Asian Eyelid Surgery

Asian Eyelid Surgery: Do Your Homework

Reviewed by Yael Halaas, MD

Ethnic plastic surgery is on the rise, and Asian blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is one of the most requested procedures among Asians in the United States and elsewhere.

In fact, Asian eyelid surgery is one of the top three surgical facial rejuvenation procedures performed in China, which is increasingly becoming a plastic surgery hot spot, according to statistics from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).

What Is Asian Double Eyelid Surgery?

Many Asians have "single eyelids" as opposed to "double eyelids"; in other words, there is no crease in the eyelid. The goal of Asian eyelid surgery, also called double eyelid surgery, is to create a natural-looking crease or fold in the eyelid when the eyes are open, but not when they are closed. This surgery is not designed to obscure ethnic features; rather, it aims to create an eyelid crease that resembles one that occurs naturally in as many as 50 percent of Asians.

The specifics of the procedure vary depending on your natural crease or lack thereof. Your board-certified facial plastic surgeon can create a crease, change the height of your existing crease, or complete an incomplete crease.

These surgeries can be done in several ways. Some surgeons may pass sutures inside the eyelid to create a new and permanent crease. Others may make a small incision in the natural crease to excise a small amount of fat and muscle to create a crease. Some people also require the removal of extra skin or fat on the eyelid. This can be done using a laser or surgically. In general, Asian blepharoplasty involves local anesthesia and takes about one hour to perform.

Choosing a surgeon with specific experience in Asian double eyelid surgery is the best way to maximize your satisfaction with the results of this procedure. Ask your surgeon how often he or she performs eyelid surgery on Asians, and review the surgeon's before and after eyelid surgery photos before booking your surgery.

The consultation is the best time to discuss your aesthetic goals and concerns with your surgeon. He or she will discuss how to approach the surgery based on these goals as well as your eyelid features. You should also walk away from this consultation with important information on how to prepare for your Asian eyelid surgery, including what medications you can't take in the days before and after your procedure.

Asian Blepharoplasty: Your Recovery

Asian blepharoplasty is a more involved surgery than traditional blepharoplasty. As a result, the eyelid surgery recovery is also longer. Your surgeon goes deeper to recreate the crease in double eyelid surgery. Deeper cuts often mean more swelling and bruising. Most of the healing takes place in the first six weeks after your Asian blepharoplasty.

The eyelid surgery risks of Asian blepharoplasty are similar to those seen with traditional blepharoplasty. They include: dissatisfaction with the results, asymmetry, eyebrow sagging (if the new crease is too high), scarring, prolonged swelling and droopy eyelids. Your surgeon should discuss all the risks with you during your consultation and preoperative visits. Make sure you have this discussion.

Asian Blepharoplasty Cost

Asian blepharoplasty costs about $3,000 to $5,000. This cost comprises the facility fee, anesthesia fee and your surgeon's fee. Asian eyelid surgery costs are higher in New York City, Dallas and other urban areas because surgeons are in greater demand and overhead is more costly in these areas.

Hidden costs for Asian double eyelid surgery may include the cost of painkillers, antibiotics, artificial tear drops or other medications, any surgical supplies such as cold compresses for the eyes, dark sunglasses and/or camouflage make-up. Some surgeons also charge a non-refundable consultation fee that can be applied to the cost of the surgery. Ask what is included in the Asian blepharoplasty cost quote so there are no surprises.


Insurance rarely covers the cost of procedures that are considered solely cosmetic. If the cost of Asian blepharoplasty is prohibitive, ask your eyelid surgeon about financing plans.

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    Yael Halaas, MD, FACS

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