Ectropion is typically diagnosed through a standard eye examination and physical assessment. During the exam, your doctor may gently manipulate your eyelids or instruct you to close your eyes with force to evaluate the muscle tone and tightness of each eyelid. If your ectropion is attributed to factors such as scarring, tumors, prior surgeries, or radiation, your doctor will also scrutinize the adjacent tissue. This comprehensive evaluation is essential for determining the appropriate treatment based on the underlying causes of ectropion.


In mild cases of ectropion, your doctor may recommend the use of artificial tears and ointments to alleviate symptoms; however, surgery is generally required for a complete and comprehensive correction.

The choice of surgical approach for treating ectropion depends on both the condition of the eyelid tissue and the underlying cause of the ectropion:

  • Age-related ectropion: If ectropion is primarily due to the natural weakening of muscles and ligaments with aging, the surgical procedure typically involves the removal of a small portion of the lower eyelid’s outer edge. After this removal, the surgeon will carefully stitch the eyelid back together, simultaneously tightening the tendons and muscles of the eyelid. This tightening helps the eyelid to properly rest against the eye. This procedure is generally straightforward.
  • Ectropion resulting from scar tissue: When ectropion is caused by scar tissue resulting from injury or prior surgeries, a more complex surgical approach may be necessary. In such cases, the surgeon might opt to utilize a skin graft sourced from either the upper eyelid or the area behind the ear. This graft is employed to provide additional support to the lower eyelid. In instances where the patient has facial paralysis or extensive scarring, a second surgical procedure might be required to fully correct the ectropion issue.

Before eyelid surgery, you’ll receive local anesthesia and possible mild sedation. Afterward, you may need to wear an eye patch, apply ointment, and use cold compresses.

Post-surgery, expect temporary swelling, bruising, tightness, and removal of stitches within a week. Swelling and bruising will subside in about two weeks.