Home » Surgical » Eye Procedures » Guide To Epicanthoplasty

Are you interested in changing the shape of your eyes? Do you ever see someone with big, beautiful eyes and think to yourself “I wish my eyes were more like that?”

Well, we’ve got good news for you.  You can change the shape of your eyes through eye enlargement surgery, also known as epicanthoplasty. What is epicanthoplasty? And, why should you consider this type of surgery?  Our Guide will tell you.

What is Epicanthoplasty?

Epicanthoplasty, also known as lateral or medicinal epicanthoplasty, is a type of eye surgery that lengthens the inner parts of your eye in order to make your eyes bigger.

If you have a strong epicanthal fold (also known as the “Mongolian fold”), it means that a web forms across your eye and covers your medial canthus. This fold can hide the beauty of your eyelids and make your eyes look smaller and more tired looking. Typically, this surgery is performed on those of Asian descent, but it’s for any man or woman who wants eyes that appear brighter, bigger, and more alert.

It’s also for patients who have large epicanthal folds that inhibit the shape and appearance of their eyes. The surgery involves making very small incisions on the corner of the eyes to get rid of the above problems. This correction method can help a patient get rid of an eyelid crease that can cause tension in the eyes or simply be aesthetically unwanted.

Oftentimes, people combine epicanthoplasty with double eyelid surgery to achieve more beautiful, clearer eyes.

What are the Benefits of Eye Enlargement Surgery?

So, what are the benefits of this type of surgery? Epicanthoplasty can:

  • Reduce the distance between your inner-canthal, which helps make the eyes appear farther apart (an ideal distance between the inner-canthal is a 1:1 ratio)
  • Expose the medial half of your eyes to make your eyes appear brighter and bigger
  • Reduce the medial half of your eye folds to reduce creases in your eyes to make you look less tired
  • Shift the medial canthus in a medial direction and upwards so your eyes appear less slanted

Epicanthoplasty can also help address a tired appearance and balance the overall look of your face. It’s an operation that’s commonly used to rejuvenate the eyelid skin and make both eyes look more vibrant and younger.

Who is a Good Candidate for Epicanthoplasty?

So, how do you know if epicanthoplasty is right for you? You’re a good candidate for epicanthoplasty if you:

  • Wish to improve the overall look of your eyes
  • Wish to have larger eyes but want to preserve your ethnic features
  • Have strong epicanthal folds that compromise the appearance of your eye shape
  • Have undergone or plan to undergo double eyelid surgery to enhance your look further

To be a good candidate for epicanthoplasty, you also need to have good overall health. If you’re a smoker, you’ll need to discontinue smoking three weeks prior and three weeks after surgery. This is because smoking cigarettes can inhibit your body’s ability to fully recover. For best results, you need to support your body’s recovery efforts and allow for the incision sites to heal.

Types of Epicanthoplasty

As we mentioned earlier, there are two different types of epicanthoplasty: Medial and Lateral.

Medial Epicanthoplasty

Medial epicanthoplasty focuses on the eye’s inner corner. During the procedure, your surgeon will some of the excess fold to better reveal the medial portion of your eye. This helps the eyes to appear larger and more open. It can also help straighten eyes that are slanted.

Lateral Epicanthoplasty

Lateral epicanthoplasty, on the other hand, addresses the outer portion of the eye. During the procedure, your surgeon will lengthen your eye and reduce the slant to make your eyes appear less droopy and tired.

To figure out which type of epicanthoplasty is right for you, you’ll need to set up an appointment with a cosmetic eye surgeon. It’s important to choose a surgeon who is experienced in both procedures so you can achieve the best results possible.

Medial Epicanthoplasty

The medial canthal fold or Mongolian fold is a semilunar-shaped skin fold that covers the inner corner of the eye that is a common feature found in those of Asian descent. Sometimes the medial epicanthus can cause hooding along the inner corner of the eye and make the eyes appear shorter and smaller. Medial epicanthoplasty is a surgical technique to adjust the shape of the inner corner of the eyes.

