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Asian Eyelid Surgery: Everything About Asian Blepharoplasty
What Is Asian Eyelid Surgery?
Asian Blepharoplasty is quite different from traditional blepharoplasties in America or in other "Western" countries for that matter. (Blepharoplasty is "eyelid surgery") Blepharoplasty performed in the "West" is generally for older patients who feel their eyes look droopy, or believe there are severe under-eye bags that they desire to be removed. For people, particularly women in Asia, the desire is to change their single-eyelid into a double-eyelid typical of the Caucasian eye. (Look at picture below.)
Approximately 50% of all East Asian people genetically have the single eyelid. By East Asian I'm talking China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Although Wikipedia and other sources quote 50% of all Asians, this is grotesquely untrue. If all Asians were included, we'd be talking about Indians and Filipinos, all of whom have double-eyelids. I wanted to be sure that distinction was made. In Korea for example, the percentage of people with the double-eyelid is very low, closer to a quoted 20%.
In the surgery, an incision is made to create the new "fold". There are several ways for surgeons to go about this but a partial incision is quite popular. I believe the incision is chosen based on how "severely" flat the eye is and on how deep of a crease you want. The other method is NON-incision or the DST method.
Asian Eyelid Surgery Popularity
Asian blepharoplasty is the most common reported procedure in Taiwan, China, Korea and Japan. Whew! And yes, it's extremely popular. The procedure is now considered so common, cheap and safe that in Korea, it's not even considered a plastic surgery procedure. How common is it exactly? Out of my 7 cousins living in Korea, 6 have had it done by the age of 25. And my Korean family members range from poor to rich. It's a very universal phenomenon. Many Asian-Americans born and living in America now travel to their respective Asian countries to get this procedure "performed properly" and for a good price.
In the past 5 years, the procedure has become so popular, there are now Asian surgeons who perform this surgery in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and in other major cities around the US and Canada.
I have Single Eyelids too!
Should I Get The Asian Eyelid Surgery?
Making the decision to get Asian eyelid surgery can be a complicated one. There is the oft mentioned argument of the surgery being used as a way to "change" our distinct Asian features to appear more "Western". I don't believe this to be fully true as many of my Asian girlfriends cite "making make-up easier to put on" their number one reason for getting the surgery. Making their eyes appear larger is reason #2.
Would I ever get Asian Eyelid surgery? Personally, no. While I don't condemn any woman for any plastic surgery she feels is necessary, I know this isn't for me. I've come to love my distinct almond (and a bit small) shaped eyes. I enjoy having a unique look and that's my choice. It's okay to love who you are.
My advice to anyone considering the surgery are as follows:
1. Be at least 20 years of age. Only at that point will you know that you truly want this done. It's permanent!
2. It's not a 100% flawless surgery. While many people do love their results and the recovery period is super short, there are people who hate their results. Many cite "un-evenness", "too large of folds" and "triple lines" as their main problems.
3. When searching for surgeons, ask for a portfolio of the prior work they've done. If they haven't done blepharoplasty on many Asian eyelids, run!
4. Obviously be sure that your surgeon is board-certified.
5. Don't be tempted to run off to Manila, Philippines or Indonesia to get it done cheaply. Cheap is NOT the way to go when opting for any surgery. You get what you pay for.
6. Try out double eyelid glue and tape to be sure you like the look.
7. Be prepared for "surprised" eyes for 1-2 months while you are still swollen and healing.
Cost of Asian Eyelid Surgery
Although the cost can vary from surgeon to surgeon, city to city and of course also with the condition of the eye, there is a general quoted range.
Los Angeles: $2500-$4000
New York: $3000-$4000
Asian eyelid surgery is rarely covered by insurance. In some cases, Insurance companies may cover partial or full costs if you have skin that is obstructing your view.