Double eyelids are merely inconsequential creases at the lids to some — but to others, these are invaluable tapered folds that hold the power of beauty. Women all over the world have spent entire lives yearning for it.
Alas, approximately half of the Asian population are born without double eyelids. So if you are Asian with natural double eyelids, thank your good genes — you belong in the lucky half!
The Asian eyelid is typically characterized with excess fatty tissue, narrow palpebral fissure and downward-pointing eyelashes. In fact, there’s a term for it — doctors call it oriental eyelids.
Asian women born with double eyelids are said to have larger eyes and are perceived as more beautiful, as opposed to mono-lidded women. Practically speaking, the presence of double eyelids does allow women to apply eye make-up more easily.
According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, eyelid surgery was the third most popular surgery in the world, with an estimated 1.2 million eyelid surgeries done in the world.
Double eyelid surgery in Singapore
Singapore is not immune to the double eyelid wave that has caught on in Asia like wildfire. A Singapore study found that all Malay females had double eyelids, while about 30% of Chinese females were born without double eyelids.
Medically known as blepharoplasty, double eyelid surgery in Singapore has become a common day surgery today.
In fact, the first cases of the double eyelid surgery dates as far back as 1896. Written by Japanese doctor Mikamo, he recorded that about 20% of Japanese women are born without double eyelids and they became painfully aware of the fact in a time of early Westernisation.
Double eyelids were prevalent in gorgeous Western celebrities and they quickly became a benchmark for beauty — and became highly sought after by Japanese and Asians alike.
After all, our eyes are one of the most prominent and expressive parts of the face. A gaze speaks volumes. Eye contact can be known to be sizzling.
Is there any wonder why we’re so fixated on having beautiful eyes?
Creating double eyelids without going for surgery
So many mono-lidded female friends I know use options like double eyelid tape and eyelid glue, to craft the double eyelid look they want. In general, eyelid glue is more cumbersome since you’ll have to wait for the glue to dry.
It’s a temporary crease for sure, but the upside is you won’t have to go under the knife.
The downside is having to stick on tape or glue all the time on a daily basis — and it can be rather tiresome. But you do it anyway, because you get used to how pretty your eyes look with the double eyelids on.
One caveat: double eyelid tape or glue can become undone as you go through your day — especially if you have oily eyelids. Imagine having your eyelid tape semi-falling off during an important meeting! You’d have to literally pluck them off your eyes with a sheepish smile.
Another thing about applying double eyelid tape on a daily basis is that you risk getting droopy eyelids (ptosis) if you keep tugging and pulling unceremoniously at your eyelids. Our eye area has one of the thinnest skin and is thus most delicate, so be gentle when we’re handing skin at the area.
How is double eyelid surgery actually done?
For beautiful, permanent double eyelids, blepharoplasty surgery is the only way. At least we can be reassured with the fact that double eyelid surgery is a common procedure that has been done since the nineteenth century, so it does have that long years of track record under its belt.
There are essentially two main methods to achieve double eyelids: the stitching method (non-incisional suture blepharoplasty) and the cutting method (incisional blepharoplasty).
#1. The Stitching Method
A local anesthetic will be applied to your eyelids first.
Your eye surgeon will then make a row of six sutures or stitches on your upper eyelid. These stitches would create bonds between the deep tissue and eyelid skin, resulting in the formation of an entire upper eyelid fold. The whole double eyelid surgery process is rather quick, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Pros of the stitching method include being scarless, faster recovery (5 to 10 days of rest) and it’s also possible to have a revision procedure to adjust your double eyelid fold if you are not 100% pleased with it.
A con of the stitching method of double eyelid surgery is that it is possible for the stitching to become undone with time.
If your existing eyelids have a lot of excess fat or skin, you will be better off opting for the incisional method instead as that would be a more permanent solution.
#2. The Cutting Method
The cutting method involves creating a permanent incision in the upper eyelid skin. The cut line would be the fold of your double eyelid.
For the cutting method, there is more trauma and recovery time will be slightly longer (2 to 3 weeks). There will be more swelling and bruising as compared to the stitching method, so you’ll have to live with your eyelids looking super swollen or bloated for a few weeks.
Full recovery takes about one to two months for your double eyelids to look au naturel. But after that, you’re really all set for your newfound double eyelid life.
The incisional method also allows the surgeon to also do other procedures concurrently such as: enlarge the size of your eyes, remove excess fat or skin from your eye area and change the shape of your eyes — if you’re interested, that is.
The risks? Given that you went to an experience plastic surgeon in Singapore, not a random dingy beauty salon, it’s more aesthetic in nature. There are cases where patients were not satisfied with how their double eyelids look.
Much like how an artist would paint or sculpt something, the plastic surgeon would craft the double eyelid according to his own notion of beauty. You’d have to communicate well to be on the same page, if you have something clear that you want in mind.
While surgeon is the best person to provide advice, he should also ask questions of preference — like if you want a tapered or parallel fold. A tapered fold gives a more natural and Oriental look while a parallel fold is more dramatic and Western.
Be sure to tell your surgeon how you want your eyelid fold to be, show pictures as examples of what are your dream double eyelids — pictures speak a thousand words, especially in art and aesthetics. Find a surgeon you’re comfortable with and who understands your preferences and communication.
Double eyelid surgery: recovery expectations
Your recovery process basically comprises cold compresses… and more cold compresses! Icing is key to reduce the swelling and bruising. You’ll also have to keep your eye area clean, especially the lids, to stave off infection. That means no make-up at the eye area until you recover.
Pro tip: wear protective shades or glasses to protect your lids from irritation whenever you are outdoors. Stay home to rest as much as you can to let the wound heal and avoid wearing contact lenses or touching the eye area at all. Only resume exercising once that wound fully heals.
Cost of double eyelid surgery in Singapore
The cost of double eyelid surgery really depends on private clinic that you go to as charges do differ. In Singapore, double eyelid surgery in general ranges from $2,800 to $4,000 for the stitching method and $3,600 to $6,000 for the cutting method.
Also read: cost of double eyelid surgery in Singapore.
Can my double eyelids last forever?
For your double eyelids to last forever, your eyelids have to form a scar tissue between the skin and muscle. This will result in permanent double eyelids, which is almost guaranteed with the cutting method.
For the stitching method, whether your double eyelids are permanent will rely entirely on the sutures made during surgery, which causes the creases in your eyelid. Again, if you already have excess fat or skin on your eyelids, the stitching method is likely to not last for you and you may want to consider the cutting method instead.
If we think about how double eyelid surgery has been around for more than a century, it’s rather mind-blowing. For hundreds of years, millions have opted for it — and the numbers keep rising. For those of us considering double eyelid surgery, we can take comfort in the fact that the procedure is a tried and tested one.
But what we should ask ourselves is this: will we really become more beautiful after a double eyelid surgery? Perhaps by societal standards. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder — and it’s what we think that count.
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[…] suture method is scarless, and very similar to the suture method that we talked about for double eyelid surgery. This is done by stitching on the levator muscle to enable the tissue to lift the eyelid up […]
[…] 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 […]