Canthoplasty Surgery and Eyelid Conditions
Canthoplasty can help treat various eyelid concerns including entropion or ectropion. These conditions involve eyelid skin and supporting eye-area structures that sag, droop, fold in on themselves, or turns inwards and/or outwards to a degree where it causes severe eye area irritation, dry eye syndrome and tear-duct problems.
What is Canthoplasty Surgery?
Canthoplasty surgery (definition):
Canthoplasty involves making tissue adjustments to change the configuration and/or position of the lateral canthus of the eyelid area, e.g., the corner of your eyes where your upper eyelids meet your bottom eye lids .
Canthoplasty surgery can be used to:
- correct eyelid issues including ptosis or disfigurement caused by trauma, ageing or disease
- correct prior eye surgeries that haven’t gotten the best results (e.g., Revisional Blepharoplasty for correcting prior lower eye lid surgery)
- tightening the muscle(s) that connect your upper and lower eye lids (these eye area muscles weaken as you age)
Types of Canthoplasty Eyelid Surgeries
Lateral Canthoplasty can achieve less-sleepy looking eye lids or a ‘Cat Eye’ appearance
You may be investigating a Canthoplasty procedure to correct your drooping lower eyelids; or you might want this eye lid surgery to help soften the look of your eyes – helping to give you a less sleepy appearance.
- A lateral canthoplasty helps shape the OUTER corner parts of your eye
- This eye lid surgical technique was originally created to repair certain eyelid dysfunctions but is sometimes now used cosmetically
- Performed as a Cosmetic procedure, lateral canthoplasty techniques help create a softer appearance around the eye area
Changing Eye Shapes through Surgery
- Canthoplasty has been a popular surgery for women and men of Korean heritage and people for anyone who has a drooping outer eye lid area and who seeks a slightly more open-eyed appearance)
- Results vary, however, and all invasive surgery has risks.
- See your Surgeon for details during a confidential consultation in Mebourne by phoning 0388491444.
- Canthoplasty may help eyes look a bit more open; reducing a ‘sleepy-looking’eyelid appearance
- Some patients also seek a Canthoplasty procedure for a slightly more ‘cat eye’ appearance, e.g. to add a slightly upward slant of the lower eyelid – ask if you’re a suitable surgical candidate
An epi-canthoplasty surgical procedure alters or re-shapes the inner corner part of the eyes.
Epi-canthoplasty – reshapes or refines the inner corner of your eyes
- Epi-canthoplasty is a procedure focused on slightly adjusting the INNER corner of your eyes
- Combining an epi-canthoplasty with a lateral canthoplasty is sometimes requested to get a specific appearance change for the eye and eye lid areas of the face
- Depending on the condition of your skin and your particular facial anatomy, your Specialist Surgeon may recommend a different procedure OR a combined surgical and non-surgical approach
- Whilst there are several eye appearance changes you can attain through proper eyelid surgery, be cautious that your expectations are realistic and that you are fully aware of the risks involved with any surgical procedure
Some patients combine epi-canthoplasty with other canthoplasty techniques.
- The two techniques combined (lateral canthoplasty and epi-canthoplasty) may provide you with the specific eyelid appearance changes that you are trying to achieve.
However, be cautious when you choose your Surgeon. These are complex eyelid surgeries requiring advanced expertise and surgical judgment along with precision surgical skills.
At our Melbourne clinic, we have Oculoplastic Surgeon and canthoplasty surgery expert, Dr Benjamin Burt, who has dedicated his entire career to surgeries of the eyes, eyelids and brows.
Ectropion: Correcting Ectropion by Canthoplasty Surgery
Ectropion is a condition that usually occurs as our eyelids age.
The term ‘Ectropion’ refers to the outward turning of the lower eyelid .
What causes Ectropion?
As you get older, your eye muscles weaken or ‘atrophy.’
These eye muscles, like the rest of your body, fail to function normally once they become overly weakened.
Here’s what generally happens as people’s eyes and eye area ages over time.
- The eye area muscles and skin becomes looser and loses elasticity as you age
- As elasticity fails, so too does the strength and function of those eye lid muscles – meaning you may end up with lower eyelid drooping and eye lid sagging over time (you can also end up with noticeable under eye ‘bags’ or puffiness under your eye area)
- Loose muscles and weakened skin then cause your LOWER eyelid to DROOP as well as TURN slightly outward, which:
- can lead to irritation of your eyes and
- may result in excessively DRY eyes if the flow from your tear ducts aren’t reaching your eye area or
- may result in weepy, chronically watery eyes due to changes in the position of your tear ducts
Ectropion and Tear Ducts – Dry Eyes
Tears are important for eye health and hence. This means the position of your tear ducts can impact the health of your eye area.
- Tears are imperative for your overall eye health AND to maintain clear vision
- Tears consist of a mixture of water, fatty oils and mucus
- Tears not only help keep your ocular (eye) area moist, they also help to wash away bacteria, dust or small particles/debris
- Blinking is part of the process of maintaining good eye health
- But if your tear ducts end up compromised (or draining downwards) due to turning outwards, or earlier surgery gone wrong, then this can lead to irritated, watery eyes
- If the condition becomes severe enough, you can actually end up with a chronically watery eye
- A watery eye can occur when your tear duct gets pulled downwards (as your lower eye lid droops) to a point where tears flow down your face instead of the ducts simply helping to moisturise the delicate surface of your eye
It’s easy to see, then, how ageing eyelids can compromise the position of your tear ducts (lacrimal ducts).
