Eyelid Surgery for the Asian Eye


Introduction to Asian Eyelid Surgery

View in ChineseA specialized procedure such as Asian eyelid surgery requires a facial plastic surgeon with unique skills and experience. Dr. Chase Lay has devoted much of his career to specializing in this procedure and he’s among the leading providers of Asian eyelid reconstructive surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Lay’s experience includes traveling to Vietnam and Thailand to refine his expertise.

Please request a consultation with Dr. Lay to learn more about Asian eyelid surgery, or call his San Jose practice at (408) 728-8887 to schedule an appointment.

See Before & After Photos

See actual results Dr. Lay has achieved and get a better sense of the possible outcomes following surgery.


What is Asian Eyelid Surgery?

Surgery of the Asian eyelid has been performed literally for well over 100 years and was first well-documented in Japan before 1900. Also known as double eyelid surgery or Asian blepharoplasty, this surgery involves carefully reshaping the upper eyelid skin to create a more defined crease. Specialized surgical techniques are required to make visible changes to the crease and excess eyelid skin while maintaining a natural appearance that also maintains the patient’s personal and cultural identity. Some patients may even choose to receive only upper eyelid surgery to create a crease for a more open look or elect to have lower eyelid surgery to address any undereye bags.

The approach and goal of Asian double eyelid surgery is different from traditional blepharoplasty. Eyelid surgery for patients of Asian descent is a delicate procedure requiring detailed knowledge of Asian eyelid anatomy. Not only is the Asian eyelid anatomically distinct, but each patient’s eyelid anatomy poses unique surgical issues. Your anatomy, along with your skin tone and specific other cosmetic procedures and goals, will dictate the technique Dr. Lay uses for your surgery. The techniques fall into 2 general categories:

Suture Technique for Asian Eyelid Surgery

Asian Patients often ask about this approach because it is less invasive than techniques requiring incisions and typically has less swelling after the procedure. The disadvantage, however, is the crease created by the surgery is more likely to disappear over time. The suture technique for Asian eyelid surgery (double eyelid surgery) is a terrific technique with many advantages but must be used on the right patient with the right anatomy.

Incision Technique for Asian Eyelid Surgery

This isn’t a single technique, but rather a group of several specific techniques that all involve using an incision, or a set of small incisions, to perform upper eyelid surgery. These techniques are more invasive than the suture technique and require lengthier recuperation, but eyelid surgery using incisions is more predictable and longer-lasting. Swelling is usually completely gone within 5 to 7 days and all signs of that you had surgery disappear by 10 days.

Real Answers From Dr. Lay

“The best technique for your eyelid surgery may depend on whether or not you wear contacts. For example, a younger patient who doesn’t wear contacts and has thinner skin is a better candidate for the suture technique than someone older than 30 with thicker skin who wears contacts.”

Young Korean woman after Asian eyelid surgery with the very acceptable appearance of her incision technique scar. She is over 3 months post-op in this photo. Results can vary.

Young Asian woman who had an incision and anchoring technique Asian eyelid surgery with Dr. Chase Lay. She is approximately 6 weeks post-op and looking good with her natural tapered crease.

What are the benefits of Asian Eyelid Surgery?

Dr. Lay has seen his patients benefit from the Asian Eyelid Surgery in San Jose in the following ways:

  • Add a skin fold to your upper eyelid
  • Addresses asymmetry of the eyelids
  • Can correct vision problems
  • Corrects drooping eyelids (Ptosis repair)
  • Gives you a more youthful appearance
  • Relieves Trichiasis (eye discomfort associated with the inward turning of the lashes)
  • Removes excess skin and bulging fat

Who are the best candidates for the Asian Eyelid Surgery procedure?

Congenital upper-eyelid ptosis is an issue that is quite common among the Asian population. Good candidates for a San Jose Asian Eyelid Surgery should have the following characteristics:

  • In overall good health
  • Maintains realistic expectations and a positive attitude regarding their treatment results
  • Should prefer the appearance of a double eyelid

Patients with a single eyelid (without a crease), low crease, asymmetrical creases (different in each eye), or double eyelid creases could benefit from Asian blepharoplasty. Older patients with excess skin hanging over the crease or obscuring their peripheral vision are also good candidates.

What’s the first step?

