Asian eyelid surgery in Westchester and NYC

Asian eyelid surgery (also called “double eyelid surgery”) is a special type of blepharoplasty that creates a crease in the upper eyelid. It’s most often performed on people of Asian descent who either want to improve the definition of their eyes or the apparent size of their eyes in relation to the face. Many patients feel this surgery can “open up” the appearance of their eyes, giving them a more energetic appearance. Asian eyelid surgery is one of Dr. Halaas’s specialties at her Westchester and NYC area practice.

What does Asian eyelid surgery do? 

  • Places a crease in the upper eyelid that increases the definition of the eye
  • “Opens up” the eye for a more energetic appearance
  • Creates a resemblance to the 50% of Asians who have a natural crease in the upper eyelid

Before & After Asian Eyelid Surgery

Types of Asian eyelid surgery

There are three types of Asian eyelid surgery, and the procedure that Dr. Halaas performs for you at our NYC clinic will be determined by your anatomy, comfort, and personal aesthetic goals. Each type of Asian eyelid surgery is designed to look and function naturally, meaning that the crease is pronounced when the eye is open, and less obvious when the eye is closed. These techniques are each performed under local anesthesia and take about one hour.

Full incision

This approach is best suited for patients with excess or thick eyelid skin, or severe ptosis (droopy eyelid). The technique involves removal of the excess skin and soft tissue, and attachment or fixation of the re-shaped eyelid skin to the underlying eyelid structure. There are several structures that can be used for fixation, and each will affect the appearance of the crease and the function of the eyelid after healing is complete.

Partial incision

A partial incision Asian eyelid surgery is often performed on patients with excess fat in the eyelids, but not necessarily with excess eyelid skin. Instead of a single long incision on the eyelid, this procedure uses up to three small incisions along the planned crease line. Excess fat is removed through these incisions, which are then secured with sutures that define the crease line.

Double suture and twist

The double suture and twist technique achieves the best results for patients with little excess skin around their eyes, no droopiness in the eyelids, and little to no fat in the eyelids. The eyelid is pierced in three or four places, allowing the surgeon to introduce the sutures that will attach the eyelid skin to the underlying eyelid muscles, creating the crease.

Asian Eyelid Surgery FAQ

Is Asian eyelid surgery designed to “westernize” the appearance of those of Asian descent?

No. The goal of Asian eyelid surgery is to maintain consistency with Asian or Oriental facial features while helping define the appearance of the eye. About 50% of Asians are born with a crease in the upper eyelid, and in most cases the patients seeking Asian or double eyelid surgery are trying to look more like them. The procedure is one of the most commonly requested and performed aesthetic procedures in many parts of East Asia. The shape, length, and position of an Asian eyelid crease are noticeably different from the crease on a Caucasian’s eyelid.

Are there alternatives to surgery that will accomplish the same thing?

Some patients use special tape or cosmetic putty to create an artificial crease. Both methods take time to make the effect look natural, but they are a common and inexpensive alternative to surgery.

I’ve heard that if you have Asian eyelid surgery done when younger, it will have to be repeated. Is this true?

If a patient undergoes Asian eyelid surgery in their late teens or early twenties, they may need to repeat the surgery by their 40s or 50s due to eyelid skin hooding. With age, the upper eyelids can “hood” (droop over the eye) — and this can make the double lid you got become less and less visible. The double eyelid fold can also loosen with age because the connective tissue stretches and weakens over time.

Who is a candidate for Asian eyelid surgery?

If you’re in the Westchester and NYC area and you’re interested in Asian eyelid surgery, you may be the perfect candidate. Any individual whose upper eyelid lacks a defining crease can be considered for Asian eyelid surgery.

Recovery and Results

As the local anesthesia wears off after surgery, you will experience some discomfort from your incisions and swelling, which you can minimize with ice packs for the first couple of days following surgery. A pain reliever will help, too. In general, the recovery process depends on the procedure selected and on your overall medical condition.

Sutures are removed 5-7 days after surgery, and about 60%-70% of the swelling and bruising should go down one week later. Bruising and swelling may last as long as a month following surgery. It may take up to three months for the newly-defined eyelid creases to look and feel natural, and the scar from the incision will slowly fade away over six months.

Patients who opt for the partial incision technique will experience a little less swelling than is common with the full incisional technique, and sutures can be removed within 5-7 days following surgery. A return to work and most normal activities is usually possible within two weeks. However, with this technique, patients should be aware that scarring might be more pronounced because the incisions are not evenly placed on the eyelid.

The double suture and twist technique offers the least post-operative discomfort, with minimal swelling and bruising compared to the other procedures, and a relatively short disruption in normal activities. Some patients may be able to return to work within a week following this technique.

Results will vary depending on the type of technique used and the shape and placement of the crease to be created. Most patients are very pleased with their results, with little (if any) visible scarring and a very natural-looking appearance.

Written by Dr. Halaas

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