Very small eyes; was wondering what type of eye surgery I would need? Or is it my chubby cheeks part of it as well? (Photos)

I have very small eyes and it seems when I smile my eyes literally turn into slits. Yes, I understand that it's normal but I feel like they shouldn't nearly disappear. I would like to know what type of eye surgery I need. Do I just need upper eye surgery or lower or both? Also my cheeks are pretty chubby for my face and I'm only 120 pounds so I was wondering if my cheeks also have a part of the problem with my eyes wjen I smile. I'm also looking into cheek reduction as well.

Doctor Answers 5

Small eyes and chubby cheeks


Thank you for your questions and I love your animated pictures!  There are surgeries you could pursue to widen and open your eyes (i.e. ptosis surgery), or buccal fat removal to sculpt your middle and lower part of your face.  Having said that, I would recommend attempting conservative, nonsurgical means to help to sculpt your face.  Thermage is a noninvasive method to target fat and develop skin tightening; Ultherapy is another noninvasive method to attempt to tighten your tissues.  These procedures create subtle changes and by tightening the lower part of your face, you will feel your eyes become wider.  In addition, something as simple as Latisse will grow your lashes and enhance your eyes.  The hair follicles grow outward beyond the skin surface, but lengthen inside the skin as well.  Thus, the enhancement can help your eyes.  Best of luck!

San Jose Facial Plastic Surgeon

Eyes small and disappear on smiling

It is simply your anatomy that results in this phenomenon.  It would be, in my opinion, meddlesome to perform ptosis surgery, reduce the cheeks, etc. when that is just how things are.  Don't chase a rainbow and end up with funny looking eyes!

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

Eyes disappear when smiling

Part of what you see happening is just your anatomy. You do have some skin excess on the upper eyelid and possibly some extra fat. I would need to evaluate you in person to give you a better estimate of this. An upper lid blepharoplasty would correct this and help open your eyes up. I wouldn't suggest doing anything to your cheeks. This procedure is done by board certified plastic surgeons as well as oculoplastic surgeons.

Karen Quigley, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

My eyes disappear when I smile

Thank you for the photos, you're correct your condition is normal but you do have very mild essentially sub clinical ptosis that you can probably treat with a Putterman procedure. The volume and cheek fullness you have is probably a blessing. As you age you'll continue to look youthful so enjoy that. What I see is an attractive person with good features and a face that communicates a friendly disposition.

Maybe a Putterman for ptosis. . .that's about it.

Chase Lay, MD

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Eyelids closing when smiling

Thank you for sharing your questions and photos. You have mild ptosis (dropping) and mild dermatochalasis (extra skin) of the eyelids. Conservative surgery is possible, but will not improve your appearance when smiling.  See an experienced oculoplastic surgeon in person for comprehensive evaluation and proper guidance. Good luck, 

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