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Sandra Liliana Talero, Beatriz Muñoz, Sheila K. West; Potential Effect of Epilation on the Outcome of Surgery for Trachomatous Trichiasis. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(4):30. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.4.30.
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To evaluate the association of epilation before surgery on the surgical outcome in trachomatous trichiasis (TT) patients.
As a secondary data analysis, 1452 patients enrolled in the STAR trial were categorized according to preoperative epilation status. The main outcome was recurrent trichiasis after surgery. We used multivariable analysis, time-to-event analysis, and Cox proportional hazards model.
Those who epilated prior to surgery tended to be older and female, with worse entropion at baseline. The proportion with postoperative trichiasis was 7.7%, 8.8% in those who epilated versus 5.3% in those who did not (P = 0.03). Adjusting for age and sex, the risk of postoperative TT with epilation was 1.71 (P value = 0.02). Although entropion may be in the biological pathway from epilation to postoperative TT, we adjusted for entropion, and the risk of postoperative TT with epilation was 1.41 (P = 0.14).
The study suggests that preoperative epilation may increase the risk of postoperative trichiasis. Further research is needed to confirm the finding.
Patients with TT often self-treat, epilating their inturned eyelashes. The World Health Organization recommends surgery to treat TT, but when patients refuse the procedure or mild trichiasis is present, epilation is often recommended. There is some evidence that repetitive or improper epilation can be harmful to the lid and hair follicles. If there is damage to the lid margin, any subsequent surgery could have deleterious outcomes.
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