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The outer corner of the eye is one of the more subtle parts of the eyelid that influence how our eyes make us look older.  The lower eyelids are normally held tight to the eye by tendons in each corner of the eye.  As time goes by, our tendons loosen, causing the lower eyelid to sag.  This can happen over a long period of time; eventually, the outer corners start to lose their sharp, youthful angle and they become more rounded.  The outer half of the lower eyelid can also begin to sag downward, making more of the white of the eye visible. Canthoplasty recreates the sharp, upward angle of the eye, giving you a more youthful look.

eyelid surgery

How is Canthoplasty done?

Canthoplasty is performed by making a small incision in the outer corner of the eyelid, between the upper and lower lid. Typically, this small incision falls into a natural smile line, sometimes called a crow’s foot. From here, Dr. Dewan fully releases the lower eyelid tendon so that it can be retightened. This retightening is done in a manner so that the eyelid slopes upward toward to corner of the eye. For some patients with particularly loose eyelids, a small section of the eyelid may have to be shaved off to give adequate tightening. The corner of the eyelid is then reformed using stitches. The end result is a tight, sharp outer angle to the eyelid.

There are other things that bother me about my eyelids! Is it possible to have other surgeries at the same time?

Yes!  In most cases, patients want to address several concerns during a single surgery.  This is definitely possible and the following are common additional procedures:

  • Upper eyelid blepharoplasty: the combination of upper eyelid blepharoplasty and canthoplasty  is a perfect way to rejuvenate the face for patients that don’t have lower eyelid bags. This opens the eyes nicely while providing a youthful look.
  • Lower eyelid blepharoplasty:lower eyelid “bag” removal surgery is frequently combined with canthoplasty to smooth the lower eyelid-cheek junction.
  • Ptosis repair:occasionally patients have eyelids that sit too low and cover their pupils. Tightening the upper eyelid muscles can make the eyes appear more open.
  • Brow elevation:just as canthoplasty will create an upswept appearance for the lower eyelid, a brow elevation can create a more elevated, open brow. 
  • Eyelid lesion removal:small eyelid skin growths are common and easily removed at the same time as other eyelid surgery.
Located in the Twin Cities

What will scarring be like after the surgery?

The incisions for canthoplasty typically fall into natural lines on the face in the outer corner of the eye. These are often called “crow’s feet” or smile lines. Because the incision follows these already present lines, the incision is typically very well hidden. The skin in this location is also quite thin, so it doesn’t typically scar in a thick or visible manner.

What is the recovery like?

Like most eyelid surgery, canthoplasty has a generally comfortable recovery.

  • Typically, patients have very little pain, with only the occasional need for over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or ibuprofen.
  • Some patients describe minor dry eye for a few days after surgery, and may need to use artificial tears for this time.
  • Most patients can resume their normal activities within a day or two, with only a few restrictions, including heavy lifting or cardiac exercise.
  • The stitches typically dissolve within 10 days.
  • Dr. Dewan sees post-operative patients one week following surgery to make sure you are healing well.

Before and After

Our before and after photos are from right before the surgery to about 5-10 days after, so most patients are still showing some amount of swelling and bruising.

  • All our photos are unretouched.
  • You can expect additional improvements for several weeks after surgery, and most patients are so happy with their surgeries that they don’t come in after the immediate post-operative visit (though we always are happy to see them).

These photos help you see how quickly you can expect results, though remember that your final result can take up to 6 months for full healing to occur.

Will insurance pay for this?

Canthoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. During your consultation, Dr. Dewan will give you a customized treatment plan along with a quote for the cost of surgery.

An oculoplastic surgeon will give you
the best results.