Ideal candidates include those who want to lengthen the eye in the horizontal dimension, desire an outside double eyelid fold, or prefer a more parallel-shaped double eyelid fold. Contouring the inner eye shape can also enhance your double eyelid results, making your eyes appear larger and brighter. During a scheduled consultation, our WAVE plastic surgeons perform a thorough evaluation and examination of your eyes and determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure.

The procedure can be performed alone or in conjunction with double eyelid surgery. Local anesthesia and light intravenous sedation are used to ensure patients are comfortable and do not experience any pain. The duration of the procedure is about one hour. During the procedure, some excess skin along the medial canthal fold is removed and the tissue is rearranged to make the inner corner of the eye appear more open. Very small sutures are placed and removed in about 7 days. Our WAVE plastic surgeons use special techniques to perform the medial epicanthoplasty to create a natural appearance with minimal scarring.

Eye Enlargement Surgery Consultation

Before you go in for surgery, you’ll first need to schedule a consultation with a surgeon. During the consultation, your doctor will discuss your medical history to determine if you’re a good candidate for the procedure.

If you have any questions about the surgery, you should ask them during the consultation. Here are some frequently asked questions people have about the procedure:

Your surgeon will work to ensure that your eyes have minimal scarring by only making incisions where necessary. Typically, scarring does occur, but these scars fade drastically in the six months following the procedure.

If you’re not satisfied with your results for whatever reason, then the previous shape of your eyes can be restored. This is done by pulling the soft tissues on the scars to recreate the Mongolian fold.

As we mentioned earlier, most people who choose to undergo epicanthoplasty are of Asian descent. However, if you have larger eyes, this type of surgery may still be possible and recommended. The best way to figure out if you’re a good candidate is to set up a consultation with a surgeon

Epicanthic folds are the portion of the upper eyelid that covers the inner corner of the eye.  These folds are often brought about by genetics, heritage, and age.

Ptosis is the weakening of the muscle that holds the upper eyelid open.  This can result in the appearance of a drooping eyelid. There are a number of surgical methods used to correct ptosis. Double eyelid surgery can be used to correct ptosis by tightening and thereby elevating this muscle.

The price of epicanthoplasty surgery varies depending on the specific treatment plan. Epicanthoplasty is often paired with other procedures so the cost is often bundled together with Double Eyelid Surgery or Aging Upper Blepharoplasty. An individualized surgical plan will include a pricing breakdown.

Most of the swelling resolves in the first 2 weeks but can take several weeks to achieve final results.

Using special techniques, some excess skin is removed from the medial epicanthal fold and the tissue is rearranged to make the eyes appear bigger and more inviting.

Medial epicanthal folds may be present in young children of any ethnicity and generally disappear once the nasal bridge fully develops at puberty. In those of Asian descent, a medial epicanthal fold is a common persistent feature that requires a medial epicanthoplasty to surgically remove the fold which helps lengthen the inner corner of the eye.

Our WAVE plastic surgeons perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine each patient’s individual needs and goals. A cost estimate can be provided during your consultation based on the surgical recommendations.

What is the Epicanthoplasty Procedure Like?

Once you’ve had a consultation and determined that you’re a good candidate for eye enlargement surgery, it’s time for the procedure. Eye enlargement surgery can either be performed in a hospital or in an outpatient clinic.

Local Anesthesia

Before beginning the surgery, you’ll be administered local anesthesia. With local anesthesia, a small portion of your body is numbed, but you remain fully conscious. This is different from general anesthesia, in which you’re completely unconscious and unaware of the procedure. 

Local anesthesia usually wears off after an hour, but you may experience some tingling and numbness for a few hours post-surgery. Generally speaking, you don’t need to do much to prepare for local anesthesia. During the consultation, you’ll need to inform your doctor if:

  • You have any open wounds that could inhibit healing near the affected area
  • You’re on blood thinners or other medications that could increase your risk of bleeding (typically, you’ll need to discontinue these medications for a short time before surgery)
  • You have a bleeding disorder

If you feel pain during the procedure, you should tell your doctor right away, as this usually indicates that they need to give you a higher dose. Generally speaking, local anesthesia is very safe, but there are some side effects to be aware of. Side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Twitching
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Numbness
  • A metallic taste in your mouth

It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to local anesthesia, but this is very rare.

