Does an Epicanthoplasty Make It Easier to Open the Eyes?

I'm Asian with mono lids, epicanthol folds, fatty eyelids, and small eyes. When I open them normally or look up, it strains my eyes (as if the lids feel heavy). If I got epicanthoplasty and lateral canthoplasty, would it make it easier to open the eyes?

Doctor Answers 5

Epicanthoplasty won't make it easier to open your eyes

Unfortunately epicanthoplasty won't make it easier to open your eyes. Epicanthoplasty is intended to reduce the amount of medial overhang that is present in most Asian eyes. There are several different techniques that can do this. However, I would say that there are some that believe that retaining the epicanthal fold and performing the "double eyelid" operation creates a more natural crease that mimics the type of crease that is seen naturally in about 50% of those with East Asian descent.

Michael Kim, MD

Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Benefits of epicanthoplasty

Epicanthoplasty is a cosmetic procedure to reduce the webbing of skin at the inner aspect of your eye. It is often combined with Double eyelid surgery and contributes to a more open eyed appearance. This is an appearance only. There is no functional improvement in your eye opening abilities. Lateral canthoplasty can be helpful is you have laxity of your lower eyelid margin. If you are young this would be extremely uncommon and not recommended.

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Not really

Epicanthoplasty will decrease the webbing on the inside corner of the eye and may make the horizontal opening of the eye a bit wider, but it will not make opening the eyelid any easier.

What you may be referring too is "eyelid ptosis repair". This will increase the vertical opening of the eyelid.

If you decide to explore this further, I would recommend consultation with an ASOPRS trained Oculoplastics surgeon. You can find one close to you on the ASOPRS dot org website


A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Very simple to answer-No it won't make it easier to open your eyes.

A properly done epicanthoplasty is purely a cosmetic procedure that has absolutely no bearing on functional open and closing of the eyelids.  It is possible that adverse scaring from an epicathoplasty will cause tethering of the upper eyelid which could theoretically make opening the eyes worse.  Lateral canthoplasty is not a cosmetic procedure but a reconstructive measure.  If someone is proposing to do this surgery for cosmetic purposes, you are seeing the wrong surgeon.  Over tightening the lower eyelid with a lateral canthoplasty will harm the function of the eyelids.  Good luck and please stay safe out there.

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


Hard to answer this without photos or a better description of what your doctor intends.  But my answer is that these procedures may not relieve your symptoms.  Consider getting a second opinion with a doctor listed by ASOPRS.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 134 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.