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Asian Eyelid Surgery

Asian eyelid surgery in NYC is also called “double eyelid surgery”. It is a special type of blepharoplasty that creates a crease in the upper eyelid. It is 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. Dr. Halaas specializes in Asian eye lid surgery for her patients in New York City.

Many patients feel the eyelid surgery can “open up” the appearance of their eyes, giving them a more energetic appearance that can help them socially and professionally.


Some people feel that Asian eyelid surgery is performed to “westernize” the appearance of those of Asian descent, but that’s not the case.

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.

Double eyelid can:

  • Place a crease in the upper eyelid that increases the definition of the eye.
  • “Open up” the eye for a more energetic appearance
  • Create a resemblance to the 50% of Asians who have a natural crease in the upper eyelid

Types of surgery

Three types of procedures are available to patients desiring Asian eyelid surgery in NYC, and the procedure that Dr. Halaas will perform is determined by the patient’s anatomy, comfort and goals. All procedures are 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.

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 reshaped 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 double 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 (DST)

DST has 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.

For more information please call (212) 688-5955 or visit Dr. Halaas’ clinic to set up your no-obligation consultation today.


View Before & After Photos of Actual Patients

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Asian Eyelid Surgery - Before Treatment Photo - female patient


Asian Eyelid Surgery - After Treatment Photo - female patient


Who is a candidate?

Any patient whose upper eyelid lacks a defining crease can be considered for Asian eyelid surgery.

What is recovery like?

Recovery process depends in part of the procedure selected, and in part on the patient’s overall medical condition.

Generally, a patient who has full incisional surgery will experience bruising and swelling that will persist for as much as a month following surgery. Ice packs for the two days immediately after surgery will minimize discomfort and reduce swelling and bruising. Sutures are removed five to seven days after surgery, and about 60% to 70% of swelling and bruising should go down a week later. 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 partial incision treatment will experience a little less swelling than is common with the full incisional technique, and sutures can be removed within five to seven days following surgery. A return to work and most normal activities is usually possible within two weeks. Patients should be aware that scarring might actually be more pronounced because the incisions are not evenly placed on the eyelid.

DST 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 DST.


Results vary depending on the type of procedure used to create the upper eyelid crease, and the shape and placement of the crease to be created.

Asian eyelid creases vary in positioning, but are fairly consistent in their distance from the eyelash line. Caucasian eyelid creases curve up and away from the eyelash line, tapering closer to the eyelash line at either end.

The goal of Asian eyelid surgery is to maintain consistency with Asian or Oriental facial features, while helping define the appearance of the eye.


Q What is Asian eyelift surgery?

Asian eyelift surgery is a fairly simple procedure that creates or more fully defines a crease in the upper eyelid. It is one of the most commonly requested and performed aesthetic procedures in some parts of East Asia

Q Does it hurt?

There is a small pinch when the local anesthesia is delivered, which should keep you comfortable during the procedure. If the local anesthetic begins to wear off, though, let your surgeon know so you can be kept comfortable throughout.

As the local wears off after surgery, you will experience the discomfort of 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.

Q How long will swelling or bruising last?

Most of the swelling and bruising will subside in the first two or three weeks. Some patients can return to work in fewer than two weeks; some need a little longer before they feel comfortable returning to normal activities.

Q Once healing is complete, will my results look natural?

Most of the patients who opt for Asian eyelid surgery are very pleased with their results, with little if any visible scarring and a very natural appearance.

Q Are the 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 an inexpensive alternative to surgery.

Written by Dr. Halaas

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