Learning Objectives: After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Understand the principles involved in canthal support for patients undergoing cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. 2. Understand the variations in surgical techniques required to perform canthal anchoring in differing patients. 3. Describe the significance and techniques of canthal anchoring (canthoplasty and canthopexy) as they relate to cosmetic and reconstructive lower lid surgery. 4. Describe the effect of canthal anchoring on the function of the upper and lower lids and eyelid fissure shape.
Any surgeon performing cosmetic or reconstructive surgery procedures on the lower lid or midface through the lower lid should be comfortable with canthal anchoring procedures. Appropriate canthal anchoring is effective in preventing postoperative lower-lid malposition, in ensuring eyelid closure, and in improving or maintaining proper eye shape. In many patients, a canthopexy (nonlysis canthal anchoring) is effective. However, in patients with significant horizontal laxity, cantholysis with appropriate lid shortening is required. It should be remembered that canthal anchoring, no matter how well performed, will not prevent severe lower-lid complications in cases of over-resection of lower-lid skin and of poorly performed midface procedures that do not support the lower lid and cheek.