Can My Upper and Lower Eyelids Undergo Eyelid Reshaping?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am not sure how common this eye reshaping question is. I was wondering about how far a plastic surgeon can go to alter the shape of someone’s eyes. My eyes are pretty standard Caucasian, round, double lids, no epicanthal folds, non-hooded, etc. But I wanted to change a number of things about my eyes. First off, when relaxed my eyes are round, really open-looking, and sort of just dull. That’s why I have a habit of squinting them to make them appear narrower, and I know that’s probably not good for them, but that’s besides the point. I was wondering if there is a surgery, (or probably a number of surgeries in my case) that can be done for the following: In the inner corners of my eyes, there are just normal looking open tear ducts. But I was wondering if there is anything that can be done to “hood them” or give them the slightest epicanthal folds, not enough that they look Asian, but just enough so that they look exotic and sharp and not as much “open.” Jennifer Lawrence’s eyes are sort of like that. The second thing I was looking into was having the lower eyelids lifted so that my eyes have more of a narrower shape so that I don’t have to squint them. The third thing is something that I have no idea is possible or not, but I was wondering if you can get the middle of your upper eyelids hooded? Not the outer parts of the top eyelids, just the middle so that they’d gradually fan out from sharp, exotic tear ducts, then to a hooded upper eyelid right at the arch of the lid, and then into nice, open outer lids. The fourth thing I was considering was I believe called a canthoplasty, and I’m looking to have the outer corners of my eyes raised slightly so that they have an upwards slant and look more exotic. Sorry this was so long! I just know that the eyes are the most noticeable/memorable feature of someone and I would kill for nice eyes.

A: Thank you for your inquiry. In answer to your eye reshaping questions, which are not uncommon:

1) For the inner corners of the eye, it is possible to close them down a bit for more coverage of the lacrimal lake. But that does not usually create a true epicanthal fold appearance.

2) The lower eyelid can be raised by the placement of an interpositional mucosal graft combined with a lateral canthopexy. Raising the horizontal level of the eyelid requires more tissue,  not just being ‘pulled  up’.

3) A hood can not be created in the upper eyelids as that would require more skin…and a skin graft would create a patchy unnatural appearance.

4) The outer corners of the eyes can be raised, but as discussed in #2, this requires an interpositional graft to maintain it.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana