Oculoplastics includes a variety of surgeries that are used for the eyelids, orbit, and tear ducts. At Chester County Eye Care, our oculoplastic specialist, Dr. Bruce Stark, treats and manages many oculoplastic conditions including droopy eyelids, entropion and ectropion, chalazion, and eyelid lesions.
Chalazion is a localized abscess that can develop on the upper or lower eyelids. A common condition, a chalazion forms when the meibomian gland, a gland that secretes oil, becomes blocked. As the oil builds up inside the gland, inflammation may develop causing the chalazion to enlarge. It is frequently associated with pain, redness and swelling of the affected eyelid.
Often times, a chalazion can heal on its own with help from warm compresses and gentle massaging which encourages the oil to drain out of the gland. If the chalazion doesn’t heal on its own, incision and drainage or steroid injection may be necessary to shrink it. Surgery is performed in the office and typically takes 5- 10 minutes. Under local anesthesia, an incision is typically made on the inside of the eyelid to remove the chalazion. This approach minimizes the chance of scarring of the lid.
Ptosis is the drooping of the upper eyelid, occurring in one or both eyes. Most ptosis simply occurs with aging when the skin and muscles of the eyelids begin to stretch and weaken causing it to droop. The droop may be minor or severe. If the drooping is severe enough, it may start to affect vision and surgery may be recommended.
Entropion is when the eyelid turns inward towards your eye. This causes the eyelashes to rub against the eye, specifically the cornea, leading to irritation, pain, redness, and tearing. Most often, entropion affects only the lower eyelid. If left untreated, entropion may cause permanent damage. While eye drops can help relieve the irritation caused by entropion, surgical intervention is usually required. Dr. Stark performs an in-office procedure using special sutures to reposition the eyelid and, in more than 99% of the time, outpatient surgery can be avoided.
Ectropion is when the eyelid, usually the lower lid, turns outward away from the eye. As a result, the inner surface of the eyelid becomes exposed, causing dryness, irritation, redness, and watery eyes. Most often, ectropion is caused by aging—as we get older the eye muscles weaken. Eye drops can be used to help alleviate the symptoms but surgery is typically recommended. Surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure and involves tightening the tissues and muscles of the eyelid.
There are many types of lesions that can form on the eyelid. A thorough eye exam and biopsy is required to determine whether a lesion is benign or malignant. Removal of a lesion is frequently performed in the office unless the lesion is unusually large.