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Double Eyelid Surgery for Asian Monolids

Updated on February 22, 2011

Why Some Asian Women Want Double Eyelid Surgery

About fifty percent of the Asian population have monolids, which means they lack a double eyelid crease. Margaret Cho, a Korean American comedienne, has monolids. Although many Asian women with monolids are beautiful, there is a trend toward blepharoplasty, a plastic surgery procedure that creates a double creased eyelid. Blepharoplasty helps to cure droopy eyelids in aging women, but young Asian women, mostly of Chinese or Korean descent, want the procedure for several reasons including:

1. The appearance of bigger, prettier eyes

2. Easier make up application

3. Encouragement from parents

4. Prevalence of Asian actresses and singers getting the double eyelid surgery

5. Feelings of prejudice toward them for their slanted eyes

6. Relative low cost of eye lid surgery compared to other cosmetic procedures

7. Relatively quick recovery time

For these reasons, there is a growing trend in blepharoplasty over the past fifty years. Blepharoplasty is the most common plastic surgery procedure for Asians, living in Asia and America. Many liken the Asian eye lid surgery as common practice to teenage girls in Beverly Hills, receiving nose jobs or breast implants for their 16th birthdays. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, there were 241,000 eyelid surgeries back in 2007 and the average cost of blepharoplasty is around $2500.

An example of a successful double eye lid surgery

Asian blepharoplasty

Surgeons can perform the Asian belpharoplasty via incisional or non-incision suture technique.

Incisional technique can provide a more permanent and accurate change over the non-incision suture technique. However, the incisional technique has a longer recovery time and is not reversible.Both procedures are done with local anesthesia, therefore you are completely awake while the procedure takes place. If you need to get fat removed from your lids, your doctor will choose the incision method.

According to Dr. Pratt, a plastic surgeon in Washington, "In the suture method, the crease is created by placing three tiny stitches in the upper eyelid without creating a long incision. With the incision method, an incision is made across the upper eyelid, sutures are placed to create the fold, and sometimes fat is removed."

The recovery time for blepharoplasty takes several months, but bruising and swelling usually go down within the first month.  The crease of the eyelid may look exaggerated at first, but it looks more normal as each month progresses.

Margaret Cho


Alternatives to Double Eyelid Surgery

Eye lid glue and eye lid tape are two alternatives to double eyelid surgery. Special eye lid glue (no, its not Elmer's!), is placed along the eye lid. Using a plastic applicator shaped like a pitchfork, you pinch the skin to create a fold. There are reports that if you use eye lid glue or eye lid on a daily basic, you can create a permanent eye lid crease.

Makeup application can enhance Asian eyes.  Bigger eyelashes can be created with eyelash serums (eg. Latisse), false eye lashes, or a good quality mascara. Makeup artists also suggest lining the bottom of your eye with a white eye liner to help brighten the eye.  Lastly, keeping your eye brows neat and trim, will provide a nice frame for the eye, as oppose to bushy eyebrows.

Creating a double lid with eyelid glue

Controversy Over Asian Eyelid Surgeries

There is much debate on whether Asian women are going under plastic surgery operations like blepharoplasty, nose jobs, chin refiners in order to pursue a Westernized ideal of beauty and to abolish their own ethnic identity.Others argue that bigger eyes is a universal sign of beauty and it has nothing to do with attempts at assimilation.

What do you think?


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      Jennifer 5 years ago

      Interesting topic. I know about eyelid surgery but wasn't know double eyelid surgery before reading your post. It's really useful for those people who are looking for this surgery. Thanks for sharing.


      Cosmetic eyelid surgery :