Double eyelid surgery can help to accentuate a patient’s natural eyelid form, adding openness and depth to create stunning, refined, and pleasing aesthetic results. For these qualities, the procedure has become very popular in recent years, especially as doctors refine the surgical techniques to make the results even more sophisticated. However, there is a common question around which sits a modicum of confusion: Can Asian eyelid surgery also correct ptosis?
Can Asian Eyelid Surgery Also Correct Ptosis?
For patients considering getting double eyelid surgery (also called Asian eyelid surgery or Asian blepharoplasty), you might also be curious if the surgery can help correct issues with ptosis.
If that’s the case, we encourage you to read this small guide on the subject as you progress through your double eyelid surgery exploration phase. We cover what double eyelid surgery can and cannot do and its relation to another procedure called ptosis repair.
Double Eyelid Surgery Basics
Asian eyelid surgery is comparable in some ways to traditional upper eyelid surgery, but it uses a specialized set of methods and procedures meant to alter the distinctive characteristics of the eyelid for patients of Asian descent.
Asian eyelid surgery aims to accentuate these unique qualities via methods that present them in a more stunning manner, as opposed to attempting to remove or lessen them. This is accomplished by creating a crease (or eyelid fold) where none previously existed or where the feature was only minimally present. In the end, this makes the eyes look bigger and more open, allowing for a more alert expression that remains in line with your natural features.
The Benefits of Double Eyelid Surgery
Adults of nearly any age can benefit from Asian eyelid surgery. However, research has indicated that younger people (patients in their 20s and 30s, in particular) may experience certain advantages more quickly.
Some of these advantages include the following:
- Decreased signs of aging
- Improved shape and symmetry with the eyes
- Longer appearing eyelashes
- A higher range of facial expressions
- A wider range of cosmetic options
Patients in their 30s, who are still relatively young, are the group that most frequently can benefit from this mode of treatment because this is typically the time when the subtle indications of aging start to sneak in.
Often, this is because one of the first parts of the body to start displaying these modest symptoms is frequently the region around the eyelids.
What Is Ptosis?
Ptosis is frequently straightforward to recognize. Simply said, the main symptom is drooping eyelids in one or both eyes. However, the cause of this condition can very, either originating because of a weakened levator muscle (eyelid muscle) or the presence of excess skin.
Ptosis is typically indicated by a very subtle change in the patient’s vision. This can occasionally be accompanied by eye irritation and a sensation of exhaustion.
In general, you will rely on your doctor’s experience to determine whether you are experiencing ptosis or something else. Ultimately, this makes the eyes look bigger and more open.
Medically Concerning Ptosis
Most ptosis tends to remain an aesthetic issue, with the drooping skin impacting one’s confidence in their cosmetic appearance. However, in some cases, ptosis can exceed being simply an aesthetic issue and become a medical problem.
This occurs when the skin over the eye droops to the point that it obscures one’s vision and interferes with day-to-day activities.
In this case, resolving the ptosis issue as quickly as possible is paramount to restoring a patient’s ability to function in daily activities.
Can Double Eyelid Surgery Correct Ptosis?
Double eyelid surgery can have a part to play in improving the appearance of a ptosis condition, but it is not designed to not repair ptosis all by itself. Despite this, the myth still abounds that double eyelid surgery can correct ptosis.
Part of this is because the eyelid modification that occurs during double eyelid surgery can be very exact to fulfill a client’s aesthetic needs and expectations, improving their eyelid appearance by creating a fold. The fold can use excess skin as part of its creation, which may lessen the appearance of a droopy eyelid, but it typically does not address the underlying condition, which could be a weaker muscle.
In fact, without addressing the underlying cause of ptosis, a patient’s double eyelid surgery results may be worsened.
Each double eyelid surgery and ptosis repair surgery will be tailored to a certain degree to the very specific needs of a patient. Although there is some overlap that can occur, this is not always guaranteed.
Assessing the Level of Ptosis
Your physician will also need to assess the severity of your ptosis condition in order to properly administer a surgical plan to resolve the issue. Double eyelid surgery cannot correct ptosis, but it can serve as a supplement to expert ptosis repair surgery.
Sometimes, this will involve amending the ptosis with complimentary surgeries aside from double eyelid surgery. Of course, much of this will have to do with the unique set of circumstances surrounding the patient’s situation.
How Ptosis Can Interact with Double Eyelid Surgery
Ptosis can interact with double eyelid surgery in several ways that can obstruct or interfere with the eyelid surgery’s intended results. If a surgeon fails to recognize the presence of ptosis in a patient who receives double eyelid surgery, then ptosis can inflate certain elements of the eyelid surgery.
