Background: The prevalence of long-term trichiasis recurrence following tarsal rotation and electro-epilation procedures has not been determined. A non-concurrent prospective study of surgical cases of trichiasis was therefore undertaken in Oman.
Methods: A sample of 603 surgical cases of trichiasis (approximately half tarsal rotation and half electro-epilation) was followed for an average of 3.1 years to determine recurrence. Recurrence was defined as either mild (<5 lashes touching the globe) or severe (5 or more lashes touching the globe).
Results: Overall, 56% (95% confidence interval of 50.6%-61.0%) of all surgical cases recurred; ranging from 61.8% of tarsal rotation patients to 50.6% of electro-epilation patients. Severe recurrence was detected among 27% of tarsal rotation patients and 10% of electro-epilation patients. Recurrence was associated with female sex, residence in a high-risk region, and time since surgery.
Discussion: The risk of recurrence after electro-epilation and bilamellar tarsal rotation surgery is high; strategies that account for recurrence need to be introduced.