Canthoplasty: tightening of the eyelid corner in the context of facial feminization

Feminization with a canthoplasty – Clinic Dr. FunkIn the field of surgery, canthoplasty is the procedure of tightening the eyelid corner. It is often carried out in combination with an eyelid tightening.

This procedure is needed when the lower eyelid no longer has the required tension to be tightened.

We often use this procedure on patients who were born in a male body and desire a more feminine face in the context of gender reassignment.

In addition to canthoplasty, there are numerous options permitting to achieve a holistic picture of the feminization of transgender persons. For a detailed overview, please click here: Face Feminization
Another option is the adjustment of the hairline to make the face look more feminine. By clicking here, you can find information about this method: Hairline adjustment.


What is a canthoplasty?

When performing a lifting of the lower eyelid, the surgeon removes the skin, the muscle, and the fat tissue below the eyelid edge. If the lower eyelid no longer has the required tension for this purpose, this may result in numerous complications.

Among them, for example, we can mention the occurrence of a so-called ectropion, a sinking of the lower eyelid, which in turn can result in an increase of the tear flow or in a tendency to conjunctivitis. To avoid this, a canthoplasty is performed.

When is a canthoplasty needed?

What is a canthoplasty for feminization? – Clinic Dr. FunkGenerally speaking, the performance of a canthoplasty is always indicated in case the outer corner of the eye is drooping. Many surgeons use the brush test to determine the need for a canthoplasty.

The tension of the lid ligament is measured to decide whether a canthoplasty is the right way to achieve an ideal surgical result.

Which is the effect of a canthoplasty on the originally male face?

A canthoplasty can give the patient a more feminine and expressive look. The result is a slightly almond-shaped eye shape which may appear more feminine and exotic overall.

However, also in this case it is crucial to avoid any too strong interference with the natural appearance and shape of the eyes.

Canthoplasty: The implementation of the operation for the tightening of the lower eyelid

  • Step 1: local anaesthesia
    In general, a local anaesthesia suffices for a canthoplasty. Depending on the physiological conditions, the whole intervention will take approximately 1 to 2 hours
  • Step 2: Surgical incision in the eyelid
    During the operation, an incision is made in the outer corner of the eye in the eyelid curvature. This way the surgeon gets access to the tendon.
  • Step 3: Attachment of the orbicularis oculi muscle
    The edge of the lid is pulled up slightly and the so-called orbicularis oculi muscle is attached to the periosteum of the temporal bone.
  • Step 4: Removal of the excess skin
    If the lower eyelid has excess skin, this will be removed near the eye corner. This additionally strengthens the effect obtained by the tissue tightening.
  • Step 5: The suturing of the surgical wounds
    After the intervention, the wounds will be sutured. After about a week the stitches can get out.

What are the risks associated with a canthoplasty?

What is canthoplasty? – Clinic Dr. FunkFacial surgery is associated with comparatively low risks.

However, as it is the case for any other intervention, unexpected reactions to the anaesthesia may occur. Small swellings around the surgical area are one of the usual side-effects caused by the canthoplasty.

If the operation is carried out by an experienced surgeon, the risk involved will be very low.

FAQ about canthoplasty

Click on the questions to view the answers.

No, there aren't. The incision is carried out either in the lower eyelid edge or in the curvature of the eyelid. This makes the scar almost invisible after the intervention.

In general, patients do not feel any pain during the intervention or after it. The intervention is performed in local anaesthesia. After its performance, the patient receives pain medication she can take if needed. Sometimes there is a feeling of tension in the area of the eyelids. However, this will disappear after a few days. Ice packs can help ease the postoperative swelling.