When ageing eyelids have moved the position of your tear ducts (or prior lower blepharoplasty surgery has not gone to plan), then Canthoplasty Surgery may be required to repair the droopiness – and restore the location of the tear ducts – to where they can maintain their normal function to help lubricate, protect and nourish your eyes.
Other causes of Ectropion (Condition of Eyes/Eyelids)
- Ectropion can ALSO be CAUSED by trauma to the eye, such as burns, blunt force injuries and paralysis from tumors and other medical conditions.
- It can also sometimes be caused through ongoing inflammation in the eye area, including damage caused by wearing certain types of contact lenses.
Benefit of Canthoplasty and Ectropion or Entropion surgery
Can eyelid surgery help restore your ability to blink properly and fully close your eyelids?
- Surgery tightens the tendons responsible for keeping the eye area taught, which can help restore your ability to BLINK properly or to fully CLOSE your eyes (e.g., fully close your eye lids)
- Tightened tendons can help provide much needed support for the skin and muscles around the eye area/eye lids
- Through Canthoplasty surgery, your cornea (and entire eye surface area) can become better protected
- This procedure provides ocular-muscle support as well as restores tear duct lubrication capacity – that is often lacking with the condition of Ectropion
Entropion: Correcting Eye Lid Entropion through Surgery
Entropion is the opposite of Ectropion and the term refers to the inward turning of the lower eyelid.
So where Ectropion is an outward turning of your eye lids and eye lashes, Entropion is where they appear to turn in on themselves, with the lashes now heading towards – rather than away from – the surface of your eye.
The eye lid condition of Entropion can be extremely irritating.
- People with Entropion constantly feel as if they have ‘something’ in their eye.
- This is because, with Entropion, your lower lashes turn inwards towards your eye surface and often cause a constant irritation of your eye.
If you are like many others affected by Entropion, then you might have tried nearly everything to get some relief – some people even resort to taping down their lower eyelids.
Canthoplasty surgery can provide you with a lasting solution to the constant eye area irritation that occurs with the medical condition of Entropion.
In Melbourne, choose Dr Benjamin Burt, an Oculoplastic Surgeon with extensive experience in fixing lower eye lid problems through Canthoplasty surgery procedures (Dr Burt is shown below).
STEP ONE: Consultation
- You want to be sure that you have a thorough consultation with your Surgeon
- You and your Surgeon can discuss your expectations about what can actually be achieved through corrective eyelid surgery such as a Canthoplasty or other type of Eyelid Surgery.
- Find out if you’re a good candidate for these procedures and what’s involved.
Your surgeon will also discuss your overall health and what may be needed before and after surgery to achieve optimum results and healing. If you get a GP referral for your consultation, you will likely be entitled to a partial rebate on the consultation. Some medical conditions and surgeries of the eyelid may also qualify for rebates from insurance or medicare but you’ll need to enquire about this, as NOT all eye lid surgeries are eligible.
STEP 2: Scheduling Surgery
Scheduling of your surgery can take from a few weeks to a few months, and is partially dependent on your ability to take time off from your day-to-day (work, childcare, driving) to fully heal and partially dependent upon your Surgeon’s availability. If you have a GP referral
- Canthoplasty is a relatively quick surgery in terms of SURGICAL time (~1 to ~2 hours for most patients)
- PATIENT downtime is also relatively brief (several days of resting & recovery whilst following your Surgeon’s instructions closely as you heal) but this will vary from patient to patient.
- Your Surgeon may ALSO recommend performing the surgery with a combination of other treatments to achieve maximum results.
Combined procedure options may depend on a number of factors, including your facial anatomy, your genetics, your lifestyle and whether or not your skin has aged prematurely, and if there are other issues with skin laxity or drooping eye lids (or brows).
Other relevant factors may include the causes of your eyelid condition(s) and whether this is a revisional lower Blepharoplasty procedure.
Step 3: Canthoplasty recovery and scars
Full recovery from a Canthoplasty will vary for each patient, but you can expect roughly 2-4 weeks. So put your feet up, rest your eyes, and follow your Surgeon’s post-surgery instructions carefully for best results. Scars will vary but are often hidden in or under the lashline OR in/around the eyelid crease skin folds.
This is a relatively short recovery as the surgery is often performed using just a local anesthetic.
After Canthoplasty Surgery: Recovery and Eye Area Swelling
- After surgery, your eyelids and eye area may be a bit sore, swollen and bruised.
- So try to rest as much as you can after surgery and keep your head fully elevated to help reduce swelling.
- Your Specialist will provide you with prescriptions for any post-op medications and/or Post-Surgery “Rapid Recovery” pack that can aid with your recovery after Canthoplasty surgery.
Having your surgery performed by a well experienced surgeon will help minimize scarring as you recover from your procedure. Often, the scars from eyelid surgery are very fine, hidden under the lash line and hardly noticeable – but if you scar easily, be sure to let your Surgeon known.
If you’re having other facial surgery or facial rejuvenation procedures, you might want to also ask about Fraxel or Healite II options.
To learn more about Canthoplasty and set up your consultation with Eyelid Expert, Oculoplastic Surgeon Dr. Benjamin Burt or our Facial Plastic Surgeons.
You can also phone us on (03) 8849 1444 during Clinic Hours and we can put you in touch with one of our Sydney or Melbourne Face & Eyelid Surgeons.
 Source: Medical Dictionary/Canthoplasty