Canthoplasty is a surgical procedure that adjusts the width or shape of the eye for either cosmetic or medical purposes. Some people don’t like the appearance of their eyes because they are narrow, set close together, or they turn down at the corners. Canthoplasty can make the eyes a more desirable shape. In some cases, it can improve vision.
Canthoplasty is most commonly performed in Asia, where wider Western-shaped eyes are considered by many to be more attractive. In these cases it is often performed along with “double eyelid” surgery, which creates a crease in the eyelid below the brow.
There are several techniques used in canthoplasty, depending on the desired outcome. The muscle and tendon that support the outside corner of the eye can be tightened or even repositioned, pulling the outer corner of the eye out and upwards. In some case the entire side of the eye is detached and moved. The epicanthal fold, a feature of the skin on the inner corner of the eye, can also be reshaped.
Typically, canthoplasty surgery is done under local anesthesia and takes about an hour per eye to complete. You may have small stitches afterwards, and the area around your eyes may be bruised and swollen for a few weeks. It takes several weeks for the eyes to settle into their permanent shape. If your eyes are a source of frustration, canthoplasty is one tool that can help you feel and see better.