What Is Double Eyelid Surgery?

A cheerful beautiful Asian woman pointing at her eyelid.

The upper eyelid has an important effect on the appearance of the eyes. When it is firm and defined, it can enhance a wider eye. If the skin is looser or the eyelid droops, it can make the eyes smaller. In some people of Asian descent, the upper eyelid may be a single eyelid with the crease. This genetic trait can contribute to looser or sagging skin and the eyes may look narrower. To change the appearance of a single eyelid, a plastic surgeon can perform double eyelid surgery to reshape the upper eyelid.

The single eyelid is common in many people with almond-shaped eyes. The issue with some single eyelids is the excess skin and fat that can droop, making the eyes look smaller, tired and in some cases, interfering with vision. Individuals who are unhappy with the appearance of the single upper eyelid may choose to undergo plastic surgery to remove excess skin and fat while creating a fold or crease. This procedure is call Asian eyelid surgery or double eyelid surgery.

Double Eyelid Surgery Procedure

Just as no two eyes are exactly alike, no two eyelid surgeries are identical. Each patient may have different preferences on the shape and position of the added crease to the upper eyelid. Some patients have extra skin or fat that needs to be removed, while others do not. Patients can decide how far up they want the fold or crease to create the double eyelid and the type of procedure that will be performed. There are three main types of double eyelid surgery techniques:

  • Full incision. An incision is made across the upper eyelid where the crease is desired. Excess skin and fat can be removed to tighten and define the upper eyelid. This is best for patients who want both excess skin and fat removed.
  • Partial incision. If the patient does not have excess fat on their eyelid, a partial incision technique can be used. Excess skin can be removed and tightened, and the procedure has less scarring than a full incision method, but it is more difficult to perform.
  • No incision. It is possible to create the double eyelid appearance without an incision. If no skin or fat needs to be removed, sutures can be placed deeper in the upper eyelid skin to create the desired fold. This procedure is the least invasive with the quickest recovery time, but it has limits on the effect it can accomplish.

An experienced plastic surgeon who specializes in double eyelid surgery can help patients determine the best procedure to accomplish the desired appearance. Recovery for both incisional methods is longer than no incision and incisional methods will require sutures be removed in about a week. There will be swelling and possibly bruising around the eyes as the tissue heals. Recovery can be up to two weeks before returning to work and daily activities, but it may take up to a month before resuming some activities.

Who Can Benefit from Asian Eyelid Surgery?

Double eyelid surgery can define and reshape an almond-shaped eye, but it is not only for cosmetic purposes. Many people born with a single eyelid experience functional issues caused by this type of eyelid configuration. The skin and fat can hinder vision and some people experience irritation of the cornea from the eyelashes curving inward. Some of the benefits of double eyelid surgery include:

  • A wider, more defined eye shape
  • The eyes appear more symmetrical
  • Removes droopy skin or fat that can interfere with vision or make the eyes look tired/older
  • Raises the eyelash line and tightens the eyelid to prevent cornea irritation
  • A double eyelid offers more makeup and cosmetic options

Face of a beautiful young woman concerned about shape of her eyes.
Many people with single upper eyelids who are unhappy with their eye shape or have functional issues may ask themselves, ‘’What is double eyelid surgery and is it right for me?’’ The best way to find out is to discuss the procedure with an experienced plastic surgeon who can explain the different surgical options and discuss expectations from the procedure. Patients considering this surgery should ask questions about different techniques and recovery. It is important to choose the right surgeon and procedure to achieve the desired result.

The double eyelid or Asian eyelid surgery can transform the eyes for aesthetic and functional purposes. The changes are often slight, but it can improve the balance and symmetry of the eyes and improve vision and comfort. When performed by a talented plastic surgeon with experience in this delicate procedure, it can produce exceptional results that look natural and retain the ethnicity of the eye shape. To learn more about adding a crease to a single eyelid and reshaping an almond eye, contact a local plastic surgeon that offers double eyelid surgery.