Electrocautery refers to the use of a needle or other instrument that is electrically heated and used to carry out a cosmetic or medical procedure. Most people have heard of electrocautery being used in surgeries to help remove unwanted tissue or to seal blood vessels to stop bleeding. However, the technique is also being utilized by eye doctors as it has been found to be beneficial in dealing with a specific eye problem – lashes that grow inwards towards the eye.
Also known as trichiasis, eyelashes that grow at an inward trajectory are a fairly common occurrence and although it isn’t known why some patients experience trichiasis and others don’t, there are some conditions that increase your risk of developing it. This includes chronic blepharitis, trauma to the eye and herpes zoster eye disease.
While eyelashes may seem very soft and like they couldn’t cause any damage, the truth is that when the lashes rub against the surface of the eye, they can actually trigger a number of problems including:
Inflammation of the eyelid
Scratching of the eye
Electrocautery has also been found to be successful in treating a rare disorder called distichiasis, which is characterized by the abnormal growth of lashes from the orifices of the meibomian glands which also causes similar issues to those described above.
Electrocautery uses a special machine called the PRO-LECTROÒ epilator which works in much the same way as a conventional epilator in that it is designed to permanently remove hair follicles. However, the PRO-LECTROÒ hand-held epilator is designed specifically for the removal of unwanted eyelashes. The adjustable direct current meter delivers the optimal current required to destroy the follicle without causing any damage to the surrounding skin.
It is important to note that some patients require several sessions of electrocautery to achieve the desired results.
Electrocautery is carried out in the comfort of our New Smyrna Beach office and usually takes less than an hour. Once you are seated or laying comfortably, a topical anesthetic may be applied to prevent you from experiencing any discomfort during your procedure. After this has taken effect, your eyelid will be held still by your eye doctor so that the cauterizing can take place. The PRO-LECTROÒ epilator has an ultra-fine needle enabling your problem lashes to be targeted with supreme precision.
Since the wounds used to complete the cauterizing are so small, there is minimal downtime associated with this procedure. You may find that the area feels sore and a little swollen for a day or two, and over the counter pain medications are usually sufficient to alleviate discomfort. Any wound area will heal very quickly, and your eye doctor will give you specific information about caring for your eyes during this time. These should be followed to reduce the risk of complications.
If you have any further questions about electrocauterization, please contact Volusia Eye Associates in New Smyrna Beach, FL at (386)427-4143.