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Can I get Blepharoplasty if I’m Asian?

November 5, 2014

To sum up this frequently asked question: Yes. Absolutely!

After Eyelid Surgery

Blepharoplasty, or the adjustment of the eyelid through sutures or removing skin and fatty tissue, is the most common surgery in Asia.

In fact, Asian blepharoplasty is one of the oldest and most-tested cosmetic surgeries in the world!

The History

Blepharoplasty first appeared in Japan in the late 1800s.

Japanese physician Mikamo wrote in 1896 that about one in five Japanese women did not have an upper eyelid crease, called a “double eyelid.” Believing the double eyelid to be the normal appearance, Mikamo developed a procedure to crease eyelids using a small incision and sutures.

The double eyelid is much less common in mainland East Asia, to the point that only about 50% of Chinese and Korean people naturally have it. Westerners tend to think that double eyelid surgery is an attempt by Asian people to appear more western, but historically it was an attempt to appear as what the East Asian medical community believed to be natural and beautiful.

Modern Eyelid-Crease Procedures

Both people with and without double eyelids regularly use blepharoplasty, especially in Asia.

The most common procedures are adding creases and moving creases, both of which can make eyes appear large and round.

The procedure is typically done in a single incision from the exterior of the eyelid, followed by a removal of a small amount of fatty tissue, and micro-suturing the wound. As cosmetic surgeries go, this is very simple and relatively safe.

Small risks remain of infection, but infections on small wounds can be easily treated with modern antibiotics. The odds of the procedure failing to achieve the desired enhancement are practically non-existent. Any scarring is covered by the crease that the procedure creates.

Other Procedures

While creating or moving an eyelid crease are the most common procedures in Asia, other blepharoplasties can be of benefit as well. Blepharoplasty can be used to remove slack skin and excess fat from the eyelid. This can correct poor peripheral vision, poor visual tracking, weak eye muscles, sunken eyes, or signs of aging.

All of these procedures can be performed at the same time as crease adjustment, or without crease adjustment. While this is a given in the Eastern world, it’s understandable that we don’t always have these answers in the west. But the conclusion is yes, an Asian person cannot have blepharoplasty surgery!


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Robert S Backstein, MD STEELES AVENUE COSMETIC SURGERY
5109 Steeles Avenue West, Unit 13 Toronto, Ontario, M9L 2Y8
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