Age and heredity influence the shape and proportion of your upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can refresh and reduce fatty deposits in the lower and upper brows, as well as increase the prominence of the crease in the upper brow. Approximately 40-60% of Asians have a natural fold and a double eyelid that they would like to change with surgery. Luckily, patients interested in the Asian double eyelid operation have several options to choose when they want to enhance their natural eye shape.
What Is Asian Eyelid Surgery?
Double eyelid surgery or "Asian blepharoplasty" creates an eyelid crease for a larger, more symmetric almond-shaped eye. The height from your upper lash line to the new eyelid crease is customized to your preference and existing anatomy to ensure a more natural appearance.
Asian eyelid surgery may include fat and excess eyelid skin removal to achieve optimal results. This procedure may be paired with an epicanthoplasty which extends the inner corner of your eye towards your nose. The combination will lengthen the width and height of your eyes to give you a more wide-eyed and youthful aesthetic appearance.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for Asian Eyelid Surgery:
- Your eyelid drapes over too much of the upper half of your iris
- You are unsatisfied with the shape of your eyelid
- Your eyelids contain excess fat
- Your eyes appear puffy
- Your upper eyelid folds inward when you open your eyes so that your eyelashes brush
- against your cornea, causing irritation and damage
Consultation for an Asian eyelid operation will take approximately 45 minutes. During this time, Dr. Liu will take a thorough medical history, help you with decision-making, and answer all your questions. Dr. Liu will evaluate and explain the different types of upper eyelids and help you decide on the appearance that best fits your face and enhances your natural features.
The consultation will identify and classify different aspects of the Asian eyelid crease. These include:
- Taper crease versus parallel crease
- Amount of eyelid showing
- Brow position
- Amount of fat removal
- Epicanthal fold, if any
Approximately two weeks before surgery, you will have a pre-operative appointment. During this appointment, you will:
- Sign the surgical consent
- Have photos taken
- Receive an information packet
Your pre-operative packet includes detailed instructions about what to expect before and after surgery. This consists of a reminder of how it is important to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, and other blood thinning medications for at least two weeks before surgery. The packet will also direct you that if you have your operation with local anesthesia and sedation, do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the evening before surgery. However, you may eat a light breakfast if you only have local anesthesia.
About the Operation
Asian double eyelid surgery takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to perform in the office under local anesthesia. However, if you wish, an anesthesiologist can administer sedation at an accredited surgery center. Following surgery, you will need a responsible adult to take you home and stay with you for 24 to 48 hours.
The incisions for Asian eyelid surgery are similar to traditional eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) operations. In select patients, the double eyelid operation can be performed using sutures only, so the crease is created using three or four separate sutures without a traditional incision. However, not every patient is a candidate for a “suture only” operation.
Types of incisions for Asian eyelid surgery include:
A full incision is best for patients with excess fat and skin in the upper eyelid. This method provides the most permanent results of the three ways, but because there is an incision throughout most of the length of the new eyelid crease, there will be a visible scar. However, the scar is typically cosmetically acceptable. The incision is closed with sutures that will be removed in the clinic four to six days after your surgery.
A partial incision is best for patients without excess skin but who have excess fat within their eyelids or desire more reliable and durable results than non-incision surgical methods. Our surgeons will create an incision along the upper border of the new eyelid crease, keeping the length as short as possible. After removing excess fat, your surgeon will use sutures to close the incision, which will be removed in the clinic four to six days after your surgery. Generally, an incision of fewer than 5 millimeters produces undetectable scarring.
Best for patients that do not have excess fat or skin in their eyelids and want no incisional scar and minimal to absent swelling. However, because this method is not as resilient as the incisional methods, the double eyelid may unfold in the future. Because all the sutures are buried underneath your eyelid skin, you will not need to come into the clinic for suture removal.
Patients go home on the same day as surgery but must have a responsible adult stay with them for 24 hours. Swelling and bruising from upper eyelid surgery lasts up to five days.
While most patients feel well within 2-3 days, you should avoid strenuous activity for one week. Dr. Liu will follow you closely during recovery and let you know when you can resume complete activities. You should be able to return to working a desk job after one week, and you can drive after two weeks. Additionally, you can gradually resume physical activity after two to four weeks.