Webbing of the lateral canthus (where outer upper and lower lids meet) is called a canthal web.  Normally the lateral canthus consists of an almond shaped angle.  When webbing occurs, skin obscures the angle and the canthal angle resembles a duck’s foot which is normally webbed.  This causes both aesthetic disfigurement (it is not attractive), and a functional deficit (the web blocks vision on side gaze).

The best way to treat a canthal web is to avoid allowing it to develop.  These webs occur in a variety of situations.  I have had them sent to me form correction when:

1.  Upper and lower lid surgery has been performed together and the outer portions of the upper and lower lid incision are too close to each other.

2. When a canthoplasty (lower lid tightening) has been added to surgery

3. When an infection has occurred after surgery

4. When a hematoma (bleed) has occurred after surgery

Canthal webs occur because there is a relative deficiency of skin in the vertical as compared to the horizontal plane.  They are surgically corrected by a variety of micro-skin flaps.  Most plastic surgeons avoid addressing canthal webs as they are difficult to correct and can lead to significant scaring.  I have been referred numerous webs over the years and have developed a reliable means of correcting them.  I recently published a peer reviewed manuscript titled “Cicatricial Canthal Webs.”  It will appear in our society journal “Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery” later in the year.

Below is an example of a lateral canthal web repair.  On the left the web is present on a patient who had blepharoplasty surgery.  Note how the webbed skin blocks vision on side gaze. On the right is the patient 6 months after repair.  I would be happy to see you, or anyone you know who needs assessment and treatment for a canthal web, or for any revisional eyelid procedure