What’s the Difference Between Canthoplasty and Canthopexy?

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The terms Canthoplasty and Canthopexy often get mixed up and some people think they describe the same surgical procedure. Although similar, they are actually different procedures that are carried out on the lower eyelid.  They will also give slightly different outcomes.

Canthoplasty is where the tendon under the eye is detached, divided and then moved into position to create a tauter support under the eyelid. Canthopexy does not cut the tendon from the attachment point but rather the procedure involves using sutures to make the tendon tighter and stabilize it underneath the eyelid. Therefore, Canthoplasty is more invasive because the incision must be large enough to expose the tendon and then the tendon is manipulated by dividing it.

Canthopexy will not change the eye shape unlike Canthoplasty. The latter tends to give the eye a different shape that resembles a cat eye look because the tendon is physically moved and repositioned. This doesn’t occur in Canthopexy as the procedure is performed in order to stabilize the tendon rather than move it so the eye shape remains the same.

Another difference between these two surgeries is that if there is a problem with the surgery, Canthoplasty is harder to correct. The reason for this is that in Canthoplasty the tendon is cut and shortened and you cannot replace the part that you have cut. In Canthopexy, the entire original tendon is maintained so that if there is a problem, it is easier to correct it. In both procedures, if something has gone wrong, further surgery is required to correct the problem.

Canthopexy is carried out purely for cosmetic reasons whereas Canthoplasty can also be carried out to fix Ectropion. This condition is where the eyelid have drooped away from the eye and inverted and cannot be fixed via the Canthopexy method. Canthoplasty on the other hand can fix this problem. Both of these surgeries will need to be paid for privately as the NHS will not fund this form of cosmetic surgery.

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