Double Eyelid Surgery: Benefits, Risks, and Recovery

Published on: September 4, 2020 (Last modified on: December 23, 2022)
Young Asian woman considering double eyelid surgery

The upper eyelid can have a dramatic impact on the shape of the eye. For about 50% of people of Asian descent, the upper eyelid does not have a crease, creating a single eyelid. While this is perfectly normal and part of their genetic code, some people with single eyelids desire to have the wider eye that is created by the double eyelid. A type of blepharoplasty, the double eyelid surgery, can accomplish this effect. Here is what you need to know about double eyelid surgery if you are considering this procedure.

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can be performed for many reasons to change the look of the eyelid. For double eyelid surgery, it is used to change the shape of the upper eyelid to include a crease. Caucasian eyelids have a natural double eyelid and distinct crease. While half of the Asian population have a crease or slight double eyelid, the rest do not. Blepharoplasty can change this characteristic and the overall appearance of the eyes.

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Benefits of Double Eyelid Blepharoplasty

Why change the upper eyelid? Many single-eyelid people are happy with their eyes and do not seek this procedure. However, there are those that like the look of the double eyelid and want to enhance their eye appearance. Some of the benefits that can be achieved with double eyelid blepharoplasty include:

  • The appearance of wider, larger eyes
  • More options for eye makeup
  • Decrease eyelid flaps that restrict vision
  • A more energetic, youthful appearance

It is not only the appearance of the eye that can be enhanced with upper blepharoplasty. For some people with a single upper eyelid, ptosis, or droopiness, can occur with their upper eyelid. This can be corrected during the double eyelid surgery to help with eye function, as well as appearance.

Mature woman with youthful look after blepharoplasty

Are You a Good Candidate for Double Eyelid Surgery?

Plastic surgery of any kind has risks that come with the benefits. Some patients are better candidates for double eyelid surgery than others. If you are considering upper eyelid blepharoplasty to add a crease, you should be in good health – your surgeon should look at your medical history and discuss any health risks of the surgery with you before your procedure. It is also best to have a realistic expectation of the results of the procedure – each patient is unique and there are limits on what cosmetic surgery can accomplish.

How Upper Blepharoplasty Is Performed

In most cases, double eyelid blepharoplasty can be performed with only local anesthesia and sedation for the patient – this is safer than general anesthesia. The procedure is fairly quick when completed as a solo surgery, but some patients may elect to have more than one procedure done at the same time.

There are various options on how the double eyelid is created. One of the less invasive options is with sutures. This method uses permanent sutures to create the crease in the upper eyelid. With this technique, no incisions are needed, which also means no scarring. However, this is not always an option, depending on the shape of the patient’s eyelid.

Another popular technique for creating the double upper eyelid is with a full incision. This is used when there is extra skin or fat that needs to be removed to create the desired look. The incision allows access to the eyelid to perform the needed alterations, then the sutures are used to create the crease in the desired location. There is scarring, but it occurs on the crease or fold of the new double upper eyelid.

During the double eyelid surgery, other issues can be addressed to create the eye shape and function desired. Other eyelid plastic surgery can be performed at the same time, including ptosis repair, lateral canthoplasty and medial epicanthoplasty. Patients can discuss other procedures that may complement their double eyelid surgery with their plastic surgeon – by completing them together, it can reduce the cost and recovery time for the patient.

Recovering from Upper Blepharoplasty

Recovery after blepharoplasty is usually a week or longer, but it depends on the patient and procedure. It is normal for bruising and swelling to occur in the days following the surgery. Patients will be advised on medications they can take to relieve any discomfort and what activities to avoid. In most cases, patients are able to return to most normal activities after a week of recovery, but each patient can have different results.

If you were born with a single upper eyelid and desire to have wider, larger eyes and the look of a double eyelid, consult with an experienced plastic surgeon. Double eyelid surgery can have a dramatic impact on the look and function of your eyes that can improve your appearance and self-confidence. To learn more, schedule an appointment with a plastic surgeon that specializes in upper blepharoplasty and double eyelid procedures.

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