A description of the Canthoplasty procedure
If you have a droopy eye, where outer corner of the eye is several degrees below the inner corner, then you might want to consider undergoing a Canthoplasty (also known as an outer eye lift) procedure. The results will leave you with a more youthful and awake appearance. But this procedure can also be used to create a cat look appearance, since the eyes will slant upwards.
Which conditions can benefit of this procedure
Besides correcting problems to correct the eyelids including ptosis or disfigurement caused by trauma, ageing or disease, it can also be used to correct prior eye surgeries that haven’t gotten the best results (e.g., Revisional Blepharoplasty for correcting prior lower eye lid surgery). Also this procedure can be used to tighten the muscles that connect your upper and lower eye lids. Thus this can be used to correct droopy eyes by lifting the corners of the eyes up.
If you have your inner corner of the eye directly in line with outer corner or even several degrees higher, then this procedure might not be for you. That is unless you want more dominant cat eyes.
Also a Canthoplasty can be used to correct a medical condition, such as an ectropion eyelid or chronic dry eyes.
The Canthoplasty procedure
The technique of an outer eye lift can take place in your doctor’s rooms. Your doctor will use a local anesthesia and numbing eye drops for this procedure. The process is by making a small incision in the outer corner of the eyelids to open up the lower canthal tendon. As soon as the tendon is cut, the lower lid will be lifted into position and the incisions will be closed.
The actual outer eye lift procedure will take around 1 to 2 hours. A follow-up is required 7 to 14 days after the procedure so the doctor and look at the results of the procedure.
You might experience some bruising and swelling around your eyes for about 7 days, but this will be temporary. It’s usual to be prescribed medication for pain and antibiotics to promote healing and minimise the risk of infection.
You might experience some eye sight problems, but this is experienced by some people only and it will resolve itself with time. If you are experiencing ‘dry eyes’ and you may need to use eye drops for a while after the procedure.
It’s recommended that you avoid any activity which will contribute to this including reading, watching television, using a computer and wearing contact lenses for a few weeks after this corner eye lift procedure. Instead you will need to wear glasses.
To help the eyelid heal properly, patients should massage their eyelids in an upward direction for 3 – 5 minutes at least 3 times a day for the first 2 weeks after their surgery. This will help the lid maintain its position and prevent the skin from losing tone.
Risks and possible complications
Any discussion of the risks and benefits of this procedure requires the disclosure that, in rare cases, blindness has occurred. But these were cases where the patients did not follow the instructions of their doctors. You should have controlled blood pressure and limit the use of aspirin prior to the procedure.
More so, all surgical procedures come with risks and Canthoplasty is no different. In some rare cases there can be an adverse reaction to anesthesia and an increased risk of infection developing. You can help to promote healing by following after care advice and certain anti-inflammatory drugs shouldn’t be taken for a couple of weeks prior to surgery as they may affect your body’s blood clotting system. In addition; smoking can affect your blood vessels and may result in a reduced blood supply to some body tissues. Therefore it’s usually recommended that you don’t smoke for at least two months before the procedure. If the surgery is not performed correctly, this can lead to the junction between upper and lower eyelid becoming deformed or rounded. Similarly, Canthoplasty can also result in an unwanted vertical retraction in those with deep-set eyes. Further surgery may be required if you are not satisfied with the results or if damage occurs during the initial surgery.
You may also want to read: What you need to know about a brow lift procedure