Asian blepharoplasty, or what is sometimes called Asian eyelid surgery or Asian Crease or Asian Double eyelids surgery is often the center of controversy in the world of plastic surgery. Many feel that Asian eyelid surgery is a cosmetic procedure that attempts to westernize, or produce aesthetic results that are more aligned with a western standard of beauty. However, Asian crease surgery, when performed by a highly skilled surgeon who understands the Asian anatomy and aesthetics, can provide a very natural outcome that does not compromise ones natural Asian features. The eyes are still Asian in appearance since creating a crease does not change the underlying facial anatomy. Knowing the proper height to place the crease and also the anatomical difference that is inherent to Asian anatomy is crucial for the best outcome. Both men and women choose to undergo this eyelid surgery. Dr. John Lee in Main Line, Philadelphia area is a Korean-American surgeon who has performed over a thousand of these procedures. He  understands the Asian aesthetics and what his patients are trying to achieve. Dr. Lee believes that the best outcome is when no one except the patient can tell they had surgery.He feels that everyone has an optimal crease location and that must be followed to achieve the most natural and long-lasting result. Asian double eyelids surgery is considered the most difficult of all facial surgeries. Only very experienced surgeons should attempt to perform this procedure. Dr. Lee sees more revision Asian eyelids surgery patients then any other procedures. Revision eyelids surgery is very challenging and at times can not be performed since it can compromise the function of the eyelids. So choosing the right surgeon the first time is very crucial.

Dr. John J.W. Lee is Korean-American oculoplastic surgeon. Oculoplastic surgeons must complete a surgical ophthalmology residency and then go on to another 2 years fellowship just operating on thousands of eyelids. It’s a very specialized field with only 600 oculoplastic surgeons in the country. There are only few Asian oculoplastic surgeons in the entire country. Thus, Dr. Lee has become the surgeon that both Asians and non-Asian patients are turning to from all around the world for eyelids surgeries. Patients travel regularly from out of town for his surgical expertise. He has had patients from across the country and from Asia, Europe, South America and Canada travel for surgical care. Out of town patients have email consultations directly with Dr. Lee before scheduling their surgery.

Asian Eyelid Surgery: Realistic Goals

  • Natural results which means working with your natural anatomy. Very few Asian patients can have a high crease. The skin must be thin and enough space between lashes and brow must exist. To achieve a result that is not natural to ones anatomy, additional procedures such as epi-canthoplasty, lateral-canthoplasty, eyelids muscle or brow lift procedures need to be performed in conjunction with the Asian crease procedure.
  • Improved sense of alertness due to less hooding and more open eyes
  • For female patients, the Asian crease procedure allows them to wear make up more comfortably.

Asian Eyelid Surgery is Not A Westernization Surgery

  • Dr. Lee has thorough understanding of the Asian eyelid anatomy and wants to preserve this.
  • The procedure intends to preserve the appearance of Asian eyes, while improving the definition and alert appearance of the eyes
  • The procedure is customized to fit the individual anatomy. No two patient has the same underlying eyelids anatomy. Even one’s right and left eye is very asymmetric and consideration of thickness of skin, brow height, brow bone and shape of eyes all contribute to the the optimal crease location.

Asian Eyelid Surgery: Three Main Methods

Method One: Full Incision

  • Incision is made across the upper eyelid and permanent sutures are placed inside to fixate the skin to the muscle which creates the crease; this is the method that Dr. Lee prefers for it’s permanence, maximum flexibility to accommodate for excess skin and visible asymmetry that a lot of Asians have.
  • Incision is visible for several months and up to a year. As with all scars, they become less noticeable with time.
  • This method requires the most recovery and healing time but is more permanent.
  • Very noticeable swelling is visible for the first 2 weeks and gradually subsides over time.
  • Dr. Lee guarantees this method for one-year; Dr. Lee has less then 1% crease coming undone with this method

Method Two: suture method

  • This method places permanent sutures on the inside of the eyelid without an incision
  • Quicker recovery due to non-skin incision
  • Higher chance of coming undone and not guaranteed to last; many patients who receive this method needs to have it redone; Dr. Lee does not guarantee this method and if it does come undone, people elect to have the full incision method
  • **NOT appropriate for 95% of the Asian population since candidates must have very thin eyelids skin and no fat or excess skin to be removed
  • Dr. Lee does NOT guarantee this method and if it does come undone 50%, there is no credit toward the full-incision

Method Three: Small Incision

  • This technique creates a soft and natural looking crease using 3 small stab incisions as entry points to fixate the sutures to the muscle; fat can be removed from the small incision areas
  • The crease is very soft and natural in appearance
  • Quicker recovery then full incision but also no option to remove excess skin which most patients need for a more noticeable crease result
  • The scar can be more visible due to the 3 small areas are next to virgin skin instead of one full long incision – few patients were unhappy due to this reason so Dr. Lee does not perform this method anymore. 
  • There is around 30% crease coming undone with this method

Dr. Lee will evaluate the patient, and determine the method that will produce the most effective, natural-looking results.

Interested in Asian Eyelid Surgery? Contact Dr. John Lee

Take the first step in learning more about eye and facial rejuvenation. Contact the Bryn Mawr Facial Aesthetics Center with locations in the Philadelphia-area, Scranton, PA. Give us a call at 610.789.6701, we look forward to meeting you.