The Eyes Have It

When it comes to beauty, it all begins with the eyes. And if you are looking to improve their size, shape or contour, there is a wide range of surgeries available to do so.

- This Quarterly January 2016 -

Cosmetic eyelid surgery is increasing in popularity as aesthetic procedures gain wider acceptance. There is a wide range of cosmetic eyelid surgeries that achieve specific outcomes and improve the appearance of the eyes. The most common eyelid surgeries include:


This surgical procedure is usually performed to address eyebags or excess lower eyelid skin. More advanced techniques redistribute the fat in the eyebag. This flattens the eyebag and uses the excess fat to fill in the tear troughs or hollows in the upper cheek. This intricate manoeuvre avoids the sunken look associated with fat removal.


The most common form of upper blepharoplasty is double eyelid surgery. Attractive double eyelids can be created with the removal of excess skin and fat. This can rejuvenate ageing, drooping upper eyelids. Younger patients with less excess skin may be candidates for stitch methods of double eyelid creation. These minimally-invasive methods do not require a long cut and the recovery is much faster.


Also known as inner eyelid surgery, an epicanthoplasty creates larger eyes by eliminating the Mongolian fold, a triangular bit of skin and flesh at the inner corner of the eye that is prevalent among Oriental Asians. These folds, if pronounced, can cause the eyes to appear small, slit-like and ‘fierce’. An epicanthoplasty makes eyes look larger and longer, converts tapered double eyelid folds to become parallel and reduces the distance between eyes that seem too far apart. Epicanthoplasties are frequently performed with double eyelid surgery to create eyes which look larger, younger and fresher. The outer corner of the eye may also be elongated through a procedure known as a Lateral Canthoplasty.


In ‘glamourous line’ surgery, the outer part of the lower eyelid is slightly pulled down to make the eye appear rounder and give it a slightly more S-shaped curvature. This creates the much-sought after ‘anime’ eyes.


The ‘love band’ refers to the horizontal bulge of flesh in the lower eyelid, just below the eyelashes. Usually, this flesh is naturally-occurring and accentuated when one smiles, giving the eyes a softer, youthful and more feminine look. The procedure involves using a strip of artificial skin or the patient’s own skin to create the band. For those who wish to enhance their existing love-bands, fat transfer or fillers are good choices.


As with all surgeries, it is important to undergo a comprehensive pre-surgical consultation with your cosmetic surgeon to communicate and clarify your wishes and expectations, as well as to understand the limitations of surgery.

All surgeries carry a potential risk and eyelid surgeries are no different. Having said that, eyelid surgeries are relatively minor procedures with low risk when performed by trained specialist surgeons. Some common complications include asymmetry, and under- or overcorrection.

Downtime and recovery vary among individuals. Bruising and swelling is expected after the surgery and will usually resolve after five to 10 days. In general, the eye area takes a shorter time to recover because of the better blood supply to facial areas as compared to other parts of the body. There may be mild temporary discomfort after the procedure which can be easily managed with oral medication if necessary. On average, most patients are able to return to work within a week. Some make-up can be used to conceal the swelling associated with upper eyelid surgery.