All You Need To Know About Asian Eyelid Surgery

Many people are curious about the term “Asian eyelid surgery.” Asian eyelid surgery is any surgery that is applied to the Asian eyelid. Asians have unique characteristics, one of the most important features are their eyelids. Asian eyelid anatomy is truly unique in many ways.

Asian eyelids often lack the supratarsal fold. This is the fold that makes a double eyelid. If the lids do have a double eyelid, the fold height is often smaller in comparison to other races. Asians also have skin and soft tissue that is much thicker. In addition, the overall dimension of the eye is relatively smaller than the face.

If you are Asian and would like to improve the appearance of your eyelid, then Asian eyelid surgery would be an option for you. You should look into different types of Asian eyelid surgery and how it can improve the appearance of your eyes!

Dr. Kenneth Kim has performed thousands of Asian eyelid surgeries.

He will first examine your eyes and determine exactly what type of surgery you would need on your eyelid. That can be upper eyelid or lower eyelid. Or, it may be opening the inner or outer corner of the eyes. Whatever the case may be, Dr. Kim will work with you to come up with a comprehensive plan that will improve the appearance of your eyes.

If you would like to see how Dr. Kim can enhance the appearance of your eyelid, then contact him at Dream Medical Group in Los Angeles.

What is Asian Eyelid Surgery?

The most common type of Asian eyelid is double eyelid surgery. However, there are other types of Asian eyelid surgery.

Asian eyelid surgeries include double eyelid surgeryepicanthoplastylateral canthoplastyeyelid ptosis surgerylower eyelid surgery (lower blepharoplasty), and lower tarsal fullness creation. Epicanthoplasty is a procedure that opens the inner corner of the eyes. About 50% of East Asians have an epicanthal fold, which is excess skin in the inner aspect of the eyes. Along with this excess skin, there is a tight fibrous banding that inhibits eyelid opening. Therefore, opening the epicanthal fold or performing epicanthoplasty will make the inner corner of the eyes appear larger and open better. In addition, the double eyelid fold at the inner corner of the eyes will occur more smoothly at the inner corner without any sharp stop or a break in the fold. Lateral canthoplasty is a surgery that opens up the outer aspect of the eyes. Lateral canthoplasty will also lengthen the lateral aspect of the eyes as well.

Many people pursue Asian eyelid surgery for practical reasons. Procedures that address eyelid drooping and undereye bags include ptosis surgery and blepharoplasty. Eyelid ptosis or blepharoptosis is the weakness of the eyelid elevating or lifting muscle. The specific name of this muscle is levator muscle. Asians tend to have eyelid ptosis more often than other races. Therefore, ptosis surgery comprises a significant amount of Asian eyelid surgery.

Another reason why Asians like to undergo eyelid ptosis surgery is to enlarge the overall dimension of their eyes.

As you can see, there are so many aspects of Asian eyelid surgery. The surgeries are not all for cosmetic purposes. Some patients pursue surgery because their eyelids interfere with their eyesight while others want to improve the appearance of their eyes. Whatever the reason, Dr. Kenneth Kim will help you achieve your ideal eyes.

Issues Corrected

  • Monolid
    Double eyelid
  • Hooding eyelid
  • Aging eyelid
  • Sleepy eyes
  • Small eyes
  • Narrow eyes
  • Lower eyelid bags


A monolid is an eyelid that is smooth and does not have a fold. Only Asians have monolids. Among Asian ethnicities, East Asians tend to have monolids more than any other Asian race.

The monolid can be traced back biologically and was a protective factor for East Asian’s ancestors. East Asian ancestors came from Mongolia, where there are harsh winds and cold temperatures. For these people, a monolid was advantageous in that kind of difficult environment.


The surgery that changes a monolid to a double lid is called double eyelid surgery. Double eyelid surgery is the most common type of Asian eyelid surgery. There are two types of double eyelid surgery.

One is the non-incision suture technique. The non-incision suture method or stitch method has become very popular. However, the non-incision method does not last as long as the incision double eyelid method.

The other technique involves making an incision on the eyelid to create the double eyelid fold. The current trend in South Korea has shifted to the incision method. This shift is due to the natural appearance the incision technique accomplishes. Any incision scarring is faint and look like a natural double eyelid.


