Epicanthoplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure aimed at eliminating the ‘Mongolian fold’ that obstructs the medial corner of the eye. A prominent fold may cover a significant part of the inner eye, making the eyes appear too widely spaced or too short horizontally. Some patients may even complain that they look cross-eyed.
Epicanthoplasty can lengthen the horizontal eyelid opening in order to create bigger and more alert looking eyes. Dr. Jennifer Hui is a dedicated and cordial oculoplastic surgeon providing epicanthoplasty and other procedures to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, and other communities and towns across the horizon.
Benefits of Epicanthoplasty
Epicanthoplasty eyelid surgery can provide the following cosmetic benefits:
- Reduces inter-canthal distance, which makes the eyes appear closer to each other (ideal ratio between the length of eyes and intercanthal distance is 1:1)
- Exposes the medial half of the eyes to make the eyes look bigger and brighter
- Reveals the medial half of the double fold to reduce the creases
- Shifts the medial canthus medially and upwards to make the eyes appear less slanted
A heavy epicanthal fold causes obstruction in the natural formation of an outfold crease. Therefore, epicanthoplasty is often performed in combination with double eyelid surgery. This helps to remove a part of the epicanthal fold in such a way that a crease can naturally take hold without tension and scarring.
Surgery for Candidates of Asian Descent
About three in five Asians have a Mongolian fold, which covers the medial portion of the eyes and makes the eyes appear smaller in proportion to the rest of the facial features. If a candidate receives only double eyelid surgery without epicanthoplasty in case of a Mongolian fold, the outcome may be less effective or less natural looking.
Combined with epicanthoplasty, the eyelid surgery can create balanced length between the eyes, and a more gentle and defined eye appearance. The surgeon must be careful not to remove the entire epicanthal fold in case of Asian patients. In such case, the patient may lose their natural Asian identity.
Most of the epicanthal fold may be removed in Asians with a harsher appearance, while leaving ever so slight amount. That will create a softer, more open look. On the other hand, patients with already round facial features should have a slight epicanthal fold after surgery in order to contrast sharper eyes with other softer qualities of the face.
Techniques to Prevent Scarring
Two approaches may be used to prevent scarring in this procedure. The first approach involves rearranging the tissue within the inner eye and the lower eyelid. The second approach involves mobilizing the epicanthal tissue to achieve flexibility within the epicanthal skin.
Both approaches are suitable for counteracting tension, which will occur when excess skin is removed. The surgery can be performed using local anesthesia with oral sedation. The procedure can be completed in about 30 minutes.