Possible to Get Wider or Bigger Eyes?

I was born without double eyelids, but they naturally developed as I was growing up. However the size of my double eyelids constantly change (bigger/smaller).

My eyes are small and round, but the pink part near my tear ducts are not visible. I learned that there is a type of Asian eye surgery that can make this visible. Will this surgery help?
Can my eyes get any bigger or wider?

Thank you in advance for all your help!

Doctor Answers 6

Bigger or Wider Eyes

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Yes, it is definitely possible for you to get wider or bigger eyes. From the picture, it seems like you have an epicanthal fold, also known as the Mongolian fold. This epicanthal fold is due to excess skin along the medial side, or towards the nasal side of the eye. Recent researches have shown that it is also due to excess fibrous tissue and excess superficial muscle of the eye, known as the orbicularis oculi muscle. The surgeon will be required to perform epicanthoplasty in order to make your eyes wider. Although it is possible for the surgeon to make your eyes bigger horizontally as well as vertically, according to the picture, you may not want to make your eyes bigger vertically because you seem to have a decent vertical height. Thus, increasing the height of your eyelids is not advisable because then it can give you a surprised look. Also, based on the photo, it seems that there is more of the white aspect of the eye being shown on the outer side. This indicates that even if the lateral canthoplasty, which is opening the outer side of the eye, can be done, it may not be advisable because you do not want to have too much of the white aspect of the eye showing on the outer eye relative to the inner side. Therefore, this is more of an aesthetic judgment—you need a physical exam to see how much can be opened medially towards the nose. After a thorough examination, the surgeon can then determine how much to open up on the outer side, or whether to open it at all, because it is important to maintain a natural balance relative to the medial side of the eye. The surgeon may want to open it up slightly or even more dramatically if the eyelid anatomy allows. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

An epicanthoplasty can widen your eyes significantly for you

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An epicanthal fold is the extra fold that you have in the middle part of the eyelid.

There are four types of epicanthal folds:

  • Type one is when there is no encroachment on the lacrimal lake (the fleshy part of the eye in the middle of the eye).
  • Type 2 is when there is partial coverage of the lacrimal lake.
  • Type 3 is when there is essentially complete coverage.
  • Type 4 is when the epicanthal fold originates from the lower eyelid which is mostly found in the congenital type of epicanthal fold and in some genetic diseases.

Type 2 to 4 can be treated with epicanthoplasty type of procedures. There are many different types of procedures that address this. Older types included incisions that crossed the nasal skin which is more likely to scar. Newer procedures keep the incisions in the eyelid skin which is thinner and less likely to scar.

What this procedure will do is to rearrange the extra skin so that your lacimal lake will be more visible and this will essentiall open up your eyes. The other way to make your eyes bigger is to do a lateral epicanthoplasty where the eye is open wider in the lateral part of the eye which is done less frequently. Botox to the lower eyelid can lead to widening of the eye a little bit as well.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Changinging natural double eye lids

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The dynamic changes you describe are very common in natural "double eye lids" in Asians.The naural fold is formed by the insertion of a thin sheet of fibrous tissue into the skin. which may be weak causing the effect you describe. The fold can be made  permanent surgically by supratarsal fixation. An epicantho plasty may also be  combined to  make your eyes wider. However there is a risk of scar formation in that area.

Zain Kadri, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Epicanthoplasty and Asian Eyelid Surgery

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You can absolutely have an improvement in the width of your eye opening with surgery. The width of your eye opening (eye fissure) will improve with a surgery that reshapes the fold of skin closer to your nose (epicanthal folds); this surgery is called an epicanthoplasty. There are many different descriptions of these surgeries, but they all involve making small skin incisions to change the shape and anchor down the epicanthal folds. They create only small changes in fissure length, but give the appearance of wider eyes.

Some of these procedures are better than others in hiding the scars, but they achieve similar goals. Also, some epicanthoplasties can be combined with traditional double lid surgery to improve the overall shape of the eyelid. As with any eyelid surgery, you should find a surgeon who is well versed in eyelid surgery, had specific training in eyelid surgery, and is board certified in their respective field.

Luis Zapiach, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon

Epicanthoplasty for Asian Eyelids

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the answer is yes and no. Yes, with an epicanthoplasty, you can have improved shape of the epicanthal fold so that the eye is wider toward the middle near the nose. No, because, it is hard to make a radical change. it would be on the order of probably about 1 mm at most in terms of physical change. sometimes that is enough. however, there can be some scarring. i use a technique that is focused on just the very inner part of the eye so that the incision does not fall on the skin itself to limit scarring. this is a unique method.

Sam Lam, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Eyelid Surgery for Asians to Widen Eyes

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Yes, you can have surgery to alter the epicanthal fold, which is currently making your eyes look hooded and sleepy. Your eyes are already a good size, so they do not actually need to look “bigger,” just more alert. When you consult with a facial plastic surgeon who has expertise in surgically altering Asian eyes, you will get a better idea of what your final results will be. I hope this helps.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.