Double Eyelid Surgery: Popularity & Controversy

by Andrew Clayman

Ethical debates aside, the numbers do not lie. The procedure known as Asian blepharoplasty, or “double eyelid surgery,” has rapidly become one of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery throughout much of East Asia, including Taiwan and Japan. Even stateside, many members of the Asian community have undergone the treatment, which essentially restructures the upper eyelid to have an additional crease more akin to a typical Caucasian eyelid.

The popularity of Western culture in the Far East has led to surprising changes in the perception of beauty among some of the younger portions of the population. Similarly, in America and Europe, societal standards have inspired many people of Asian descent to explore double eyelid surgery, as well.

The high demand for Asian blepharoplasty has led to some considerable controversy. However, very little of this debate involves the actual science of the Asian eyelid surgery itself, which has proven to be a relatively simple and safe undertaking when handled by experienced plastic surgeons and facial cosmetic surgeons. Double eyelid surgery can be handled in a number of different ways, depending on the degree of the skin alteration and desires of the patient. There are full-incision, partial incision, and even no-incision techniques, all of which can add a crease to the upper eyelid without damaging the appearance or functionality of the eye itself.

For anyone considering Asian blepharoplasty, the most important thing is to think long and hard about your motivations for doing so. It’s everyone’s right to seek out cosmetic surgery to change anything about themselves, but a patient should always want to undergo a treatment. Peer pressure or societal norms alone are not a smart or safe basis from which to make such a critical decision. A consultation with a knowledgeable cosmetic surgeon can help you sort through the facts and choose what’s really best for you.

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Dr. Mark Schusterman and Dr. Sanaz Harirchian

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