Asian Eyelid Surgery: Double Eyelid Lift
The term “Asian” encompasses a broad array of ethnic anatomic characteristics found in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and South East Asian populations. Dr. Kopelman recognizes and preserves the distinctive differences found amongst Asian communities. In his extensive experience, most female Asian patients are in their twenties and thirties and usually seek subtle aesthetic changes which enable them to retain their distinctive ethnic identity without creating a drastic Westernized alteration in the appearance of their eyelids. Dr. Kopelman modifies and tailors his surgical techniques to each individual patient. During the preoperative consultation an in depth discussion about the proposed depth, shape and height of the eyelid crease and epicanthal fold will be outlined so that a clear objective can be reached. Dr. Kopelman fulfills the desires of his Asian patients by creating a “double eyelid” with a more defined upper eyelid crease. He accomplishes this by paying attention to every detail when he meticulously plans and performs well thought out surgical steps. This enables him to achieve consistently high levels of patient satisfaction. Dr. Kopelman is able to create a natural appearing crease by placing the surgical incision in the anatomically correct location followed by a very conservative removal of overhanging upper eyelid skin and bulging fat. The new eyelid crease will create an illusion that the eyelid is fully open, more youthful and more harmonious with the rest of the facial features. Female patients usually request low or medium high lid creases. They are pleased that they can apply make-up on their upper eyelid without having it smear. After surgery they look brighter, feel happier and more confident with their new look. Men usually request low eyelid crease incisions that give them a more alert appearance.
Q: Can lower eyelid “bags” be improved?
A: Patients who have pockets of fat can be reduced through an incision placed on the inside of their lower eyelids. This allows the fat to be redraped downward without creating a visible scar on the outside of the lower eyelid. A skin incision is unnecessary because unlike Caucasian patients, Asian lower eyelid skin usually do not show the same advanced degrees of sun damage therefore it is unnecessary in most cases to remove or tighten lower eyelid skin. Rarely there is an extra fold of skin that pushes eyelashes inward that may require a removal of a small strip of skin.
Q: What are the internal anatomic differences between Asian and Caucasian eyelid that account for their external differences?
A: Asian eyelid Surgery differs internally in several ways from Caucasian eyelid surgery. If we compare a sagittal diagram between a typical Asian and Caucasian eyelid we can that an Asian eyelid anatomically has a lower point of fusion of the orbital septum (point A) which allows the pre-septal fat (point B) to descend to a lower level. These two anatomic differences create a fuller appearance to the upper eyelid, and a lower or absent eyelid crease in the Asian population. When doing surgery on asian eyelids these features distinguish the external appearance of their external anatomy from Caucasian external eyelids. In addition, there are fewer or sometimes absent inter-digitations of the levator aponeurosis (point C) which accounts for an absent or less distinct eyelid crease found amongst Asian people.
Q: How and where is the “double eyelid” procedure performed?
A: All eyelid surgery is performed in the Ridgewood Ambulatory Surgery Center and his Manhattan Surgical Center. Prior to surgery Dr. Kopelman meticulously measures and marks the height of the proposed new eyelid crease. The patient receives light intravenous sedation by an anesthesiologist that puts them into a “twilight sleep”. The eyelid is then anesthetized with a small amount of lidocaine, a numbing agent. A strip of underlying muscle is removed along with a small amount of eyelid fat. Commonly patients over twenty –five also require a strip of skin to be removed. The eyelid is sutured closed internally and externally with fine sutures. Sutures are removed in approximately four to five days.
Q: How much time will it take to recuperate following a “double eyelid” procedure?
A: Asian patients tend to swell to a greater extent compared with Caucasian patients. Therefore, even though the sutures will be removed within 5 days following surgery, the eyelid swelling may take several weeks to months before the eyelid swelling subsides. Initially the eyelid crease may appear “too” high or deep but over several months this “high” crease will settle downward as the eyelid swelling subsides and the skin above the crease drapes downward. This can be a period of great anxiety and stress because the eyelid may not initially look like what the patient envisioned. However with time and patience the eyelid swelling will subside and the desired eyelid height and contour will become apparent. Anticipating this “normal” prolonged period of swelling and recuperation will help to lower your anxiety. Dr. Kopelman and his staff will be available to answer all your questions. Ultimately you will see that the surgery was performed according to your expectations and the outcome will be pleasing.
Q: What if your eyelids creases are asymmetric?
A: The position of the eyebrow influences where the eyelid crease should be created. Asian patients commonly have a flat supraorbital ridge and differences between the height of their right and left eyebrow is common. This difference may not always be apparent. If symmetric eyelid incisions are made without compensating for the difference in eyebrow height then the eyelid creases can appear different. If the eyebrow is low then Dr. Kopelman can compensate when he does Asian eyelid surgery by making a slightly higher crease incision or slightly more skin is removed on the side with the lower eyebrow.
Q: Will Ptosis (drooped eyelids) also be corrected?
A: Drooped eyelids are sometimes difficult to determine prior to surgery because the excess of overlying skin and compensatory upward contraction of the eyebrow may mask the pre-existing underlying droop of the eyelid. If eyelid ptosis (droop) is not noted in advance of “double eyelid” surgery then it will become apparent following surgery. Dr. Kopelman is excellent when it comes to doing Asian eyelid surgery and will correct the drooped lid position at the time of the double–eyelid procedure or following the double lid procedure.
Contact Ms. Anne Lembersky our patient care coordinator at
(201)-444-4499 or in NYC (646) 841-1696 to arrange for an in-depth consultation to discover how an eyelid blepharoplasty can rejuvenate the appearance of your eyelids.