The first step in getting this surgery is to contact our office. During your appointment, you’ll be able to meet one-on-one with Dr. Chase Lay, who will complete a thorough evaluation of your eyelids, eye shape, and upper face to provide his expert recommendations and answer any questions you have. You should be as open and honest with Dr. Lay about your aesthetic desires and medical history, as great communication always leads to optimal results and prevents unnecessary risks.

If you’re happy with Dr. Lay’s recommendations, he will create your custom surgical plan and our Patient Coordinator will help you book your surgery. We will also provide pre and postoperative instructions which have been created to ensure patient safety and the best possible surgical outcome.

What to expect on the day of Asian Eyelid Surgery surgery

A simple double eyelid surgery using a suture-only procedure will typically result in mild swelling that lasts about 2 or 3 days. In many cases, you can return to work and regular activities within 12 to 24 hours. Avoid using contact lenses for 72 hours. There are no sutures to remove.

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour.

Asian Eyelid Surgery Recovery

After your surgery, you will be monitored in our recovery room until you wake from sedation. Once released, you will be able to return home to recover in comfort, however, you will need a family member or friend available to drive you and stay with you for the first few days as you recover.

There will be some mild swelling and bruising that’s to be expected, but elevating your head and applying an ice pack can help to manage to swell and provide some relief. Surgery using incisions normally involves swelling that lasts for about 5 to 7 days, with the worst period about 2 to 3 days after the surgery. During your recovery, it is best to avoid applying makeup to the eyes, rubbing or stretching the eyelid tissues, or excessively cleaning the area, as these could compromise your results.

You will probably need to rest for at least 48 hours before returning to work and daily activities. Exercising or other strenuous activities require about 5 to 7 days of recuperation in most cases. The incision line typically fades about 2 weeks after the surgery and becomes much more difficult to see over the following weeks and months. The final suture will be removed about 6 or 7 days after the surgery, depending on the technique used.

How much does Asian Eyelid Surgery cost in San Jose?

The cost of Asian Eyelid Surgery in San Jose will vary on numerous factors, including the procedures performed, the techniques used, and the suture method, among other things. The best way to find out how much this procedure will cost you is to come in for a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Lay and allow him to examine your eye anatomy. After your surgical procedure plan is made, our Patient Coordinator will be able to provide you with a cost breakdown.

Why choose Dr. Lay?

Dr. Chase Lay is a rare facial Facial Plastic Surgeon in the Bay Area located in San Jose who has performed more than 5,000 cosmetic and reconstructive procedures on the face and eyes with his primary focus being Asian Eyelid Surgery (sometimes referred to as Double Eyelid Surgery), fat transfer, and Asian Rhinoplasty. After receiving his medical degree at the University of Texas, Dr. Lay completed his residency in Head and Neck Surgery at Southern Illinois University. While there, he performed more than 1,500 functional, reconstructive, and cosmetic procedures on the face and in particular the eyes and periorbital area. The cornerstone of Dr. Lay’s plastic surgery philosophy is to improve your appearance while maintaining a natural look, which has been a guiding principle since he decided to focus on facial plastic surgery in general, while specializing in Asian Eye Surgery.

Schedule your consultation

If your eyelids make it difficult to see or have a creaseless eyebrow that makes it difficult to apply makeup, Asian Eyelid Surgery in San Jose could be perfect for you. To schedule your initial consultation, contact our office today either through our website or by calling us directly. Dr. Lay has the technical skills required to perform the procedure and can provide you with the beautiful and natural-looking results you’re in search of.

Asian Eyelid Surgery FAQ’

  • How is this procedure performed and what are my options?
    Asian eyelid surgery also known as double eyelid surgery is performed one of two ways. The most effective and long-lasting would be the incision technique where either your existing crease is used to alter the appearance of your eyelid crease or a new crease is created for you. Another option is the suture technique. With this technique, a series of small holes anywhere from 3-6 are made in the upper eyelids, and sutures are passed through the skin to the tarsus or levator tendon below a crease is quilted into position and the sutures are left under the skin permanently. This is one of the oldest techniques with its earliest documented use in Japan well over 100 years ago. Whether you are a good candidate for suture technique or incision technique depends on your anatomy.

