Bulging Eyes: What Surgery is Suitable for Me?

I have been tested, no thyroid. My eyelids are thin, i guess it is my eyeball that is bulging out. I have huge and protuding eyes, it seems like it is getting worse and worse as i age. I am currently 18, no medical condition. I've always been called a frog or owl. Will anyone please tell me if any surgery can help correct this?

Doctor Answers 10

Bulging Eyes: What Surgery is Suitable for Me?

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Dear Puff.  Before deciding on what surgery is available for you, you need to have a diagnosis.  Consult an Oculoplastic surgeon to figure out what is going on, and then he can decide if there is any surgical procedure that can help you.  Often you do not need orbital decompression, rather you can get away with eyelid surgery to mask the appearance of protrusion.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon

Proptosis--Bulging eyes

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Proptosis is a medical term for bulging eyes, Puff.  Various things can cause proptosis such as being born with shallow orbits (congenital) or acquired such as thyroid eye disease.  I agree with the rest of the doctors that you need to have an appropriate evaluation by an Oculoplastic Surgeon since thyroid eye disease can result in proptosis even with normal thyroid function tests.  Hope this helps and good luck.

Bulging eyes

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Without photos it is hard to say but if you do have bulging eyes and your thyroid is normal, sometimes craniofacial surgery can increase the oribtal bony volume and allow your eyes not to bulge too much.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Surgical Options for Prominent Eyes

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Your history suggests that you have a condition called bilateral proptosis. Although your history is helpful, it's impossible to narrow the diagnosis without pictures or a physical examination. This condition is often associated with medical illnesses and congenital anomalies.

It's important that you be evaluated by a plastic surgeon with experience in this area. An evaluation will require blood tests, CTscans and possibly MRI studies.

Treatment of these abnormalities usually requires surgery on the underlying boney skeleton. When patients have hyperthyroidism orbital decompression surgery may be necessary. In the case of congenital anomalies, it may be necessary to perform a midface advancement.

Unfortunately, this type of problem usually can't be fixed with eyelid surgery alone. For this reason, it's important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Bulging Eyes

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Bulging eyes can be caused by many different things, most commonly severe myopia (near-sightedness and thyroid disorders.  Before the treatment can be considered, a full evaluation is necessary to get the correct diagnosis.  I suggest that you have a thyroid ultrasound, thyroid function tests, anti-thyroid antibodies and an MRI of the orbits.  With all of this information, the proper diagnosis can be made.  Only then, can the right surgery be offered.

Best of luck,

Dr. Michelle Yagoda,

NYC Facial Plastic Surgeon

Michelle R. Yagoda, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Realistically it is impossible to meaningfully answer this questions without a photo.

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Dear Puff

As Dr. Taban points out, it is still possible to have thyroid eye disease but have perfectly normal thyroid function.  You may just be describing a normal anatomic variation.  In that case, I would be very careful what solutions you seek.  If your regular medical doctor agrees that you have buggy eyes, consider seeing an oculoplastic surgeon.  However, I would be profoundly careful regarding attempting to do something surgical for this issue unless you have a true functional problem.

Stay safe out there. 

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Bulging eyes

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You likely have shallow orbits, causing "buldging eyes", although you can still have thyroid eye disease without your blood thyroid levels being effected.  You should consult with an ocuolpastic surgeon.  Orbital decompression is a possible option for you.

Dr Taban

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Bulging eyeball treatment

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You may have Grave's Disease and should have an examination and workup by a qualified opthalmologist to rule this out as well as other medical and local orbital causes of exopthalmus.  This is not something that would be addressed by an eyelid surgery surgery.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


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Puff,  Surgical correction of prominent eyes (proptosis) can be done by reducing the amount of fatty tissue in the orbit (the cavity containing the eye and all of its muscles.  First of all, you need to have a diagnosis.  I recommend that you see an endocrinologist to determine if you have a thyroid problem that is causing the prominence.  Then I recommend that you see an occulo- plastic surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for this surgery.

E. Anthony Musarra II, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Bulging Eyes Treatment Options

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Hi puff,

Thank you for your question. Bulging eyes (proptosis) are most commonly associated with a thyroid condition, such as Graves disease. Patients may initially have normal blood tests for thyroid but have the eyes affected by the thyroid condition. Having shallow orbit bone around the eyes may also contribute to bulging appearance. Lastly, allergies can contribute to eye bags. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a surgeon help determine appropriate options for you. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki


Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

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.