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High Demand for Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery has become a high-demand cosmetic procedure among Asian populations, according to new statistics from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The delicate procedure accounts for more than half of all surgeries in Japan, with over 106,000 blepharoplasties performed there in 2016. Asian countries also accounted for more than one-fifth of the 1.3 million eyelid procedures performed worldwide.

There is a growing trend among Asian populations to turn their “mono-lid” into the Caucasian double eyelid usually seen in people of European descent. Around half of the Asian population does not have an upper eyelid fold above the lashes, and some believe that adding a permanent eyelid crease with surgery can beautify the Asian face.

The surgery requires a huge degree of precision. While traditional blepharoplasty involves a one-step process of eliminating excess skin, performing eyelid surgery on Asian eyelids requires three distinct steps: creating a previously non-existing crease, adjusting the internal levator muscle for symmetric eye opening, and removing the excess upper lid skin.

A study published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery in January 2017 reported that the high demand of eyelid surgery did not correlate with high satisfaction. Since the cosmetic procedure has been popular among Asian populations for decades, the general population tends to consider it as trivial without understanding the complex reality faced by specially-skilled surgeons.

The study’s authors recommended that surgeons who perform upper blepharoplasty in Asian patients do not rely on crease height alone. To achieve the desired crease size and shape, surgeons should consider eyelid thickness and movement distance of the upper eyelid margin.

Hilton, L. (September 13, 2017.) Eyelid crease complexity. The Aesthetic Channel.

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