Expert Doctor

Regular Blepharoplasty vs. Asian Blepharoplasty

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Charles Lee, MD

Beverly Hills, CA

Regular Blepharoplasty vs. Asian Blepharoplasty

When a person hears the phrase “cosmetic surgery”, they normally think of procedures such as a breast augmentation or a nose job. The various cosmetic surgeries available to the public don’t stop at only those two procedures.  One of the more popular cosmetic surgery procedures is performed on the eyelids.  It is called blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery.



Blepharoplasty is a surgical operation to rejuvenate the eye area to make it look fresher and brighter.  The procedure removes fat deposits as well as excess tissue and sagging skin from the area of the eyelids to improve the appearance.  An incision is performed to help remove the excess skin and fat. It doesn’t necessarily change the appearance of the eyes as much as giving them a bit of a younger appearance.



An Asian eyelid procedure is not an anti-aging surgery that makes you look younger. It’s an operation to change the look of the eyes by putting in a crease on Asian patients that turns up really puffy upper eyelids with no crease. This version of the surgery is not about the aging process; instead, it’s about changing the look of the eyelids of the patient.



The candidate must be in good health and not have any specific eye problems. Some of these eye problems include glaucoma and dry eyes. The reason the candidate can’t have these condition is for the safety of the eyeball.  It’s important not to worsen a pre-existing condition.

Another important factor to consider is whether or not the patient’s emotional state is appropriate for surgery. Are their expectations in line with what surgery can do for them?  Sometimes people are looking for the surgery to fix some other problem in their life such as winning somebody over or getting a better job. Those are things outside the scope of what can be accomplished with the surgery.



The cost for the regular eyelid surgery averages around $4000-$5000.  The cost might be a little bit less for Asian eyelid surgery since the patient population is a little bit younger.  For a regular eyelid surgery, the patient population is a little older and is generally a lot more difficult and time consuming to treat.



Patients need to be realistic about what to expect from the procedure. Any kind of plastic surgery has a chance of a little error rate. Some of this is due to the patient’s healing characteristics. There are also risks to consider, because some people bleed easier than others, excess blood can make the results much worse if the body normally doesn’t bleed very much.

Also, everybody has a little asymmetry in their face, including their eyes.  When a procedure starts with someone who is asymmetric, the final result is going to have some sort of asymmetry. It’s difficult to take a very asymmetric person and turn them appropriately symmetric.



The most common side effect is worsened asymmetry. The procedure can emphasize, rather than minimize, the asymmetry.  This side effect is a result of healing characteristics or pre-existing conditions within the eye.  Also, some of it is due to human error of working by hand.  The procedure doesn’t involve a machine making all the cuts.  It is still done by hand so the results aren’t as consistent.



The most common misconception is some people think the surgery can radically change their appearance.  Unfortunately, thanks to their general anatomy and bone structure, the overall appearance can’t be changed very easily. The change from this procedure is on the general look of the eye area. The eye area includes the brow and the bone in the mid-face. There are a lot of structures around the eye that contribute to the look. Operating just on the eyelid skin is only going to alter one aspect of the total appearance of the eye.



Most people are able to return to work after a week. They are a little puffy so it takes about two weeks to be undetectable to other people.  After about six months, the procedure will be undetectable to others.  This applies to regular blepharoplasty as well as Asian blepharoplasty.



It’s important to approach a blepharoplasty procedure with a realistic set of expectations.  If a patient is looking for a total change in their facial appearance, they need to consider having other cosmetic surgery procedures.  However, if the patient is just looking to make a change in the appearance of their eyelids, then blepharoplasty might be the best option for their cosmetic surgery needs.  Anyone considering blepharoplasty should consult with a skilled physician before making a final decision on having a procedure.


Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team – MA

Based on an exclusive interview by Dr. Charles Lee in Beverly Hills, CA