Diagnosis & Treatment of Distichiasis

Ocular problems can be easily captured and treated using the OtoPet-USA Video Vetscope. Here is a video of a patient with distichiasis, which was recorded and treated using the OtoPet-USA Video Vetscope. The Video Vetscope allowed for magnification and easy diagnosis of the distichia, as well as a chance for the client to visualize the problem.

In this case, the patient presented for chronic redness and squinting in the left eye. After a negative fluoroscein stain and a normal schirmer tear test, the Video Vetscope probe was used to evaluate the eye and the distichia were found. You can appreciate multiple distichia located on the upper left palpebral margin on the video.

Distichiasis is a condition in which extra hairs grow out of the eyelash area or palpebral margin. Untreated distichiasis can cause corneal ulcers, chronic eye and eyelid pain and excessive tearing. Signs of distichiasis may include increased blinking, extra tears and squinting.

There are several treatment options for distichia. Cryosurgery freezes the lid margin at the places where there are extra hairs. Surgery, electrolysis and laser treatment can also be performed to remove the hairs permanently. All of these procedures destroy the hair follicles, preventing hair re-growth.

In this case, the patient was placed under general anesthesia and the distichia were treated using laser. An 0.8mm x 180mm stainless steel CO2 laser waveguide was placed through the working channel of the Video Vetscope probe. The Video Vetscope probe and laser were then placed over each eyelash to be removed so that it was highly magnified on the Video Vetscope monitor. The laser was lined up perpendicular to the leading edge of the eyelid with the beam aimed directly into the growth of the hair as it emerged from the eyelid. Using a single 500 millisecond pulse at about 5 watts of energy, the hair follicle was lasered, liquefying the hair and destroying the hair follicle. All of the distichia in the video were removed using this technique.

If you have an interesting case that you would like to submit with pictures, please contact Dr. Jessica Melman Bhatia at jessvet3@aol.com.