Patients of all ages choose to undergo Asian eyelid surgery to either remove sagging eyelid skin or regain their youthful appearance. Monolids tend to hood faster than a double eyelid because there is less surface area for droopy skin to travel over before it obstructs the visual field.

Patients with eyelid hooding may be as young as their teenage years. The rate of how fast the eyelid hoods depends on eyelid skin and whether the eye is protruding or is recessed.

If the skin quality is loose, then the eyelid skin will hood faster than skin with much firmer elasticity. The eyelid of a sunken eye will hood faster because there is no support from the eyeball. Therefore, the eyelid will tend to drop at a faster rate. Double eyelid surgery with or without skin excision will solve this issue. The decision to excise the eyelid skin has a lot to do with how much hooding is present.


For older patients with a pre-existing double fold, the hooding eyelid skin will either obstruct the fold or alter the shape of the eye. These concerns can be corrected by either creating a higher fold or by excising unnecessary eyelid skin.

If only a small amount of skin hooding has occurred, the creation of the higher double eyelid fold will correct the hooding. If the excess skin is significant, then it is best to have it excised. This method of eyelid skin removal can be performed at the double fold or it can be removed under the eyebrow. Removing the skin under the eyebrow is called sub-brow lift. In cases where the eyebrow itself has hooded, then a forehead lift is warranted.


Patients with sleepy eyes have a condition called eyelid ptosis or blepharoptosis. Asians tend to have more incidences of eyelid ptosis in comparison to other races. Therefore, it is common to perform eyelid ptosis surgery at the time of double eyelid surgery. But this surgery can also be performed by itself. There are various degrees of eyelid ptosis severity. They range from mild, moderate, to severe.

In addition, eyelid ptosis can manifest as congenital ptosis or it can be acquired. Congenital ptosis means that the patient was born with a weak levator muscle. An acquired ptosis or senile ptosis refers to the loosening of the levator muscle complex including the levator aponeurosis.

Depending on the severity and the cause of the eyelid ptosis, the ptosis repair surgery can be performed anteriorly or posteriorly. The anterior approach means that the incision is made on the eyelid skin. The posterior approach means that the surgery is performed while the eyelid is flipped and the deeper layer of the eyelid is worked upon. Therefore, in the posterior approach, there is no visible scar.

Eyelid ptosis is a powerful technique to correct someone from looking sleepy or tired!


Correction of the eye size is another unique part of Asian eyelid surgery. Asians tend to have smaller eyes in comparison to the proportions of their face. This is because Asians often have an epicanthal fold, monolid, excess skin, fat and muscle on the lateral aspect of the eyes, and/or eyelid ptosis.

Epicanthoplasty will open the inner corner of the eye. The lateral canthoplasty will open the outer corner of the eye. Double eyelid surgery will remove the eyelid skin from hooding and covering the eye. Lastly, eyelid ptosis correction will make the eyelid open more easily and therefore show more vertical dimension of the eye. By performing epicanthoplasty, double eyelid surgery, lateral canthoplasty, and eyelid ptosis surgery, you can dramatically widen your small eyes! This is a total transformation of not only your eyelid but also the outer aspect of your eyes!


Narrow eyes refer to the horizontal dimension of the eyes. Unlike smaller eyes, narrow eyes have a good vertical dimension. However, they have either a wide nasal dorsal base or excess epicanthal fold. In addition, the overall orbital bone is narrow and has excess soft tissue.

Performing a reconstructive lateral canthoplasty is warranted when correcting the lateral aspect of the narrow eyes. This procedure is a powerful method that extends the outer aspect of the eye as well as opens up the lateral upper and lower sclera exposure.


Asians tend to have lower tarsal fullness due to lower eyelid muscle hypertrophy. However, it is also seen in some non-Asians, such as Brad Pitt and George Cloony. Lower eyelid tarsal fullness is important in making someone look youthful and beautiful.

In Asian lower eyelid surgery, preservation or restoring this lower eyelid tarsal fullness is critical. This is achieved by elevating the deeper lower eyelid fascial complex. Another important component of Asian lower eyelid surgery is not altering the lateral aspect of the lower lid. Therefore, a permanent canthoplasty should be avoided as this will make the patient’s lateral eyelid look narrow and cat eye-like. Lastly, Asians do not scar well after surgery. Conservative skin excision should be performed when removing excess lower eyelid skin.

