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What Is Fox Eye Surgery?

The fox eye is a very stylized eye that looks very fox-like. During this surgery, the corner of the eye, the canthus, is lifted up along with the lateral brow. Many people have their own definition for the euphemistic term of fox eye, with some considering it a lateral brow lift and others lifting the corners of the mouth or even the upper cheek.

This procedure can be done in one of two ways, either through open surgery or with a thread lift. Open surgery involves making an incision and dissecting down into the area, then putting in sutures to grab the tissue and lift either the lateral brow, the corner of the eye and/or the cheek.

In a thread lift, we don’t dissect the tissue, instead we insert threads with tiny barbs on them that grab the tissue under the skin and when we pull it tight it lifts the area. We can put in one or a various number of threads. We can also do a thread lift through open surgery using an incision or through an endoscope. Threads can be used to lift the cheek, corner of the eye and the brow. The lower eyelid has thin skin and one of the problems with thread lifts is that he suture can be felt underneath the thin skin. So if we’re doing this to the lower eye within the cheek, we’ve got to be very careful not to have those sutures be felt. 

Many times a patient will come in and show me a picture of the most beautiful person wearing a lot of makeup who has the fox eye that they want. I explain that a lot of the fox eye shape that they are showing me has been done with makeup. We have to be careful to set expectations for what these surgeries can really accomplish.

Does a fox eye lift hurt?

A fox eye lift hurts about as much as thread lift, which is not very much. There’s a little discomfort, but as a general rule, a lateral or temporal brow lift and a lower eyelid canthoplasty, lifting up the corner of the eye, is not particularly painful. Surgery is commonly done under local anesthesia with sedation, but can also be done under general anesthesia. 

I give my patients pain medicine, but they are usually off any narcotic pain medicine after about 24 hours and they move on to Tylenol, but everybody’s pain threshold is different.

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on whether we perform surgery or use threads. If we use threads, it depends on how many we use. For open surgery, the cost  can be anywhere from $6500 to $10,000 or $12,000. Thread lifts run anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000.

The interesting thing is that many practitioners who can’t perform surgery are offering thread lifts. Patients think it’s okay to get their thread lifts anywhere, but “anywhere” isn’t always able to do the thread lift well. You really should search for someone who understands the eye lid anatomy and who understands threads and how they interact with thin tissue around the eye.

Do you have questions about the fox eye? I’ve done a bunch of them and am happy to answer your questions. Call me or email me anytime. I help patients like you every day, and I’d love to see you in my office or to talk to you via email. 

About Dr. Jonathan Sykes

Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.

He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr.Sykes at: [email protected]