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Double eyelid surgery is a specific type of eyelid surgery in which creases in the upper eyelids are formed, creating double eyelids.

You might choose this procedure, called blepharoplasty, if you want to correct a condition — such as droopy eyelids or eye bags — or if you want to change the appearance of your eyelids.

Continue reading as we delve into double eyelid surgery, before-and-after pictures, nonsurgical options, and what you can expect from the results.

Some people have visible eyelid creases, known as double eyelids. Some were born without eyelid creases. That’s called a single lid or a monolid. There’s nothing medically wrong with either.

Some reasons you might want double eyelid surgery include:

  • Your eyelids are interfering with your vision.
  • You have one single and one double eyelid, and you’d like them to match.
  • Permanent creases can help make your eyes appear larger.
  • It will be easier to apply certain styles of makeup.

People all around the world get double eyelid blepharoplasty. It’s the most common aesthetic surgery in East Asia.

Recommendations

Eyelid surgery should be performed by a qualified plastic surgeon experienced in this type of procedure. Here are some things to discuss during your surgical consultation:

  • what you expect to get out of the surgery
  • any problems you have with your eyes or the area around your eyes
  • your medical history, including preexisting conditions, prescription medications, and known allergies
  • whether the incisional or non-incisional technique is a better option for you
  • specifics of the procedure, including what type of anesthesia will be used
  • what you need to know about risks and recovery

Both incisional and non-incisional techniques can be done on an outpatient basis. You’ll have some type of anesthesia and your eyes will be sensitive, so you won’t be able to drive yourself home. Make sure to arrange transportation in advance.

Incisional procedure

These are the basic steps to double eyelid surgery using the incisional method:

  • The proposed double eyelid line will be carefully measured and marked with a pen.
  • IV sedation or general anesthesia will be administered, along with local anesthetic.
  • Several small incisions will be made along the double eyelid line.
  • The marked skin will be removed.
  • The orbicularis oculi muscle and fat tissue will be removed between the incisions.
  • Incisions will be closed with skin glue or stitches that will need to be removed four or five days after surgery.

The incisional technique may be a good option if you have thick skin, need extra skin and fat removed, or are looking for a permanent result. This procedure isn’t reversible. Some potential risks are:

  • allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • infection
  • temporary or permanent changes to vision
  • visible scarring

Non-incisional procedure

A double eyelid can also be created without an incision. This procedure is called the buried suture technique. It’s also performed under general anesthesia or with IV sedation and local anesthetic.

As with the incisional technique, the eyelid will be carefully measured and marked. Then, a series of tiny punctures are made in the skin along the line.

Sutures are placed through the punctures and tightened until they form the desired crease. The sutures will remain beneath the skin, out of sight. You won’t have to return to have them removed.

You’ll have less scarring with the non-incisional procedure, and it can be reversed. The non-incisional technique may be a good option if you don’t need extra skin and fat removed. Some potential risks are:

  • asymmetry or loosening of the double fold
  • irritation from the sutures
  • infection
  • visible puncture marks when your eyes are closed
  • inclusion cyst from a buried stitch

Initial healing time following the incisional procedure can last up to two weeks. It may take several months to heal completely. While you’re recovering, you might have:

  • bleeding from the incision
  • bruising
  • swelling, changes in skin sensation
  • dry eyes, light sensitivity
  • pain

These symptoms should be temporary. Here are some tips to relieve irritated eyes:

  • Use cold compresses as recommended by your doctor.
  • Apply lubricating ointment or any other prescribed medications.
  • Wear sunglasses when outside until you’re fully healed.

With the non-incisional technique, you can expect full recovery within two weeks.

For either procedure, follow your surgeon’s discharge instructions. Antibiotics may be prescribed to protect against infection. Take them all, even if you feel fully healed. Be sure to report any signs of infection or post-op side effects immediately.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons put the average cost of cosmetic eyelid surgery at $3,163 in 2018. That’s an average for just the surgery. This estimate doesn’t include anesthesia, cost of the operating room, or other related expenses, so the price will likely be higher.

Costs can vary based on factors, such as:

  • the type of procedure
  • your geographic location
  • what presurgery tests are needed
  • the surgeon and surgical facility
  • prescription medications
  • any complications

If you’re having the surgery because your eyelids are interfering with your eyelashes or vision, it may be covered by insurance.

It’s a good idea to get pre-authorization for the procedure. However, most policies don’t cover any portion of cosmetic surgery.

There are a variety of eyelid tapes and glues marketed as a way to get double eyelids. You can find them in drugstores or where beauty products are sold. These items are used to force a crease into the eyelid.

Find double eyelid tape and double eyelid glue online.

The pros

  • They may temporarily give you the eye crease you want.
  • If you don’t like the result, you can easily remove them.
  • You can avoid a surgical procedure.
  • You can try the look before going all in on surgery.

The cons

  • You have to apply them every day.
  • They may become visible or fall out of place.
  • You can have an allergic reaction.
  • Everyday use can cause redness and irritation.
  • You might get glue in your eye, which can damage your vision.

When using these products, be sure to wash your hands before applying. Change eyelid tape every day, and keep the area around your eyes clean. Stop using immediately if your eyelids become puffy.

If you’re concerned about your eye health, talk to your eye doctor before using eyelid tapes and glues, or if your eyes become irritated by them.

Double eyelids are eyelids with visible double creases. Double eyelid surgery is performed to add a crease to the eyelids, usually as a matter of personal preference.

Consult with your eye doctor and a qualified plastic surgeon to discuss the pros and cons and to find out if you’re a good candidate for this procedure.

There are also nonsurgical options for creating double eyelids. Keep in mind, there’s nothing medically wrong with double or single eyelids — both are entirely normal.