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Asian Eyelid Surgery: Everything About Asian Blepharoplasty

Updated on November 3, 2011

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

Chicago: $3000

Korea: $1000-$2500

China: $500-$900

Canada: $2000-$3000

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.

Watch This Amazing Tyra Banks Video Discussing Asian Eyelids!

Wanna Try the Eyelid Tape & Glue at Home?


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    • profile image

      Heidi 4 years ago

      I live in Korea, and I teach middle and high school students. Many of them have been told that their eyes are "too small" their skin is "too black" or the bridge of their nose is "too low". In Korea, there is one standard of "beauty" unlike in America, where we see beauty in all shapes, colors, and sizes.

      I agree that "double eyelids" "white skin" and "high" nose brides are all features that are strongly Caucasian.

      I think it is sad that my students are told that they are not beautiful, because they are being compared to very unrealistic standards of beauty. I think my students are unique and each one is beautiful. I wish there was no pressure for them to get surgery to "become more beautiful". Several of my students have already gotten the eyelid surgery, in middle school.

    • profile image

      Karla 5 years ago

      Interesting article. It is something that after reading it makes sense, but it never occurred to me.

      I would suggest to change the "double-eyelid typical of the Caucasian eye" part, since that statement very well compares to the Wikipedia percentage you mentioned. Most of the countries in the world have double eyelids aside the specific region you mention and its descendants. So it is incorrect to pair up the double eye lid feature to a specific race being that other non-whites have it also :)

      Loved your post about combat boots btw. That's how I ended up here.

    • profile image

      Jennifer 6 years ago

      Interesting hub. I like Asian eyes. It's the very popular surgery in Asian country.


      Blepharoplasty :

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 6 years ago from California

      Naomi: I don't think that we women intentionally get this surgery because we inherently want to look like white people. I think it's unintentional, but a reality. You talk about "wider and more open-eyed look" but the truth is, that a wide open-eyed look is more Caucasian. Asian women naturally have almond shaped eyes that are not wide-eyed. I think what's really beautiful, is accepting what we are naturally given. Thanks for your comments!

    • profile image

      Naomi 6 years ago

      Asian people get this procedure to achieve a more open eyed look... only ignorance will say that they want to have typical caucasian eyes... there about half of asian population in fact has a fold on their eyelid, it's a small one and is wider on the outer corner, that's the typical asian double eyelid, it is very common. Most women with no fold go through double eyelid surgery to obtain that kind of crease, not your typical caucasian eyes, so please, stop saying that asian women wanna be like white that is the most ignorant claim. There is beauty to everything.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      johncimble: Thanks! I couldn't agree more!

    • johncimble profile image

      johncimble 7 years ago from Bangkok

      i thinks girls with single eyelid are cute :D

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      Missinfo: I have a feeling you are a hubber I know, since I do have your ip address. However, you make some valid points. I am not a plastic surgeon, I just did a lot of research on this particular topic. I never state that I'm an expert and I don't talk as if I am one. There is NOT a lot of information about getting this surgery so I decided to put it out there. The sources I used are mainly from medical books, medical docs and from family members and friends who have all gotten this exact surgery. Many "outsiders" write about topics they aren't involved in. People write books about Hilter, but they were never Nazis, and they can make intelligent and valid points through research. Thanks for stopping by anonymously!

    • profile image

      missinfo 7 years ago

      I'm just wondering where you were getting your information from, aside from personal experience and wikipedia (which is not a legitimate source as you pointed out). You write like you are an expert on the field, yet you admitted that you'd never get any type of plastic surgery. So, clearly , you're writing from an outsider's perspective, since you are neither a plastic surgeon or someone who's really had any experience with it.

    • bushraismail profile image

      bushraismail 7 years ago from ASIA

      that's right i am an asian.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      @bushraismail: I'm so happy there is someone out there who agrees. I'm assuming you are Asian as well? I think it's beautiful for a person to really embrace their natural beauty and form. It's so elegant.

    • bushraismail profile image

      bushraismail 7 years ago from ASIA

      i agree with ur view. even i think we are unique the way we are created and why should we perform plastic surgery to enhance beauty. you are beautiful too.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      @2besure: I love Asian eyes as well. Plastic surgery really has come a long way. Think about celebs getting botox on their feet so that they can stand in 6 inch heels for hours without pain! Thanks!

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I have heard of this surgery. I love Asian eyes. I find them very attractive. Plastic surgery has gone a lone way. Very informative hub! Voted up!

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      @Ingenira: The risks are quite low. The lowest quoted risks are in Korea, where there is less than 1% of something going wrong medically. However, in China and various other countries in South East Asia, the risks are much higher for some reason. It's fairly safe since patients go home the same day as the surgery!

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Interesting. I have double eyelids which I am thankful for. However, just curious, what is the risk of such surgery ?


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