Exophthalmos (Bulging Eyes)


Cosmetic Correction of Bulging Eyes

Some people have very prominent eyes or asymmetry of the eyes where one is bulging. Often this is caused by a medical condition called Graves’ disease or thyroid eye disease. But often the eyes appear bulgy or prominent due to trauma or just being born that way. This can be quite concerning for many people in that it makes them appear intense or not “normal.” Many patients ask if there is anything that can be done and in the past, the answer was not too much, at least safely.
 
Today, this is no longer the case. Dr. Raymond Douglas is one of the most respected aesthetic orbital decompression surgeons and has dedicated much of his career to helping patients with this condition. He specializes in moving the eyes back or improving this bulging appearance for his patients.
 
At the International Orbital Institute, Dr. Raymond Douglas and his team of experts believe that every patient deserves customized care and individualized treatment. A customized approach to correcting bulging eyes not only improves a patient’s overall appearance but also correct functional issues giving the patient more comfort.
 
This is a specialized surgery that very few doctors would offer but Dr. Douglas and his team have done thousands of these surgeries and our patients are very happy with the results. In fact, most find it life changing!
 

“I hope you know how amazing you are and how much you did for me! You changed my life. 2 years ago I kept my eyes closed in all maternity photos my friend took. This time around I’m looking straight at her with so much joy. And I’m a total mess crying just typing it thinking you are a God given gift to so many!” -Monika
 
Painful prominent/Bulging Eyes

Prominent eyes can be due to a variety of medical conditions or just being born with this characteristic. Some of the conditions that can cause prominent eyes are Thyroid Eye Disease, facial paralysis, previous unsuccessful eyelid surgery, trauma, and being born with small cheekbones. While these patients are at a higher risk for unsuccessful eyelid surgery, there is a safer alternative to orbital surgery to restore the appearance and function of the eyelids to a normal state.

Red, painful, burning eyes

Many of our patients present with painful burning and redness of the eyes. Prominent eyes can increase the likelihood of unwanted results from cosmetic surgery when using conventional techniques and, unfortunately, most doctors do not consider this component and the impact it has on the results of surgery. In fact, prominent eyes can lead to eyelid retraction, dry eye, and lagophthalmos – or inability to completely close the eyes.

Anatomy of Prominent Eyes

Prominent eyes can often increase exposure of the eye and give a very harsh appearance.
The figure on the left shows the anatomy of the face with good support around a non-prominent eye. The eye is very well protected and appears normal.
Bulging Eyes Beverly Hills, CA
Exophthalmos Beverly Hills, CA

In contrast, the figure on the right shows an eye that is prominent. This type of eye appears harsh, is often times not well protected, and is more likely to be damaged following eyelid surgery. Although the eyes shown are the same size, the normal non-prominent eye is well protected by the eyelid and cheek. To achieve a normal appearance, it is often necessary to gently move the eyes back to a normal position in order to allow the eye to be protected.

Eye prominence & risk of eye problems worsens with age & eyelid surgery

As we get older, the bone around the eyes resorb as does the soft tissue (eyelids and cheeks) causing the eyes to appear more prominent. In addition to aging, botched eyelid surgery can also cause the eyelids to work poorly and the eyes to appear more prominent. Both of these components contribute to the eyes being more prone to damage if exposed. These can often be dramatically improved with customized eyelid and orbital surgery; however, it requires a surgeon that is an expert in both areas.

Reducing Eye Bulging to Improve Appearance

Our group of surgeons are pioneers in the field of reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. We have shown that orbital surgery can predictably and dramatically improve the appearance of the eyelid and face. We have analyzed hundreds of patients by creating a contour map of their eyelids prior to surgery compared to after surgery to move their eyes back to a normal position. We have concluded that by reducing eye prominence, we were able to also reduce the white under the eyes, resulting in an overall improved appearance.

Dramatic results cannot be achieved with eyelid surgery alone

For many of our patients, no matter how much white is under the eyes, we are able to reduce or even eliminate the harsh appearance without additional eyelid surgery. Our results have been dramatic and have even been published by several scientific journals.


Trusted experts – thousands of surgeries performed with thrilled patients

We have performed thousands of these types of procedures over the years and pride ourselves on ensuring that the process is customized to each individual patient. Our patients have been thrilled their results and relieved to finally find help after being offered only the standard care that was not suited to their specific needs.

Is Surgery Dangerous or Invasive?

Multiple eyelid surgeries are more dangerous than restoring the eye position as multiple eyelid surgeries can often result in paralysis and inability to close the eyelids. Surgery to move the eyes back to a more normal position is often safer and more effective for the right patient than additional eyelid surgery. It is done as an outpatient procedure and usually lasts only about one hour.

Case Studies

Pain, Tearing, Redness — Sound Familiar?

This gentleman presented with the inability to close his eyes at night, constant pain, and watery eyes. In addition, his eyes were also very prominent. We performed a customized surgery to move the eyes back and to augment his cheek with an implant. This resulted in increased comfort, a more youthful appearance, and he was thrilled with the results.


I Cannot Close My Eyes at Night Now!

This woman underwent multiple unsuccessful eyelid operations, including cosmetic blepharoplasty. She was left with tight eyelids and could not close her eyes. She constantly felt eye irritation and dryness night, and could see light while sleeping. Her eyes were in constant agony, all while being in school to complete her MBA. Although the first picture shown here doesn’t look bad, you can see in the second picture that because too much skin removed from the eyelids she was unable close her eyes.


She had already undergone several eyelid procedures and any more would risk causing paralysis. She had relatively prominent eyes so we modified her eye position allowing the lower eyelid to come up to a more normal position. The surgery gave her eyes a softer and more pleasant appearance and she was finally in comfort and could close her eyes. While her journey is not complete, this was done without additional eyelid surgery and no skin incisions.


My Eyes Hurt & They Are Red All The Time

This patient came to us, after previous cosmetic surgery, stating that his eyes were red and that they hurt all the time. We performed a surgery to move the eyes back to restore his natural appearance and comfort. No eyelid surgery was needed which meant no external scars.


Customized Approach To Surgery

Patients come to us looking to improve their appearance of their bulging eyes. Each patient that walks through our door has a unique orbital anatomy and has their own concerns and goals for surgery. During a thorough consultation with Dr. Douglas, he will evaluate the patient and determine which approach to treatment will provide them with the best results possible.

In general, to reduce the prominence of the eyes we can consider several options including a surgery to reduce the bulging. To reduce eye bulging we will remove fat or shave a little bone to reduce the prominence. This surgery is done under general anesthesia and takes about an hour and patients recover in about two weeks with bruising and swelling. Although the surgery only takes approximately an hour to perform, it is an incredibly complex and precise surgery and should only be performed by an expert like Dr. Douglas and his team.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one suffers from bulging, prominent eyes please contact us at the International Orbital Institute. Our team of experts is here to work with you every step of the way to develop a customized treatment plan and ensure you get the results that you deserve. Please call us today to schedule your consultation – (310) 657-4302

For patients who live out of town, we also offer convenient Skype consultations so you can speak to one of our experts from the comfort of your own home.


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