Eyelid Surgery: Ectropion / Entropion

Eyelid Surgery: Ectropion / Entropion

Ectropion and entropion are common disorders of the eyelid margin. Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid is rolled inward toward the eye. Ectropion refers to an out-turned lower eyelid.

These conditions can occur for different reasons including aging, previous surgeries or trauma. They can directly affect ocular function and comfort so surgical repair is commonly performed.


For patients with entropion, the turned in eyelid rubs against the eye, making it red, irritated, and sensitive to light and wind. If untreated the condition can lead to excessive tearing, mucus discharge and scratching or scarring of the cornea. It is important to have a doctor repair the condition before permanent damage to the eye occurs.

Ectropion (turning-out of the eyelid) can cause keratoconjunctivopathy (inflammation due to dryness), infection, and dermatitis. Tearing is also a common symptom, whether the punctum is everted (resulting in a tear outflow problem) or not (as in reflex tearing from irritation and exposure keratoconjunctivopathy).

Surgical Repair

There are a number of surgical techniques for successfully treating entropion and ectropion. The most common involves tightening of the eyelid and its attachments to restore the lid to its normal position.

Surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia with or without sedation and can be done either at our City Theatre on Symonds Street, at Oasis Surgical Centre or at Rodney Surgical Centre depending on the type of surgery and convenience for the patient.

Surgery time is typically one hour, and most patients go home the same day. You will need to be collected by a family member or friend after surgery.

Right: City Eye theatre at our Symonds Street clinic.

Who Should Perform The Surgery?

When choosing a surgeon to perform this type of surgery, it is important to look for a cosmetic and reconstructive facial surgeon who specializes in the eyelids, orbit, and tear drain system. Dr Richard Hart is an ophthalmologist who understands the anatomy and structure of the eyelids and orbit, and also has had extensive training in ophthalmic plastic reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.

Following Eyelid Surgery

An antibiotic ointment is prescribed for approximately one week after surgery and pain medication for the first few days. Regular ice packs and the use of an extra pillow at night to elevate your head will help to keep your eyes comfortable, minimise bruising and facilitate healing.

Most patients experience immediate resolution of the problem following surgery.

Dr Hart will see you one week after surgery and arrange for long term follow-up if needed.

What to Expect

We recommend you take 2- 5 days off work following eyelid surgery

After ectropion surgery there may be a small scar at the outer corner of the eye. For entropion surgery there may be a small line at the outer corner and subciliary (below the lashes) part of the eyelid.

The scar may be slightly pink for some months, but should slowly fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line.