branches of the facial artery. The blood supply to the lower and upper lids is created by anastomoses of the lateral and medial palpebral arteries. These arteries branch off the lacrimal artery and ophthalmic artery.
Symptoms include foreign body sensation, hyperemia, epiphora, exposure keratitis, and corneal ulceration. Anterior lamellar shortening often is the primary cause of cicatricial ectropion, and associated disorders should be addressed and treated before surgery. Patients with congenital, paralytic, mechanical, or involutional ectropion often require different treatments. It is once again important to identify the etiology before surgical intervention. Medial tendon laxity and ectropion of the punctum will require additional procedures to correct.
Patients who cannot tolerate the procedure should not undergo a correction. Medical management of the underlying etiology should be controlled first, and then surgical correction can be considered. If inflammation or infection is not controlled, the prognosis is worse, as there is a higher risk of complications, and the problem can often progress.
The following equipment is needed: No. 15 Bard-Parker blade, Westcott scissors, 0.5mm forceps, and cautery (monopolar or bipolar), 4-0 silk suture, 6-0 Vicryl suture, 5-0 Vicryl suture, corneal shield, and antibiotic ophthalmic ointment.
An ophthalmologist, oculoplastic, facial plastic, or plastic surgeon is required.
The patient should have been properly examined before surgical intervention and deemed appropriate for surgery by an appropriately qualified surgeon. The patient needs to be educated about the associated risks and benefits of the intervention, including alternative therapies available. All possible complications should be discussed. Lastly, any questions from the patient need to be answered.
There are multiple procedures possible depending on the etiology of the ectropion, and the repair is tailored to each specific patient based on preoperative examination. The essential steps for the following will be listed: cicatricial, involutional, medial, and lateral tarsal strip with a medial spindle for ectropion repair with punctal eversion.
Medial Ectropion Repair 
Lateral Tarsal Strip with Medial Spindle
Infection, bleeding, pain, poor cosmesis, corneal abrasion, suture dehiscence or erosion, retrobulbar hematoma, lower eyelid retraction, and canthal dystopia are all possible complications.
Care should be coordinated between physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Medical management can typically be done by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or general clinicians experienced in handling ocular conditions. Surgical care can be performed by an ophthalmologist or surgeon who specialized in facial and ocular plastics. Patient safety and the best possible outcome should always be considered and no patient should undergo any treatment that may harm or worsen their outcome. An in depth discussion about risks and benefits should be performed with the patient prior to iniating any treatment.
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