The Procedure

Once the surgeon administers the local anesthesia and it’s had a chance to set in, they’ll begin performing the surgery. Your surgeon will start by making pre-planned incisions around the corners of your eyes.

These incisions create small flaps that allow your surgeon to restructure the shape of your inner eyelid. Then, your surgeon will remove the excess skin from your eye.

With lateral epicanthoplasty, incisions are made on the outer corners of your eyes. After the eyes are successfully opened up, the surgeon delicately sutures the eye to close the open skin folds.

Typically, the surgery lasts between 30 minutes. If you choose to also have double eyelid surgery, then you can expect it to last for about an hour.


Generally speaking, the recovery process for eye enlargement surgery is pretty smooth. Most people experience some swelling and bruising around the eye, but this begins to subside after one week.

Any remaining swelling will gradually subside over the next eight to twelve weeks. Four to six days after surgery, you’ll need to return to the clinic or hospital to have your stitches removed.

Most patients return to work two weeks after surgery, but the recovery timeline is different for everyone. A few days after having your stitches removed, you’ll be able to wear makeup again.

Your surgeon will provide you with instructions on how to care for your stitches in the days following your surgery. The aftercare process typically involves:

  • Avoiding smoking for a few weeks
  • Avoiding hot foods and drinks four hours following surgery
  • Placing a cold compress on your eyes to reduce swelling and bruising
  • Taking pain medication and applying an antibiotic cream as prescribed by your doctor
  • Applying a scar cream after the stitches are removed
  • Avoiding contact lenses and fake lashes for two weeks following surgery
  • Avoiding saunas and swimming pools for two weeks post-surgery

You’ll also want to avoid exposure to the sun in the first weeks following your surgery. If you need to go outdoors, wear sunscreen and conceal your eyes with large sunglasses.

Are You Ready for Eye Enlargement Surgery?

Now that you know more about eye enlargement surgery, it’s time for you to schedule a consultation with a surgeon in your area. Make sure to look for a board-certified surgeon with plenty of experience performing this surgery. They should be able to show you epicanthoplasty before and after photos of successful surgeries that they’ve performed in the past. If you’re looking for a board-certified eye surgeon in the California area, contact us today.

Are you interested in receiving minimally invasive plastic surgery? There are minimally invasive plastic surgery procedures to remove facial fat, treat the symptoms of aging, and even plastic surgery that uses an endoscope to make them less invasive and speed up recovery time.

Read our comprehensive guide and understand everything you need to know.

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Get Your Consultation Today

Give us a call today to schedule a consultation with one of the plastic surgery experts at Wave Plastic Surgery to learn more about the procedure and the thread face lift cost.

Our Epicanthoplasty Specialists

Plastic Surgeon Peter Lee

Peter Lee

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Peter is CEO and Chief Surgeon of WAVE Plastic Surgery Center with over 20 years of plastic surgery experience, overlooking 30K+ successful plastic surgery cases. He has mentored master surgeons around the world in state-of-the-art techniques, and has been inducted into the RealSelf 100 & 500 Hall of Fame.

His many accolades and shining results are evidence of Peter’s expertise.

Plastic Surgeon Ben Lee

Ben Lee

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Throughout 20+ years in aesthetic plastic surgery, Dr. Ben Lee has always been passionate about using his skills to impart a lasting, positive impact on the lives of his patients.

“Time and time again, I have witnessed dramatic improvements in a patient’s confidence and well-being after a relatively minor cosmetic or reconstructive procedure. As a surgeon, that brings me great joy.” — Dr. Ben Lee

Plastic Surgeon Denise -Wong

Denise Wong

M.D., F.A.C.S.

With a focus on Upper Eyelid Surgery, Dr. Wong has a deep understanding of the unique anatomy of the eyelid which is critical in performing this highly technical and intricate surgery. She is experienced in approaching various specific eyelid characteristics for different ethnicities, especially Asian cultures.

She uses precise microplastic surgical techniques to enhance the natural shape and inherent beauty of your eyes, making them appear bigger and brighter.