What is ectropion?

Ectropion causes the lower eyelid to droop away from the eye.   This leaves the inner surface of the eye visible and exposed.   It then becomes chronically irritated.   Ectropion also usually causes the eye to water or cry as the lachrymal point at the end of the lachrymal duct (which is located on the nose side of the margin of the lower eyelid) is no longer in contact with the eye.


  • Lax eyelids caused by ageing 
  • As time goes by, the fibres in the eyelids become slacker. This causes the eyelids to turn outwards. 
  • Facial paralysis
  • Ectropion can also be caused by facial paralysis which can be accompanied by malpositioning of the muscles around the eye. 
  • Scars or insufficient skin
  • Some skin diseases and surgery can lead to problems of insufficient skin, which can in turn cause the eyelids to turn outwards.  
  • Eyelid tumours 
  • Both malignant and benign tumours can cause the eyelids to be malpositioned.

The operation

A variety of techniques can be used depending on the cause of the ectropion. If the eyelids are too slack, the eyelid will be pulled taut. This is done using a 1-cm incision across the eyelid, using the natural crease that you have from smiling. A non-absorbable suture is placed quite deeply. To reseal the skin, 3 to 4 separate sutures are used.

We tend to opt for over-correction during the operation, which makes your eye appear slightly oriental. However, experience has shown us that after the operation, the eyelid will become slacker again. 

If the ectropion is caused by a lack of skin, we can use skin taken from elsewhere (e.g. from the upper eyelid) and place it in the lower eyelid.

If you want more information, or would like to make an appointment:
Contact us or call 0032 (0)2 741 69 99