In the second of a series of interviews about eye conditions and treatments, Dr Audrey Looi discusses the double eyelid surgery and its benefits.
What Is Double Eyelid Surgery?
Oriental eyelids may or may not possess a crease line popularly known as a “double eyelid”. Those without one are sometimes said to have “monolids”. Although both are attractive in their own ways, many feel that having a double eyelid opens up the eyes and makes the eyes appear bigger and more beautiful.
Men may prefer having a crease for a more friendly and approachable look. Surgery to create a double eyelid is also known as Asian blepharoplasty.
There are two main surgical techniques used to create a double eyelid.
The first involves the use of sutures (surgical threads) to create a crease line. There are many ways of passing a permanent suture through the upper eyelid tissues to create a crease and each surgeon will have his or her own preferred technique.
This technique is more effective in thinner eyelids and has the advantage of shorter downtime. However, there is a higher chance of the crease fading over time.
The second technique involves a skin incision and more tissue dissection and is therefore associated with a longer down time. It is appropriate for heavier or thicker eyelids as the surgeon is able to reduce the bulkiness of the eyelid at the same time. It also has the advantage of greater permanence.
Who Should Consider Double Eyelid Surgery?
Anyone without an upper eyelid crease can consider double eyelid surgery. Those with naturally faint or indistinct eyelid creases or asymmetrical eyelid creases may also wish to consider surgery for more distinct and symmetrical double eyelids.
What Are The Benefits of Double Eyelid Surgery?
Double eyelid surgery generally gives one a wider-eyed and more attractive and friendly look. Eyelashes also tend to look longer and more obvious after double eyelid surgery.
What Happens During Double Eyelid Surgery?
Whichever technique the surgeon chooses, the patient is awake during surgery. One can choose to have light sedation provided by an anaesthetist but must understand that this will add to the overall cost of the procedure.
It is possible to have the procedure performed just under local anaesthesia if the patient is not anxious. Once the local anaesthetic is injected, the patient will not feel any pain as the operation proceeds. There may only be some feeling of pressure or heaviness.
During the surgery, the surgeon will ask the patient to open his or her eyes to see if the crease created is satisfactory. Adjustments will be made till the surgeon is happy with the result.
Are There Other Forms of Eyelid Surgery?
Yes, aside from Asian or double eyelid surgery, there is the traditional blepharoplasty performed for older patients who begin to experience a heaviness or early droop of their upper eyelids. If the droop is severe, the patient may need ptosis repair surgery.
The difference between traditional blepharoplasty and ptosis repair surgery is that in ptosis surgery, the surgeon has to dissect more extensively to isolate the eyelid muscle that lifts up the upper eyelid, and perform additional steps to strengthen the effective lift of the muscle.
For this reason, ptosis repair surgery is usually longer and cost more than blepharoplasty alone.
Are There Any Immediate Side Effects From The Surgery?
Patients who undergo eyelid surgery must expect a short downtime varying from a week to two weeks due to immediate post-operative swelling and slight bruising.
Suture blepharoplasty is usually associated with a shorter downtime. Vision is generally not affected and one can potentially continue with one’s work from home.
Is Any Special Care Needed After The Surgery?
Yes, post-operative care of the upper lid wounds is vital in ensuring a good result. Our Ava eyecare team will provide the necessary post-op care instructions and medications.
At least two post-operative reviews will be required in the early period to ensure good wound healing.
Who Can Perform A Double Eyelid Surgery?
Only certified oculoplastic and plastic surgeons can perform double eyelid surgery in Singapore. It is preferable to choose a surgeon with many years of experience as it does take years to build expertise in this area.
A doctor with a good international reputation is always a good choice. Dr Looi has over 20 years of clinical experience in a high volume setting and is known internationally for her work in oculoplastic surgery.
She has spent time learning and observing at both Western and Korean centres and currently serves as First Vice-President of the Asia-Pacific Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.