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How Much is a Lateral Canthoplasty?

Published on February 20, 2017

Seriously, we get this question in a telephone call to my office at least 10 times per week. I suspect that folks ask the question because they really don’t know where to start a conversation with the office. The question is so wrong on so many planes. First, some of these people think that lateral canthoplasty is a cosmetic surgery that will make them look better, or give them a bigger, more attractive appearing eye. It does not do either of those things. Where do they get such wrong-headed ideas? My colleagues have incorrectly taught them this. I want to think my colleagues are simply misinformed rather than just trying to drum up business. A canthoplasty is a reconstructive procedure that supports the lower eyelid. It is used when there is frank laxity of the lower eyelid. It can be used to address blunting or disinsertion of the lateral canthal tendon that occurs in certain clinical situations. It has no role in aesthetically improving the appearance of a normal eyelid. Now canthoplasty as performed in Western countries is very different than the canthoplasty being performed in South Korea. That is a bird of a different feather. Unfortunately this is nothing like the lateral canthoplasty we perform. This is a misguided and deforming surgery that attempts to expand the lateral aspect of the white of the eye by violating the mucosal border of the lateral corner of the eyelid. The effect is disturbing and unfortunately very hard to fix.

In many ways, this question is symptomatic of a larger problem. Medicine, and no different in cosmetic surgery, is encouraging people to prescribe their own treatment. Rather than systematically sitting down with an ethical cosmetic surgeon and determining what plan makes sense, people email around to find the lowest cost on a particular service they may have heard about without really knowing if it is right for them. Unfortunately, you often find what you are looking for. Getting a service that is not right for you is a problem. Seventy percent (70%) of my surgical practice is undoing other surgeons’ mistakes. I just think it makes a whole lot of sense that it is easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble. Bypassing the question of what service is right for me is never a good idea. It is essential to find the right doctor and determine which options make the most sense for you. I do not find that can be done with a couple of photographs or even a “Skype consultation.” Seriously, do you really think that someone can get to the bottom of an issue in a 4 minute Skype conversation? My typical consultation lasts between 1 and 2 hours, sometimes even 3 hours. I speak at length to my potential surgical patient about what he/she is looking for and then perform a very detailed history and a very detailed consultation with in depth measurements to develop a surgical plan based on the findings and the patient’s personal goals. “One size does not fit all.”

So if you call my office asking the cost for lateral canthoplasty, we are not going to be able to give you a price. I don’t do cookie cutter surgery. I want to get to what makes sense for you and I do that with an in person consultation and examination. Perhaps you are that rare patient who does need a lateral canthoplasty. In that case, after a detailed consultation to confirm that is precisely what you need, then of course we will give you a quote for surgery.


Dr. Steinsapir is a much sought after oculofacial surgeon. He is an innovator in minimally invasive cosmetic and reconstructive procedures and has invented new methods for treating with BOTOX, Fillers and cutting edge reconstructive eyelid and midface surgery. He specializes in high precision eyelid surgery and is a leader in correcting prior facial and eyelid surgery, including multiple revised cosmetic eyelid reconstructions. He attended medical school at UCLA and completed an ophthalmology residency at The University of Chicago. He is multiple fellowship trained including three years of fellowship training in oculofacial plastic surgery at UCLA, and a two-year cosmetic surgery fellowship in Rancho Mirage. He is widely published and lectures to other surgeons nationally and internationally. He is an associate clinical professor of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. His private practice is located in Beverly Hills, immediately serving the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills communities. Additionally, individuals from all over the country and the world regularly come to Beverly Hills for his expert care.

To learn more about Dr. Steinsapir, please contact us today.