Can I Increase The Width Of My Eyes?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a young caucasian female interested in learning if there are ways to surgically increase the size of the eyes, specifically their width. My eyes currently are very small with a rounded outer edge. I wear winged eyeliner to try to widen the appearance of their size, but I think you will still be able to see in the attached photos their true edge and the “blank space” their small size leaves in my face. There are a few other procedures that I might pursue in the future to remedy that amongst other imperfections (rhinoplasty, lip fillers, potentially methods to widen my mouth and shrink my forehead if possible), but firstly I’d like to know if there are ways to increase the size of the eyes, arguably the most important facial feature. I’ve included photos of myself as well as photos of people with an eye size and shape that I like (large, pointed inner corner and outer edge)– there are a million examples of course of people with large eyes but I thought it might be helpful. My weight varies a bit in the photos but the size and scale of the eyes of course remains the same (I’m usually the middle weight). I also included a digitally altered photo of myself with just the eyes edited a bit wider. This may or may not be helpful because that kind of result might not be possible with surgery, but perhaps you might be able to convey to what extent a result like that would be possible. 

Thank you for your time and assistance.

A:Thank you for your inquiry, sending your pictures and detailing your eye concerns/objectives. While there are many types of eyelid adjustments that can be done, the one dimension that is very refractory to change is lateral eye width. The eye corner can be moved up or down but changing its width has different implications. And there is a good anatomic reason for that being so. There is an intimate relationship between the eyelid and the globe (eyeball) in which the eyelid needs to be tight up against the eyeball at all times. That is to prevent the globe from drying out or developing associated symptoms. (chronic tearing) While the outer part of the eyelid can be surgically lateralized that would likely pull the corner of the eyelid away from the globe particularly if a lateral canthopexy was done. Even if a lateral canthoplasty was performed the bony lateral orbital rim would need to be changed and such a lateral pull would also likely make the eye look more narrow vertically…which is diametric to what you are trying to accomplish overall.

While your request is not uncommon, I do not have a surgical technique to accomplish your goals in a safe and reliably effective manner.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana