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Asian Eyelid Surgery

About 50% of the Asian population does not have a defined upper eyelid crease. Many people feel that they look younger, more attractive, and refreshed when their upper eyelids do not descend onto the eyelashes. When it comes to enhancing the Asian eye, it takes specialized knowledge of the variations and intricacies of this distinct eyelid anatomy. The creation of an upper eyelid fold, called Asian eyelid surgery or double eyelid surgery, is one of the most common cosmetic procedures chosen by Asian patients. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Shim Ching specializes in cosmetic surgery for Asian patients including double eyelid surgery in Honolulu, Hawaii.

To find out more about Asian eyelid surgery and other procedures that can help you look younger and more attractive, request a consultation with Dr. Ching or call our office at (808) 585-8855 to schedule an appointment.

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What are the benefits of Asian eyelid surgery?

Asian women and men are typically interested in eyelid surgery for different reasons than those who choose traditional eyelid surgery. Adults of all ages often choose double eyelid surgery to retain their Asian appearance while gaining one or more of the following improvements:

  • Making the eyes appear bigger by opening the upper eye area
  • Creating or enhancing the upper eyelid fold
  • Raising and defining the eyelid crease
  • Improving the results of eye makeup
Asian Double Eyelid Before & After

Dr. Ching can combine double eyelid surgery with other facial procedures such as Asian eye lengthening to extend the inner corners of the eyes or Asian rhinoplasty to further enhance the face.

How is double eyelid surgery performed?

Dr. Ching performs double eyelid surgery as an outpatient procedure by personalizing one of the following techniques:

  • Incisional double eyelid surgery involves creation of the eyelid fold using an incision and sutures. This method provides the most significant, longest-lasting results, but it requires longer recovery time.
  • Suture method double eyelid surgery, also called non-incisional double eyelid surgery, involves only tiny incisions and special suturing to create the fold.

Some patients have heaviness of the upper eyelids caused by fat deposits, which require removal during surgery. Older patients may require upper eyelid skin removal or a brow lift to optimize their results. Because each patient is unique, Dr. Ching will select the most appropriate method for you during your consultation.

Eyelid Lengthening

Inner eye lengthening, technically called medial epicanthoplasty, is a procedure that is often performed in conjunction with upper eyelid fold creation. This procedure effectively removes a small fold of skin in the inner corner of the eye that is present in some Asian individuals. This procedure lengthens the inner corner of the eye as pictured below and can optimize the fold created from double eyelid surgery. Eyelid lengthening can make the eye look even longer and larger. The method Dr. Ching uses results in no visible scar as the incisions are hidden with the margin of the eyelids.

Medial Canthoplasty Before & After


Drooping Eyelid Correction

Drooping of one or both eyelids, called ptosis, is also a very common condition that ideally should be addressed with any double eyelid procedure. Drooping of one of the eyelids will result in asymmetry of the eyes that can be accentuated by double eyelid surgery if not corrected. Correction of drooping of both eyelids will further enhance a double eyelid surgery by making the eyes appear larger. A new technique, called “non-incisional combined double eyelid and ptosis correction surgery,” uses the same suture that creates the eyelid fold to correct ptosis, so that both eyelid fold creation and ptosis correction can be achieved with a single procedure.

What can I expect during recovery after double eyelid surgery?

Most patients who have double eyelid surgery return home the day of surgery. It is important that you have assistance in getting home and clear your schedule. It’s especially important to follow Dr. Ching’s advice and recommendations during the hours immediately after your procedure; doing so can help you achieve the smoothest possible recovery and best results.

If possible, you should block out time to rest or sleep after you get home. Preferably this should be done in a bed or recliner that allows you to lie down comfortably without distractions or interruptions.

Double eyelid surgery is usually painless. Should some pain result, it will be mild and treatable by over-the-counter pain relievers or medication that Dr. Ching will prescribe for you. The primary limitation you’ll experience will be swelling that may impact your field of vision and your appearance.

Management of Swelling

The period following double eyelid surgery can be disorienting due to swelling around the eyes. Do not be alarmed if your eyelids are swollen, red, and bruised. Be aware that these conditions are all typical for blepharoplasty patients and are only temporary. Swelling typically peaks the morning after surgery.

You can manage your swelling by applying a clean, cold compress to the eyelids. You can also use a sealed plastic bag filled with ice or a bag of frozen peas or corn, as long as you cover the bag with a thin cloth. If this is done soon enough following surgery, it can potentially prevent swelling completely.

During this initial time, the swelling will cause your eyelid creases to appear to be too rounded, uneven, or possibly too high. This is only temporary. As the tissue softens, the real, permanent results of your double eyelid surgery will gradually emerge. Do not be too concerned by how your eyelids look for the first few days.

Guidelines for a Successful Recovery

What is important in the hours immediately following your blepharoplasty is that you:

  • Follow Dr. Ching’s restrictions and recommendations
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Use a cold compress on your eyes

These guidelines will see you through the most difficult part of your recovery period and put you on the path to getting the best cosmetic results possible from your double eyelid surgery.

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Shim Ching, MD