Double eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in Singapore. You may marvel over how a tiny crease at the eyelids can make a huge difference in someone’s looks. It is said that double eyelids provide the eyes with a beautiful framing that makes the eyes appear more attractive and attentive at the same time.
Unfortunately, around half of the Asian population are born without a visible double eyelid crease, i.e. monolids. Perhaps it’s precisely because natural, deep double eyelids are a rare occurrence in Asians. However, double eyelids have no doubt been part of oriental beauty standards for a long time. A face with double eyelids has become the representation of an ideal “perfect face”.
With parents in South Korea offering it as a rite of passage or gift to their daughters graduating to young adults in China undergoing it “to help them get a job (and) be happy”, double eyelid surgery has indeed been normalized and fully accepted in today’s society.
“What are my double eyelid surgery options? And what are its pros and cons?”
There are essentially two methods you will need to choose from:
1. Stitching (non-incisional)
2. Cutting (incisional)
The stitching method is done by suturing one area of soft tissue to another, creating stitches in the eyelid which combined, results in a nice double eyelid fold. It is considered a reversible procedure as the stitches can be taken out and your double eyelid fold can be adjusted if you are not satisfied with the results after your surgery. The side effects of the stitching method are minimal as swelling is generally mild and subsides in one to two days. Patients will usually need to take up to 3 days of MC.
A caveat: not everyone is suitable for the stitching method. If you have droopy eyelids (ptosis) or eyelids with excess skin, you may not be suitable for this non-incisional stitching method.
The cutting method, on the other hand, is suitable for all types of eyelids. You can also opt to simultaneously remove loose skin or excess fat on your eyelids if you wish. The incision method also creates a more defined and permanent double eyelid crease.
However, some patients have concerns that the double eyelid fold created is not as natural as they like. Because the procedure is permanent, it is not reversible. That means you are not able to cut another double eyelid fold if you are not happy with the one your surgeon has cut for you. The recovery period is also comparatively longer, with an average downtime of one to two weeks. The puffiness and swelling may take up to a month to subside. Patients who undergo incisional double eyelid surgery typically take up to 7 days of MC.
“How much will I have to pay for double eyelid surgery?”
Non-incisional double eyelid surgery (the stitching method) costs between SGD 3,200 to $3,500 while incisional double eyelid surgery (the cutting method) cost between SGD 3,800 to $4,500. The cost of your prior doctor’s consultation will range from $120 to $180. Do remember to factor in the 7% GST into your budget as well!
The estimated cost (inclusive of GST) will look something like this:
- Consultation: $150 + GST = $160.50
- Surgery (Non-incisional): $3,200 + GST = $3,424 OR Surgery (Incisional): $4,000 + GST = $4,280
- Medication: $30
- Follow up reviews: $200
This sums up the final bill to be $3,814.50 for non-incisional double eyelid surgery (stitching) and $4,670.50 for incisional double eyelid surgery (cutting).
Pro tip: Ask your clinic if they have interest-free installment plans with selected credit cards. Most clinics do have a 6 months or 12 months option, and you can use it to break down your lump sum cost into a more palatable monthly expense.
“What to expect on your surgery day”
You will usually start with a personal consultation with your doctor to confirm the crease that you want – either parallel or tapered – complete with specific height measurements etc. Then proceed to lie down on a reclining chair or bed, and your surgeon will mark out your double eyelid fold precisely for you for about 20 minutes.
Local anesthesia is then injected into your lids and numbing eyedrops is applied to your eyes so that you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. However, when the anesthesia is injected, you will feel a pain that most patients describe as quick, angry red ant bites on your lids. Then the surgery begins – you’ll be able to see what your doctor is doing, sewing your eyelid etc, but you won’t feel any pain due to the anesthesia.
The entire process usually takes about 1 to 1.5 hours and you will usually be directed to a room to lie down with an ice pack applied to your eyes to reduce the swelling for about another 20 minutes or so. And that’s about it!
Do remember to bring your own shades as your eyes will be swollen after the surgery. Also, go straight home to rest!
“How should I pick my surgeon for my double eyelid surgery?”
As with every surgery, try and find a surgeon who is experienced. For example, someone who has done a high volume of the particular procedure you’re interested to go for. A surgeon with experience of 1,000 cases as compared to one with only 50 cases under his belt will be in a much better position to help you achieve the double eyelids of your dreams.
The relatively high demand for double eyelid surgery in Singapore has allowed local plastic surgeons to chalk up a good number of experiences. As a rule of thumb, you should be looking for a surgeon with thousands of cases of double eyelid surgery done before!
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