It is estimated that nearly half of Asians – especially Chinese, Koreans and Japanese – have single eyelids.
People with single eyelids seem to have smaller eyes and look tired as their upper eyelids are often swollen and cover their eyelashes. Of course, beauty standards are not absolute. There are the so-called phoenix eyes – almond-shaped eyes with single eyelids – that look quite elegant and alluring, too.
However, quite a number of Asian ladies would like to have double eyelids to make their eyes look brighter and shinier. That’s why double eyelid surgery is the most common form of plastic surgery in the city.
There are two types of double eyelid surgery: one is to stitch up the eyelids and one is to cut the eyelids. The former is a simpler form surgery with a shorter recovery period and smaller scars, but it is not suitable for people with loose or fatter eyelids.
Doctors will decide the curve, length and width of the double eyelids with patients, based on the size of their eyes and eyebrows and the bridge of their nose, etc. The most common way to form double eyelids is to open three small holes at the crease of the eyelids and then use a surgical line to connect the eye muscle with the basal skin layer.
This can be done with partial anesthesia in 30 minutes. The recovery period is usually between five and seven days; there is no need to take out the stitches.
As for people with looser and fatter single eyelids, they can use the cutting method not only to form double eyelids, but also to tighten their upper eyelids and remove excess fat, which will result in brighter eyes.
This type of surgery also requires partial anesthesia and will take 45 to 60 minutes. Patients need to use cold compress or an ice pack frequently in the first 24 hours after surgery to ease the swollenness.
Generally, stitches will be taken out after five days and most of the bruises will naturally subside within seven to 10 days. Early wounds will be reddish or even form a small bump but they are hidden in the crease of the eyelids. The scars will eventually fade in eight to 12 weeks’ time.
Before the wounds completely heal, it is best to avoid direct sunlight on the scars or it may cause pigment problems.
While the cutting method can help change the curve, length and width of the double eyelids, improve small, asymmetric or not obvious double eyelids, it is important to note that people with congenital and morbid low-lying upper eyelids are not suitable for this surgery.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept. 29
Translation by John Chui
[Chinese version 中文版]
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