Epiblepharon Surgery in Singapore
Examples of Epiblepharon concerns prior to surgery. Note how the lashes touch and irritate the corneal surface of the eyes.
What is epiblepharon?
Epiblepharon refers to the excessive skin fold along the eyelid margin that causes the adjacent eyelashes to be turned inwards and touch the cornea. This causes a variable level of discomfort, with some children tolerating it better than others. Epiblepharon is more commonly seen in East Asian children. Usually, only the lower eyelid is affected. However, some children have both upper and lower lid epiblepharon.
Treatments for Epiblepharon
Treatment for epiblepharon depends on the severity of the condition and the presence of any corneal damage. When the lashes constantly rub against the cornea, it can cause damage to the corneas. Some children with mild epiblepharon may grow out of the condition as their facial structure matures. These mild cases of epiblepharon would not require surgery and are often treatable with ointment or lubricating eye drops.
Epiblepharon surgery involves the removal of a small area of excess skin and muscle from the area below the lid margins, allowing the lashes to rotate outwards. As with all surgeries, a faint line may appear where the incision is made, but it typically fades over time.
Does my child require surgery? If so, when is a good time to undergo surgery?
Surgery is often recommended when the child experiences significant discomfort or when corneal abrasions are noted. Occasionally, neglected epiblepharon may cause increasing astigmatism. It is, therefore, good to know the child’s refraction when making the decision whether to undergo surgery. The surgery can be timed electively during school holidays with lubricant eye drops and gel medications tiding the symptomatic child over till then. Consult our expert eye specialist based in Singapore to discuss if epiblepharon surgery is suitable for your child.
Will there be a visible scar after surgery?
The surgical scar is often hidden in the area just below the lower eyelid margin. This subciliary area tends to heal well and most parents and children are not bothered by the fine line that mimics a natural skin line. In the upper eyelid the surgical scar is hidden in the upper eyelid crease. In many cases where the child did not have a “double eyelid” prior to surgery, the family is often delighted to see one present after the surgery.
When should I bring my child to visit an eye specialist?
Surprisingly, epiblepharon can be asymptomatic as the child’s copious tear film prevents surface irritation on the cornea. In other cases, itching, tearing, and redness of the eyes can result from the eyelashes rubbing against the cornea. If you notice that your child is frequently rubbing his or her eyes, you can observe them while they look downwards and upwards. In these positions, symptoms become more noticeable as the inward rotation of the lashes is exacerbated and causes greater corneal touch. If you suspect your child to have epiblepharon, you can bring them to an eye specialist or an eye clinic in Singapore to assess the severity of their condition. At Ava Eye Clinic, Dr Looi has the oculoplastic expertise and experience to help rectify this problem.