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Ectropion Surgery in San Diego, CA

Free Consultations Available

Address

1520 East Plaza Boulevard, National City, CA 91950

Office Hours

8:00AM - 5:00PM
Monday - Friday

Meet our Surgeon

Emma McDonnell, M.D., is a board certified Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. She specializes in adult and pediatric reconstructive and cosmetic eyelid surgery (i.e. Blepharoplasty), brow and forehead lifts, facial and orbital surgery. Dr. McDonnell is trained to diagnose and manage diseases of the eye socket and the lacrimal drainage system, and thyroid eye diseases, and to treat facial trauma and eyelid injuries. Dr. McDonnell attended University of Southern California where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Healthy and Humanity. After that, she attended Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. Dr. McDonnell did her residency in Ophthalmology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and fellowship in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Wilmer Eye Institute at John Hopkins Hospital. She has multiple publications and was voted 2nd best research paper by a Resident by University of Southwestern. Following her extensive training, Dr. McDonnell became board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. She is a member of North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society, and Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology. Dr. Emma McDonnell is originally from Southern California and she is very excited to be back to serve the community. During her free time, she enjoys running and reading. Dr. McDonnell is proficient in Spanish and English.

What is Ectropion?

Ectropion is an eye condition in which the eyelid turns outward. It typically affects the lower eyelid, exposing the inner lid in either one section of the eye or across the entire lid. Ectropion prevents tears from draining from the eye correctly, resulting in irritation. It usually occurs in older adults as a result of the aging process, during which muscles, tendons and connective tissue around the eyes progressively weaken. Those who have had trauma to the face or eyes are at greater risk of developing ectropion

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Causes Of Ectropion?

In addition to aging, there are a number of causes of ectropion:

  • Facial paralysis due to Bell’s palsy or tumor
  • Facial scarring from burns or other trauma
  • Eyelid growths (malignant or benign)
  • Previous eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)
  • Radiation of the eyelid to treat a cancerous growth
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Cosmetic laser-skin resurfacing
  • Certain eye drop medications, such as those used to treat glaucoma

In rare cases, ectropion is a congenital condition. It is usually found in infants with another genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome.

What Are The Symptoms Of Ectropion?

In patients with ectropion, tears do not drain properly into the small openings on the inner part of the lid (puncta). This poor drainage causes several symptoms that include the following:

  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Excessive tearing
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Inflammation
  • Eyes that feel dry or gritty

Patients with ectropion should be aware of its possible complications, and report any worsening of symptoms immediately.

What Are The Complications Of Ectropion?

Several serious complications, including the following, can result from ectropion:

  • Corneal abrasions
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Eye infections

Evidence of complications includes eye pain, sensitivity to light or rapidly increasing redness, or a decrease in vision. Any worsening of ectropion symptoms is a sign that vision is in jeopardy and emergency treatment should be sought.

What are The Treatments Of Ectropion?

While there are temporary-relief treatments, such as artificial tears or soothing ointment, correction of ectropion is accomplished with a brief surgical procedure in which the eyelids are repositioned. For ectropion due to muscle weakness or scars from a previous surgery, the repair procedure may include the following:

  • Stretching of scar tissue
  • Removal of a small section of eyelid
  • Skin graft to reposition the eyelid

A patient usually needs to wear an eye patch for 24 hours after surgery. During recovery, an antibiotic and steroid ointment must be administered. Though there may be some short-term bruising or swelling after the operation, the symptoms of ectropion usually resolve immediately.