Cosmetic, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery/Ectropion

Ectropion surgery relives the irritation felt within the eye and improves the aesthetic appearance

Ectropion describes an outwardly turned eyelid. Usually, ectropion occurs in the lower eyelid as a result of age-related laxity which therefore leads to the eyelid turning outwards. Due to the outward turned nature of the eyelid, it can therefore appear red and inflamed due to the lower lid being pulled downwards exposing the red surface behind it (known as the conjunctiva). This can lead to irritation in addition to an undesirable physical appearance. Due to the exposed nature of the inner side of the eyelid, individuals suffering from ectropion may be more susceptible to eye infections.

There are many reasons that ectropion can occur. The main reason for the condition comes from age related changes in the eyelids. When we age, the muscles and skin in our bodies can become lax and weak, instead of being strong and tight. As a result of both the weakened and stretched muscles and skin, ectropion can occur. However, there are a variety of other reasons as to why ectropion may occur – facial paralysis, eyelid lesions and some types of genetic disorders can also be responsible for ectropion and lead to functional issues with the eyelids which then have implications for other eye problems such as infection.


There are a variety of symptoms that patients may display due to ectropion such as irritation in and around the eye area, a greater sensitivity to light and wind due to the more exposed nature of the inner eye. Watery eyes are also very common in those with ectropion because the outwardly turned eyelid prevents the tear drainage system from operating properly (the tears do not get to the tearduct entry site on the inner eyelid) leading to an inability to control the production and flow of tears and so causing watery eyes.

Due to the nature of ectropion, without surgery the problem cannot fix itself because once the skin and muscles have become lax, surgery is the only option to ensure the eyelid is back into the right place to restore proper function to the eyelid.

Due to the underlying causes of ectropion associated with ageing, it will not spontaneously resolve. The condition can only be fixed with surgery (there are no non-surgical treatments).

During ectropion surgery the lower eyelid, which has become lax, is shortened, tightened and inverted. In order to achieve this, your surgeon will remove a very small portion of the eyelid and stitch it up, usually at the outer corner of the eye, ensuring the eye is in the correct position. The procedure is small and only takes around 30 minutes to complete and ensure the eye is functioning properly and in the correct position.

Following surgery, you may experience some discomfort and mild pain in and around the eyelid area although many patients do not experience any pain at all. Additionally, bruising and swelling are likely to be evident as the area begins to heal. After 1-2 weeks the bruising and discomfort should begin to ease and at this time the stitches will be removed. Any bruising and discomfort can be controlled with a cold compress. You should be careful not to rub or irritate the area during the first 1-2 weeks post-surgery in order to ensure optimal healing and achieve the best results.

Procedure Overview

  • Usually, ectropion results from laxity of lower eyelid tissues as we age
  • Ectropion can lead to a watery eye, increased risk of eye infections and may be cosmetically unappealing
  • The only way to fix ectropion is surgery
  • Procedure done which shortens, tightens and inverts the eyelid
  • Typical procedure takes 1 hour to complete (both eyes)
  • Stitches will be removed 1-2 weeks after surgery depending on healing
  • Typical procedure costs between £1300 and £2750
  • You will have an initial consultation with an expert specialist in this area
Woman looking down

During ectropion surgery, you will receive a local anaesthetic and therefore you will not feel any pain and discomfort during the procedure. After surgery, the area may feel uncomfortable in a small proportion of cases however this should subside after a few days.

Ectropion surgery takes around 30 minutes per eye to complete.

Results from ectropion surgery are usually permanent, although in some cases it can recur years later, as the tissues continue to age.

The price for an ectropion surgery starts from approximately £3400 which includes both consultant and facility fees. The total cost will be confirmed following the initial consultation.


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