Am I a Candidate for Asian Eyelid Surgery?

If you are dissatisfied with your current eyelid or eye shape, then you are a candidate for Asian eyelid surgery. You do not have to be Asian to be a candidate for these types of eyelid enhancing or corrective surgery. You should make an appointment with Dr. Kenneth Kim in Los Angeles, California to see him in person. You can also make a video consultation with Dr. Kim to speak with him to see if you are a candidate!


At the consultation, Dr. Kim will ask whether you have had eyelid surgery before. He will also ask what your concerns are and how you would like to change the appearance of your eyes.

Dr. Kim will examine your eyes and your overall face to better understand the proportions of your eyes to your face. His examination will include:

  • Measurements of your (such as the distance between your right and left inner eyes
  • Testing eyelid levator muscle function
  • Determining whether you have a preexisting double eyelid fold
  • Whether you have any excess skin hooding
  • Noting eyebrow position
  • Noting hooding of the eyebrow skin
  • Determining skin thickness
  • Noting eyeball protrusion

After these measurements, Dr. Kim will have you stand in front of a mirror and point out the areas of the eyelid he can improve.


Dr. Kenneth Kim performs all aspects of Asian eyelid surgery at his office in Los Angeles.

Only local anesthesia is needed for these procedures! That means no general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. This improves the safety of the procedure and surgery. With Dr. Kim’s extremely safe technique, the risk of heavy anesthesia is removed.

Typically, double eyelid surgery takes about 1 hour to perform. Epicanthoplasty takes about 15 minutes while lateral canthoplasty takes about 45 minutes. Eyelid ptosis procedure can be as short as 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on the complexity of the case. Removal of the lower eyelid bag or lower eyelid surgery typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.

In some patients, all of these procedures are performed at the same time.

Therefore, the entire procedure can take anywhere from 3-4 hours! However, because the patient is awake but comfortable during the procedure, there is minimal anesthetic risk to the patient!

Talk to Dr. Kim about your vision for your eyes and see what he can do for you to achieve your dream look at Dream Medical Group, Los Angeles!

Recovery from Asian Eyelid Surgery

Your recovery from Asian eyelid surgery will be fast and easy. First of all, there will be little to no pain after the procedure. You will take Tylenol for 1 day only. Therefore, no narcotic medication is needed to control the pain. You will be given ice packs by Dr. Kim’s office to apply to your eyelid for 3-4 days. The ice pack will help with swelling and will minimize bruising.

The sutures will be removed typically 5 -7 days after the procedure.

You are free to drink alcohol in a moderate amount but you should refrain from smoking. In addition, you should try to sleep with your head elevated with 2 pillows if you can. By keeping your head up and avoiding putting your head down, you will decrease swelling.

By 2 weeks, 70% of the swelling will be gone. By 1 month, 80% of the swelling will be gone. By 3 months, 90% of the swelling will be eliminated. During the first 3 months of the procedure, avoid putting on makeup and direct sunlight exposure.


You will achieve your final result anywhere from 6-12 months after the procedure. For patients who received double eyelid surgery, the scar will hardly be noticeable. It should look as natural as possible. An epicanthal fold scar lasts longer and doesn’t look as natural as the double eyelid fold scar.

For patients who have undergone eyelid ptosis surgery, the eyes will look brighter, larger, and refreshed. Depending on the type of Asian eyelid surgery you have received, you will be impressed by how natural and beautiful your eyes look after the healing process!



Asian eyelid surgery typically includes double eyelid surgery, epicanthoplasty, lateral canthoplasty, sub-brow lift, eyelid ptosis surgery, lower eyelid tarsal fullness, and lower eyelid surgery. It also involves using the latest techniques and advancements from South Korea to improve the healing process and surgical scar.


Surgery times vary for each patient. Typically, a procedure will last for an hour or two but will fluctuate depending on how many techniques are being performed.


Asian eyelid surgery is safe if it is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. It is also safe if it is done under only local anesthesia. By avoiding general and IV sedation, the risk of anesthesia is eliminated.


One very special benefit of Asian eyelid surgery is to make your eyes larger! The majority of Asian eyelid surgery such as epicanthoplasty, lateral canthoplasty, double eyelid surgery, and eyelid ptosis surgery is designed to make your eyes larger both horizontally and vertically. Therefore, your eyes will definitely get larger!