Can My Orbital Dystopia Be Corrected?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have orbital dystopia that I want corrected. Here are a few photos and you can see that my left eye is noticeably lower on my face. As you may also notice from the top view, you can see that the left eye also protrudes forward a bit. My nose and chin also are off the center line and lean to the left as well but my eyes have always bothered me the most and the others I can live with. Again, this is something that has made things difficult for me and i’ve just reserved myself to the idea that I have gone this long and I may as well just live with it….until I shaved my head due to hair loss that is. Now my eyes are the very first thing that people notice and they stand out much more now. Any thoughts/guidance would be much appreciated.

A: I have seen your photos and the amount of orbital dystopia in the left eye seems to be about 2 to 3mms at most. That can be improved with frontal orbital floor augmentation and possibly orbital rim augmentation as well. That will bring up the vertical level of the eye but it will not change the more forward projection of the eye as seen from the top view. The key question in any case of orbital dystopia is what happens with the position of the lower eyelid for that is not a bone-based structure and thus will not change. With the eye coming up and if the lower eyelid position remains the same, some slight amount of increased scleral show may result. That is why a canthopexy is usually done to provide a bit of lower lid tightening/lift as well with the change in eyeball position.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Would Brow Shaving and Chin Augmentation Improve My Facial Asymmetry?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I have facial asymmetry of which my left eye area is a big part of why it looks the way it does. I am interested in brow shaving and a canthopexy to improve the eye area. My biggest concern with orbital rim shaving would be losing frontal bossing over that orbital rim. Let me ask you if you have ever performed shaving of the orbital rims for the purpose of better balancing facial asymmetry?

Regarding chin implants. Given your extensive experience with these, especially in ideal jaw surgery candidates who refuse surgery (retrognathic lower jaw), I’d like to ask you if it’s a realistic possibility to recreate the appearance of a jaw when it is in a prognathic position, using a chin implant with wings? What I mean is when I slide my jaw as far forward as I can, creating what is dentally considered mandibular prognathism, I reallylike the aesthetic appearance it has on my jawline, probably because my jawline is retruded by default so when I manipulate my jaw into a prognathic position it actually just ends up looking relatively normal (with the exception of my lower teeth pushing my lower lip forward which is the only giveaway). Basically I’m asking if a chin implant with wings can provide anterior projection to the entire jawline, not only the forward most point of chin but also along the mandibular body of the jaw, bringing most of the jaw (except the mandibular angles) more forward relative to other parts of the face, like what happens when you push your jaw forward in your face.

Also another big question Ive always had about chin implants is how does the placement of a chin implant effects the lower lip? Do chin implants push the lower lip forward at all? And what about augmentation of the chin groove, can this be moved “forward” or augmented at all to avoid the formation of a huge indentation in the chin groove between the bottom lip and chin implant? As it would seem the larger the chin implant you use, the deeper this groove would become.

A:  In regards to orbital rim shaving is done through an upper eyelid incision, it removes the bottom portion of the orbital rim not its anterior projection. So there would be no risk of losing frontal bossing which is a horizontal brow feature. Inferior orbital rim shaving is done almost exclusively in cases of facial/brow asymmetry. There would be no other reason to do it. The result is subtle, not dramatic, and is in the range of 3 to 5mms depending upon the degree of superior orbital rim asymmetry.

If you are jutting your jaw forward and getting the desired look, then a chin implant with match that horizontal result. It may be a little thinner at the sides. The most ideal thing to do is to make a custom chin implant which would overcome that issue.

The lower lip never changes position no matter whagt is done to the chin. That can only change with an entire jaw advancement procedure. You are correct in that the labiomental groove will be come deeper as the chin position changes below it but the labiomental groove is not changes by an isolated chin procedure, implant or osteotomy. That can be overcome with a custom chin implant which builts up that area whereas a conventional chin implant does not.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Ectropion Repair after Lower Blepharoplasty

Q : I had my lower eyelids tucked (blepharoplasty) over 6 months ago. While my lower lids look much better, I have had  a problem with dry eyes and tearing since the surgery. It was really bad right after and has gotten somewhat better. It is almost painful to be out in direct sunlight and my eyes really tear if there is any wind. My lower eyelid also doesn’t look right. I think I show more whites of the eye than before and it looks pulled down. My doctor keeps saying to give it more time and it will get better. But it has been some time now since surgery and I just don’t see it happening. What do you suggest? By the way I am a women who is 58 and I still have to work!

A: One of the potential, although fortunately uncommon, risks of lower blepharoplasty surgery is ectropion. This sounds like exactly what you have.

The lower eyelid, unlike the upper, is like a clothesline strung out between the inner and outer eye socket bones. The eyelid is attached to the bone by tendons called the canthal tendons.  This clothesline effect keeps the lower eyelid snugged up against the eyeball just at the lower edge of the iris. By being tight up against the eyeball, it is protected from drying out and being irritated. Any slight change, even one millimeter, between the eyelid and the eyeball (out or down) will cause eye symptoms of dryness, irritation, and tearing. Manipulation of the lower eyelid through surgery can disrupt this relationship if the eyelid and the lateral canthal tendon are snugged back up properly as part of the operation.

While small amounts of ectropion may correct itself with the passage of time and upward massage, six months with this degree of symptoms indicates another approach is necessary. Performing a canthopexy or canthoplasty  (tendon tightening and eyelid re-suspension) and retightening of the outside eye corner can provide an immediate solution to this very irritating problem. Once the lower eyelid is back tight against the eyeball, it will not only look better and more natural but the eye is protected once again.

Dr. Barry Eppley