Visible Upper Eyelids and Unhappy w/ Eye Profile - Can I Change This?

I'm 20 years old, and I really don't like the way my eyes are. I don't like that the skin of my upper eyelids is visible and I don't like the way my eyes seem to stick out from a profile view. My eyelids are also droopy and I always look sleepy. I'd like upper eyelids that just seem to sink into the fat above them, like Natalie Portman's. Is there anything I can do to fix this or at least improve this? Or do I have to just accept it? Please help!

Doctor Answers 14

Prominent eye profile

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It is impossible to create more fullness in the upper lid sulcus. From the pictures presented, it appears that the patient has a very deep sulcus on the upper eyelid. Fat injections into this area are not always successful and it is probably best not to do anything.  

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Prominent Eyes and Eyelid Surgery

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Sara, the difference between the shape and look of your eyes and Ms. Portman's eyes is likely in the underlying bony architecture.  You do have prominent eyes which may be due to a thyroid disorder, or may be caused by having shallow orbits as mentioned previously.  Any decompression procedure would not likely be worth undertaking for a cosmetic procedure. However, what is missing from the pictures and not mentioned previously is that you seem to have a negative vector relationship between your forehead and your cheeks.  Simply, your cheeks/cheekbones may be underdeveloped compared to your globe (eye), which will give you a more prominent globe.  Thus, after ruling out all other possible issues for prominent eyes, you may benefit from building up your cheeks and as described earlier, fat injections around the globes--not a commonly performed procedure in the upper eyelid for several reasons.  Also, you would require an evaluation for droopy eyelids (ptosis) as has been well described previously. Good luck with your endeavor.

Luis Zapiach, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon

Upper Blepharoplasty

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I agree with ruling out hyperthyroidism as a cause of prominent eyes. This also could be genetic.  Performing eye lid surgery without addressing or correcting hyperthyroidism may lead to significant, serious, complications.  Unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve the result you desire, at least with today's technology. 

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

Bulging eye correction, upper eyelid skin excess,blepharoplasty

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Your eyes are quite attractive and I would not recommend changing them! The bulging may be due to hyperthyroidism so you may want to get a test for that. THe excess skin could be removed in the upper eyelid area but you appear to have so little that I would again not recommend it. Wit time, you will have more(comforting thought!) there and your eyebrows will come down. Then, you would be a candfidate for a blepharoplasty and/or an endoscopic brow lift. Watch my videos!

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Sunken Eyelids

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Having a hollow appearance to the upper lids can be a result of aging or simply the way you're built. In your case, as a young woman, this is simply your genetic appearance. Let me start by saying that your eyes are lovely and not unattractive in any way. However, your opinion of yourself is more important than anyone's opinion. If this is something that bothers you a little bit you should really think long and hard about having a procedure to change it. If this is something that you think about all the time and it really bothers significantly you might want to consider surgery.

Before having any cosmetic procedure on your eyes you should have a thorough examination with an ophthalmologist. You may also want to check your thyroid hormone levels as high levels of thyroid hormones may contribute to this appearance in some patients. If you find that you are otherwise healthy and want to change the appearance of your upper eyelids there are some things you can consider. 

You do seem to have a very mild amount of upper eyelid ptosis (the medical term for sagging). While this is not fully to blame for the shape of your upper lids it does contribute a little bit. From your photos is seems to me that the hollowness of your upper lids could be improved with a conservative amount of fat grafting right below the bone over your eyes. This bone (the superior orbital rim) is not the problem, though the lack of fullness below it is the main reason for your hollow appearance (in my opinion). You can have fat removed from your tummy or hips and carefully placed right beneath that bone to create a fuller look. This should be done conservatively as too much fat would not look good either. A small amount of added volume could make a big difference in the appearance of your upper eyelids.

I hope this info helps!

Adam Rubinstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Unhappy with eye appearance

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Yes, Ms. Portman does have beautiful eyes.  Sadly, I don't have any magic to give you her exact look.

As a number of surgeons have mentioned, your eye appearance is related to a combination of features.  A little ptosis (droop) of the eyelid, perhaps a little forward prominence of the eye combined with a cheek that is a little weak, and so on.

The good news is that some of these can be improved.  Cheek augmentation could help, perhaps canthopexy.  Speak with a plastic surgeon or oculoplastic surgeon locally to discuss the options.


All the best! 

Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery in Younger patient

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Hi saraj121 in Essington, PA,

Improving the appearance of the eyes in younger patients is greatly different as compared to typical eyelid plastic surgery for older patient. Your photographs suggest, as other eye plastic surgeons have mentioned, a shallow orbital bone. In other words, there is less bone space around your eye. As a result, the eye may protrude out a bit. Treatment for shallow orbit involves creating more space around the eye. This surgery is called decompression.

In addition, the upper eyelids appear droopy based on the photographs. Lifting the upper eyelid helps reduce the amount of skin show. Droopy eyelids usually come from age, but may also be congenital or other causes.

Only after a comprehensive evaluation can an plastic surgeon or specialist 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

You have bilateral ptosis

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The reason for the hollowness of the upper eyelid is bilateral ptosis. Your pictures show that even though you are using your forehead muscles to lift your eyelids , you still have upper lid ptosis. You will need for levator muscle function evaluation and possible ptosis repair. The other issue is your upper eyelashes that are pointing downward and i also elevate them at the time of the ptosis repair. As you see from the response there is a wide range of recommendations and you need full personal examination .

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 148 reviews

Fat Injection to change Eye Profile

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The difference between you and Natalie appears to be your lack of fat in the upper orbit. Though you do not appear to have ptosis (droop) of the lids from the picture, it is hard to tell. You need an evaluation by someone experienced in eyelid surgery and fat grafting. That surgeon should be able to tell if you have ptosis and need correction. They should also be able to discuss grafting the upper lid area to fill and round it to what you desire.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Visible Upper Eyelids and Unhappy w/ Eye Profile - Can I Change This?

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Before you consider any surgery I would obtain a medical work up for your eyelid position, ptosis, with a field of gaze examination. Also a medical work up for thyroid issues. From Miami Dr. Darryl j. Blinski

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.