The most popular Asian cosmetic surgery

Asian double eyelid surgery

More Asians have double eyelid surgery than any other cosmetic procedure, including rhinoplasty, liposuction, and breast augmentation.  It has become such a trend that non-medical personnel at salons have been found using “quick stitch” procedures, frequently with less than perfect results.

What is a double eyelid?

The vast majority of “western” or occidental people have a crease across the upper lid that divides the lid into two parts, thus the double lid.  Approximately 50% of Asians lack this crease or have a poorly visible crease, giving the appearance of a single eyelid, or a “monolid”.

double eyelid drawing

Double eyelid






Why is double eyelid surgery done?

The eyelid crease frames the eye opening and makes the eyes appear to be more open, an often desired aesthetic feature for those without a crease.  The procedure is generally aimed at preserving the Asian shape and features of the eyes, so it is not meant to Westernize the lids.

 Is it only done in Asia?

The double eyelid procedure is extremely popular in China, Korea, Thailand, and Japan, but Asian-Americans have the surgery in the United States as well.  As an oculoplastic surgeon in New York, I see a relatively large Asian patient base who are interested in double eyelids.

asian eye surgery

Immediately after double eyelid surgery






How the eyelid crease is made

There are 2 main methods of creating an eyelid crease.

1. The suture method: Disintegrating stitches are passed through the desired crease location and the lid is compressed in this area, allowing a scar to form as the skin heals.  This method is less permanent than the second option.

2. The incision method: A fine cut is made across the eyelid crease and stitches are placed from the skin to the deeper eyelid and back to the skin.  This approach has a longer scar but the surgeon has more control over the result.

Does this procedure have anything to do with those large contact lenses?

No, the circle lenses that have become a trend in Korea, Japan, and Singapore make the iris look larger (and often change the color of the iris) were inspired by anime characters and don’t actually change the eyelid shape.  Circle lenses seem to be more of a pop-culture trend while double eyelid surgery has been around for decades and is unlikely to wane in popularity in the near future.

anime contact lens

circle lenses






What type of crease do you have?

I’ve compiled an ebook on double eyelid surgery that includes a section to help determine what type of eyelid creases you have. You can download the free pdf file here.



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