One example of this is that the crease that is often modified in double eyelid surgery will still look puffy or have unintended elements in how it impacts one’s appearance. Rather than addressing the fatigued look, improper treatment may lead to an increase in looking sleepy.
Patients might also find that they have trouble opening their eyes or that the lids feel heavy. This occurs due to the accumulation of fluid in the treated area. The reason: the eyelid is not strong enough to fully open since the levator muscle was not improved. In fact, the effects can be so severe that you find that you look more tired than if you never had the surgery at all.
All of this can amount to heavy interference in terms of how a patient’s eyelid surgery can result.
It Is All In the Iris
In both ptosis repair and double eyelid surgery, physicians take a very scientific approach toward the results they’re seeking in terms of how the eyes appear.
For example, men and women have different sets of optimal iris visibility. For men, the preferred percentage is 80%, while for women, it is 90%. Even slight fluctuations in these percentages can result in very large changes that have the potential to throw off the results. For example, if men display just 70% of their iris, it can make them appear sleepy, defeating the purpose of most double eyelid surgeries.
Ptosis can also impact the epicanthic fold of the eyelids, which is perhaps the main section that surgeons often seek to address during a double eyelid surgery.
Slight fluctuations in how the fold is manipulated can result in very different-looking results. Because of this, it behooves patients and surgeons to observe these characteristics on a case-by-case basis to determine the right path forward.
All surgeries result in the creation of some kind of scar tissue, whether or not this is ultimately visible. In the delicate case of double eyelid surgery, this scar tissue can be especially obstructive.
This is because scar tissue can push around and inflame the other tissues surrounding the eyes and lids. This then interfers with the results of your eyelid surgery. That’s because scar tissue is ultimately a form of collagen, which adds extra weight to the eyelid, worsening its droopiness.
A skilled surgeon will rarely, if ever, produce external scarring on a patient during ptosis repair or other eyelid surgery. However, the internal scarring that is produced has the potential to interfere with the results of your double eyelid surgery. Working with an experienced surgeon is key to minimizing any scarring or other trauma to the body’s tissues.
When a patient wants the creation of an eyelid fold but also has ptosis, the medical situation will require the patient to receive double eyelid surgery and ptosis repair separately. If this is the case, patients find that they will likely want to perform the ptosis surgery after the double eyelid surgery.
This is often performed about 3 months after your initial double eyelid surgery. If you can wait for up to 6 months in order to receive care, in many cases, this is considered ideal.
Accurately Diagnosing Your Situation
To have a successful combination of surgeries, patients must be dependent on their physician to accurately diagnose their situation. But it is important to also ensure your physician is fully certified. Beyond that, they should be a specialist in the eyelid and facial structures they work with. Many physicians who are not oculofacial specialists may offer to perform this procedure despite it not being their core focus. Particularly in terms of the more subtle forms of ptosis, patients will find that only a skilled specialist can provide an outcome that is safe, pleasing, and refined.
Your Medical Consultation and Screening
Overall, during your pre-surgical consultation and medical screening, you can get a better idea of whether or not you’re a good candidate for Asian eyelid surgery.
You will also get a clearer picture of how double eyelid surgery will interact with your Ptosis repair process.
A number of topics, including your personal health, surgical history, and family medical history, will be covered during this time. This is also your chance to discuss with your doctor your particular set of cosmetic objectives.
Your doctor could also have advice for you to follow before having surgery, depending on the specifics of your medical situation. However, the majority of healthy people will be eligible for the surgery. So it is not true that double eyelid surgery can also correct ptosis. Nonetheless, the right surgeon can help you achieve optimal results from two separate procedures.
LA’s Trusted Center for Eyelid Surgery and Ptosis Repair
Dr. Kenneth Kim and the rest of his team are dedicated to offering the LA area the highest quality care. If you are experiencing ptosis or are just curious about the benefits of double eyelid surgery, then contact us today. You can book your consultation and see how you can improve your situation.
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- Ng J, Hauck MJ. Ptosis repair. Facial Plast Surg. 2013;29(1):22-25. doi:10.1055/s-0033-1333831
- Ptosis Correction. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; July 10, 2023.
- Young SM, Kim YD. Complications of Asian Double Eyelid Surgery: Prevention and Management. Facial Plast Surg. 2020;36(5):592-601. doi:10.1055/s-0040-1717147