  • Which is right of me: a Tapered Crease or a Parallel Crease?
    This again depends on your anatomy and what your overall goals are. The pros and cons of this characteristic of the Asian eyelid crease depend on multiple factors including facial features extra skin, and your eyelid anatomy.
  • How do I know which Asian Eyelid Surgery technique is best for me?
    This depends very much on your anatomy and Dr. Lay’s assessment of you. The incision technique is the most reliable and effective and nearly everyone is a candidate for the incision technique. The suture technique is only best used on very young patients with thin skin who do not wear contact lenses.
  • What if I’m only interested in upper eyelid surgery?
    Our Blepharoplasty patients have a variety of needs and Dr. Lay will work closely with you to help you achieve the best results for you. While many patients of Asian descent tend to require double eyelid surgery, others may only require attention to their upper lid to correct their vision. Other times, they just want to get rid of the bags under their lower eyelids for a less “tired” look with a lower blepharoplasty.

    Regardless of your reason to undergo blepharoplasty, an experienced surgeon Dr. Chase Lay will have you looking and seeing better than ever before.

  • Is Asian Eyelid Surgery painful?
    The surgery itself shouldn’t hurt since it is performed under sedation, but you can expect to experience some swelling and bruising during the first few weeks post-surgery. Dr. Lay will also prescribe you some temporary medications to alleviate any negative symptoms during your initial recovery, but you can also use ice packs or cold compresses to prevent excessive swelling or bruising.
  • What is my healing time?
    In general with the incision technique, your sutures are removed after 7 days and you can expect noticeable swelling and in some cases bruising. Most patients start to look natural again as they approach the two-week mark after surgery.

  • Is the healing time for the suture technique faster?
    Dr. Lay’s response to this question is usually “sometimes.” The healing can be faster but bruising is equally common with the suture technique when compared to the incision technique. Also, it’s important to point out that the satisfaction rate with the suture technique and the risks overall really are no better than the incision technique.

  • How many appointments will I need?
    You will need to come in for your consultation and surgical appointments, after, Dr. Lay will have you return within a few days to remove any bandages and gauge your initial healing. You will need to return about a week post-surgery so any sutures can be removed.

    After these initial check-ups, Dr. Lay will want to see you a few more times over the next six months to monitor your recovery and take “after” photos.

  • Is it common to need a revision or a touch-up for my Asian Eyelid Surgery?
    Globally, revision rates among plastic surgeons have been reported as high as 10%. Dr. Lay is open about his revision rate of less than 2%. Most of the time any need for a revision touch-up or ear surgery is to make small improvements of a relatively successful surgery. Dr. Lay has a lot of experience repairing poorly performed surgeries from overseas and even other practices in the United States.

  • How long until I see results?
    Your swelling and bruising from the surgery will dissipate over the first week or so post-surgery. On average, most patients require about two months before they can see the final results of their treatment.
  • Why is Asian Eyelid Surgery so different from Non-Asian Eyelid Surgery?
    The anatomy of the Asian eyelid is very different from non-Asian eyelids. The anatomy of the eyelid and one Asian person versus another can be very different. It takes a tremendous amount of experience, knowledge of anatomy, and expertise to perform Asian eyelid surgery successfully and consistently. Dr. Lay customizes each of his surgeries based on the patient’s goals and anatomy. Some request very subtle and natural changes while others request more dramatic changes.

  • Can I combine Asian Eyelid Surgery with other procedures?
    Of course! Our San Jose patients will often combine other treatments, such as BOTOX injections for crow’s feet around the corners of the eyes, or even Chemical Peels for dark circles under the eye can be performed as well for more comprehensive results. Dr. Lay and his team will work with you to achieve your aesthetic goals, offering you the best surgical and non-surgical recommendations.

  • What are the risks associated with Asian Eyelid Surgery?
    Every surgery has its inherited risks or side effects and Asian Eyelid Surgery is no different. You may experience the following:

    • Bleeding
    • Difficulty closing the eyes or other eyelid problems
    • Dry, irritated eyes
    • Infection
    • Injury to eye muscles
    • Noticeable scarring
    • Skin discoloration
    • Revision surgery required
    • Temporarily blurred vision or, rarely, loss of eyesight

    Most of these side effects will be able to heal on their own over a few days to a few weeks, but if you experience any concerning or long-lasting reactions, please contact our office immediately.