Upper eyelid surgery is very popular in Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam, and Korea. While the plastic surgery itself is modern, the desire to create a more “open” eye has been present for thousands of years. Many consider bigger or larger eyes more attractive, and patients have used (and continue to use) tape or glue in the upper eyelid to temporarily create a crease or double eyelid for larger eyes.
Patient don’t come to the plastic surgeon’s office wanting to appear Western or Caucasian, but rather improve their own natural appearance and maintain their ethnicity. Each patient has their own personal reasons to have eyelid surgery. Some patients feel that a double eyelid or an upper eyelid crease gives the entire face a more youthful look. For some, eyelid surgery can make simple beauty routines easier, such as applying makeup, by removing the excess skin covering the eyelashes. Other patients may have a single, partial, or double fold on one eye and a different type of fold on the other eyelid and want plastic surgery to improve symmetry.
There isn’t a strict age for cosmetic eyelid surgery, but plastic surgeons wait until an appropriate age before considering blepharoplasty. Upper eyelid surgery is generally not considered for cosmetic purposes until approximately age 17 or later. The facial structures and tissue are still changing dramatically during this time period, so surgery is delayed until the face matures. A physical examination and consultation is required to determine if a patient is a candidate for eyelid surgery.
Asian blepharoplasty (i.e. creating a double eyelid) in Washington DC is a cosmetic surgery performed in the office via strictly local anesthesia. Only the skin area is numbed and the patient is awake, alert, comfortable, and relaxed. This plastic surgery takes about an hour. Most patients haven’t required pain medication after the first day.
From an anatomic perspective, the Asian eyelid has relatively more skin and fat. The upper eyelid appears fuller or less defined with eyelashes which may be more hidden. The upper eyelid crease is absent or incomplete, which then allows the excess skin to hang down and may make the eyes appear smaller.
A variety of double eyelid surgery techniques exists among eyelid plastic surgeons, including the full incision type and the “incision less” type. With any technique, plastic surgeons create a double eyelid by applying stitches to the deeper eyelid muscle to the superficial eyelid muscle and skin. These areas then become attached with a little scar and fibrous band to help maintain shape and appearance of crease. Some excess skin or fat may be removed as well during eyelid surgery. Skin sutures may be either absorbable or removed after several days.
Initially, the eyelid crease will look slightly higher than expected due to swelling and then gradually achieve its ideal level and shape during the healing period. Patients typically are not using pain medication after the first day or so and use topical vaseline to minimize scarring.
Read more about Asian eyelid surgery in the FAQ section.
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