Epicanthoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure performed on the inner or outer corners of the eyes (the medial and lateral canthus respectively).
Its most common application is to widen or shorten the eyes depending on the patient’s expectations.
Epicanthoplasty is commonly paired with double eyelid surgery to better sculpt and alter the shape of the eyes when either one alone is deemed insufficient.
Types of Epicanthoplasty
Epicanthoplasty is generally divided into 2 types: Medial and Lateral Epicanthoplasty, which are performed on the inner and outer corners of the eyes respectively.
Medial Epicanthoplasty is performed on the inner corners of the eye, on the side closer to the nose. It is most commonly performed to remove the epicanthic fold, which is a fold of skin from the upper eyelids covering the inner corners of the eye. This fold is very common in people of East-Asian descent, and commonly associated with the “East-Asian Look” However, in some cases, this fold can increase the apparent distance between the eyes, which some consider unattractive. Medial Epicanthoplasty, in this case, can alter the epicanthic fold to make the eyes appear wider and closer to each other.
Also, the epicanthic fold can sometimes conceal existing double eyelids either partially or completely, giving the bearer hooded/hidden double eyelids or tapered double eyelids. In these cases, Medial Epicanthoplasty can address these and either reveal the hidden double eyelids or change the tapered crease to a parallel one
Sometimes just referred to as Lateral Canthoplasty, this is basically Epicanthoplasty performed on the outer corners of the eye, on the further side from the nose.
Lateral Epicanthplasty can be performed for several desired effects, which can include
- Enlarging or shrinking the eyes horizontally.
- Raising or lowering the lateral corners of the eyes to change the general look and feel of a person’s gaze.
Epicanthoplasty is usually performed under local anaesthesia.
The surgeon will carefully make a small incision on the medial or lateral canthus as required. Based on the patient’s expectations and facial features, the surgery will sculpt the skin around the canthus area and stitch open incisions as required. The whole procedure will last about an hour.
Possible risks and complications
Epicanthoplasty is a very safe procedure in the hands of an experienced surgeon and complications are very rare. Nonetheless, it is still important to know the risks involved
- The lacrimal glands (tear glands) may become damaged as they are located around the corners of the eyes.
- Nerves and blood vessels around the eye may be disturbed or damaged
- Surgical wounds can become infected or inflamed
However, all these complications are rare and can be easily avoided with skilled and experienced hands. Be sure to consult a reputable plastic surgeon for your Epicanthoplasty procedures.
The surgeon may advise you to avoid contact lenses for several days after the procedure to facilitate wound healing.
Eye makeup and other similar cosmetic products should be avoided for up to 2 weeks as advised by the surgeon.
Please avoid exerting excessive force around your eyes (rubbing or using makeup remover) until the wounds are completely healed. This may take up to several weeks depending on individual conditions.
- Have an epicanthic fold that you wish to remove for any of the following reasons
- On the other hand, Lateral Epicanthoplasty is more suitable if you: