Reconstructive cosmetic procedures such as canthoplasty help patients correct sagging or drooping eyes. It helps improve the shape of the eyelids, tone them up and give a younger, more refreshed appearance. It must enhance the appearance in a natural-looking way, rather than altering the way we look.
What is Canthoplasty?
Canthoplasty is a reconstructive oculoplastic surgical procedure performed on the canthus (outer corners of the eye, the upper and lower eyelids meet) to tighten the surrounding supporting structures such as the ligaments, tendons, or muscles to maintain a normal position of the eye. Canthoplasty, along with blepharoplasty, is usually performed to correct sagging or drooping eyes and abnormal eyelid anatomy.
Nowadays, canthoplasty, also known as cat-eye surgery, is done for cosmetic purposes in young individuals where the shape of the eye is altered to get an almond eye or a fox eye.
Who Can Undergo Canthoplasty?
Eyelids protect the eyes by covering them and act as a natural barrier against any foreign materials. The act of blinking moistens the eye.
Malposition of the eyelid may hurt the eyes, and improper eyelid functionality may obstruct vision. Canthoplasty may be deemed necessary for:
- Sagging eyelids where the upper eyelid is physically pulled downwards, obstructing the vision
- Revision procedure (canthoplasty) to correct the malposition of the eyelid after previous eye surgery
- Ectropion (a disorder in which the lower eyelid turns outward from the eye)
- Entropion (a condition when the lower eyelid turns toward the eyeball and causes irritation)
- Eye trauma, paralysis, or hereditary conditions that may be causing problems
- Achieving an almond-shaped eye appearance
During the initial consultation, the patient’s lower lid function, tone, laxity, position, and overall facial structure are analyzed. Sometimes, combination procedures such as blepharoplasty along with canthoplasty are suggested to address a patient’s concerns.
Canthoplasty is performed under local anesthesia. The muscles on the outer corners of the lower lids are raised. In addition, the shape of the outer corner of the eye can be changed if desired.
In the outer corner of the eye, a tiny incision is placed for accessibility of the underlying structures, including the tendons. The tendon is carefully cut, tightened, and pulled into a more raised position. It is secured with sutures before closing the incision.
Sometimes, an extensive procedure is required, and a new lower lid tendon has to be created to repair the lid laxity.
The surgical procedure typically takes about 1 to 2 hours. A special clear plastic shield is used to cover the eyeball during the procedure and removed after completion. An eye dressing will be applied to protect the wound and reduce swelling.
Canthoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require a lengthy recovery period. It is a same-day procedure and doesn’t require an overnight stay. You can return home on the same day of the procedure.
One may notice discomfort, swelling, and minimal bruising initially after surgery, but most patients return to social settings after about a week. Patients need to follow post-operative guidelines carefully to ensure proper healing and achieve aesthetic results.
Post-surgery, common occurrences are soreness, bruising, and swelling around the eye for about 7 to 10 days. Patients should sleep on their back, wear glasses instead of contact lenses, and avoid eye strain. They should also avoid exercise, rubbing the eye, or application of makeup.
In some cases, people may notice a change in their vision. This change is temporary and will return to normal without any intervention. Patients must avoid watching television, reading, or browsing through their phones for long periods. Contact lenses are prohibited for several weeks after the procedure.
It approximately takes two to four weeks for full recovery after the canthoplasty procedure. It is important to follow the surgeon’s post-operative instructions and attend scheduled follow-up appointments promptly.
Does Canthoplasty Leave Any Scars Behind?
Just like any other incisional procedure, canthoplasty will also have some noticeable scar. However, surgeons will take adequate measures to reduce visible scar and conceal within the eye’s natural crease.
Furthermore, the canthoplasty incisions are extremely small, and the resultant scars are often difficult to perceive, even to the patients themselves.
How Much Does Canthoplasty Cost?
Canthoplasty procedure costs approximately $1,700. It includes the plastic surgeon fee, anesthesia, anesthesiologist, and facility fee. It is an approximate cost, and the total price of the procedure will vary depending on your needs and aesthetic goals. You can consult the surgeon of your choice to get the estimated cost for your customized procedure.
Is Canthoplasty Safe?
The canthoplasty procedure is done on the lateral canthus, the outer corner of the eye, where the upper and lower eyelids meet. There are associated risks when operated in this area. There may be a risk of over or under correction or potentially asymmetry between the two sides. Complications may occur, such as bleeding that can affect vision. Muscle damage can cause eyelid ptosis. Muscle damage in the lower lid may lead to double vision.
If excessive skin is removed from the upper eyelid, there may be difficulty closing the eye.
Selecting the Right Surgeon
It is significant to select a highly experienced oculoplastic surgeon to have the canthoplasty procedure done to ensure the desired outcome since it is very difficult to correct poor surgical outcomes.