Canthoplasty is a surgical procedure that reduces droopy or sagging eyelids. A surgeon will tighten your muscles, ligaments and connective tissues at the corner of your eye to change the shape of your eye. This can also improve your field of vision. This procedure is safe, effective and permanent.
Canthoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that reconstructs your eyelid. This procedure tightens the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue in your eyelid. You may choose to get this procedure to:
The term canthoplasty refers to a procedure that reshapes the canthus. This is the corner part of your eye where your upper and lower eyelids meet. Another term for canthoplasty is inferior retinacular suspension or the almond eye procedure.
There are two types of canthoplasty surgeries:
A healthcare provider may recommend canthoplasty to treat or manage the following conditions that affect the function and appearance of your eye and eyelid:
As you age, your skin naturally loses elasticity. This can cause wrinkles or features on your skin that you might not find appealing. The skin that makes up your eyelid can also start to droop or sag. You might choose to get this procedure to cosmetically adjust these natural changes around the corner of your eye.
Before your canthoplasty surgery, you’ll meet with a surgeon who will examine your eyes, talk to you about your goals for the surgery and let you know what to expect after surgery. You’ll also schedule your surgery during this consultation appointment. If you have any questions about the procedure, this is the time to ask.
Your surgeon will give you instructions so you can prepare for surgery. Your instructions might include the following:
You should also make arrangements to have someone drive you home after your procedure. You may need someone to help you at home for a couple of days after surgery until you’re comfortable.
On the day of your surgery, you’ll receive anesthesia, depending on your procedure. Once you’re under anesthesia, your surgeon will make a small cut (incision) near your eyelid. They’ll then tighten your eyelid tendon and muscle by pulling it into position. This will reduce sagging or droopy eyelids. Your surgeon will close up the incision with stitches.
A canthoplasty procedure isn’t painful because you’ll be under an anesthetic, which makes it so you won’t feel pain while your surgeon is working. The anesthetic that you receive could be general anesthesia that puts you to sleep during the procedure. You may only get local anesthesia that eliminates the feeling around the area where your surgeon will be working. You’ll be awake with local anesthesia.
You may experience mild pain or soreness as you heal after surgery. Your surgeon will let you know what kind of pain relievers are safe for you to take during your recovery. Contact your surgeon if you experience severe pain and swelling after your surgery.
A canthoplasty procedure can take between 30 minutes to three hours. The length of time varies based on the type of canthoplasty procedure you choose. Your surgeon will let you know their approximate time estimate before your surgery.
Your surgeon will give you instructions after your surgery so you can take care of your surgical site as your eyelid heals. Their instructions may include the following:
Your surgeon will also want to see you the week after your surgery to monitor your healing progress.
The benefits of canthoplasty surgery include:
Canthoplasty surgery is safe and effective when performed by a highly trained and experienced surgeon.
Yes, the results of a canthoplasty surgery are permanent. Although rare, you may need minor repeat surgery to adjust the natural changes that your body goes through as you age to maintain your results.
All surgical procedures come with possible risks. Your surgeon will explain these risks before your procedure. Possible complications of canthoplasty include:
It could take between two to four weeks to recover completely after canthoplasty surgery. You may experience some discomfort, mild swelling and bruising for the first couple of weeks that will go away. It’s normal for your eyes to be different sizes or look uneven as your body heals. This will resolve when the swelling reduces. You may also see incision lines on your skin for two to three months after your surgery that will fade.
If your swelling gets worse, or if you experience severe pain or a fever, contact a healthcare provider.
Your healthcare provider will let you know when it’s safe to get back to your routine, like working or attending school. They may recommend resting for a week after surgery before you go back to work or school.
Visit a healthcare provider if:
There are several surgical procedures that can change the appearance of your eyes and eyelids, including:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
You may be interested in canthoplasty surgery if you have sagging eyelids and want to change the appearance of your eyes to meet your goals. This surgery can also treat conditions that affect your eyelid. Before your surgery, you’ll meet with your surgeon, and they’ll explain how you can prepare and what to expect after surgery. If you have any questions about this procedure, reach out to your surgeon.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/11/2023.
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