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Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery can be performed to improve eye functionality or for cosmetic reasons.

Canthopexy and Canthoplasty (Lower Eyelids)

While sharing similar names and being done for similar purposes, a canthopexy and canthoplasty are two different procedures. Typically either procedure is done to help with excessive eye tearing or dropping lower eyelids.

Canthopexy Procedures

A canthopexy is normally done for cosmetic reasons to help reduce the signs of​ aging. During a canthopexy, the tendon under the eye is sutured to tighten and stabilize it beneath the eye. This is a reversible procedure.

Canthoplasty Procedures

During a canthoplasty, the tendon beneath the eye is detached, divided and moved into position to ensure tighter support under the eyelid. The end result changes the shape of the eye to a cat-eye appearance. This procedure is more invasive and cannot be reversed. It is done for cosmetic reasons and can be used to correct ectropion, the turning outward of the eyelid from the eye.

Recovery Time

Recovery time for either procedure tends to be short and simple. Sutures may be removed between two and seven days. As both are out-patient operations, you can go home the same day and return to normal activities within a week at the most.


A blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure done to repair droopy eyelids by removing excess skin, muscle or fat. As you age, excess fat may gather above and below your eyelids, leading to sagging eyebrows, bags under your eyes and droopy upper eyelids. This severely sagging skin may interfere with peripheral vision, especially your upper and outer vision field. A blepharoplasty can eliminate these issues while making your eyes look younger and more alert.

Consider having a blepharoplasty if you have:

  • Droopy, baggy upper eyelids
  • Excess skin on upper eyelids that impedes peripheral vision
  • Droopy lower lids, which may cause white to show beneath your iris
  • Bags or excess skin under your eyelids and lower lids

Eyelid Surgery Procedures

Upper eyelid surgery is usually done under local anesthesia. The procedure involves removal of excess skin and fat to give the eyes a lighter, refreshed appearance. The scar from the incision hides very nicely in the eyelid crease.

Lower eyelid surgery is more variable depending on patient needs and can include:

  • Removal of redundant, excess skin
  • Manipulation of fat to restore a smooth lower eyelid and improve hollow, dark circles

The incision may be on the inside of the eyelid (transconjuntival) or hidden just underneath the lash line. In some cases tightening of a droopy lower eyelid may be indicated and can be done at the same time.

If you are having the procedure done on both your upper and lower lids, the surgeon will generally start on the upper lid. An incision will be made along the fold and any excess skin, muscle or fat will be removed. The cut will then be closed. On the lower lid, an incision is made just below the eyelashes in the natural crease just below or inside the lower lid. The length of the procedure is usually less than two hours.

Blepharoplasty Recovery

There is usually some minor swelling and bruising for the first couple of days. Pain/discomfort is usually mild and quick to resolve. Sutures are removed 5-7 days after surgery.

Scars from a blepharoplasty may take six months or more to fade completely. Be sure to protect your delicate eyelids from excessive sun exposure.​