We are proud to announce the publication of Dr. Charles K. Lee’s expert chapter on Asian upper eyelid blepharoplasty, in the Clinics in Plastic Surgery, January 2013, by Elsevier publishers. The chapter was written with Dr. S.T Ahn, Professor and Chief of Plastic Surgery, St.Mary’s Hospital, GangNam, Seoul. Dr. Ahn is an international expert on Asian Blepharoplasty and has been a mentor to Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee has honed his skills and expertise for over a decade, dedicating his unique approach to finesse plastic surgery as”MicroPlastic Surgery.” Surgery around the face, eyelid, and nose requires supra-normal precision, measured in millimeters and micrometers, not inches or centimeters to attain precise, crisp, symmetric folds. This type of precision requires the steadiest of hands, a mastery of the unique anatomy, and an appreciation of the Asian Aesthetic.
For more information about Asian eyelid blepharoplasty, please contact Dr. Lee at L plastic surgery, Form & Function, San Francisco. (415) 933 8330.
Below is an excerpt from the chapter….
Introduction: Upper lid blepharoplasty is the most common plastic surgery procedure in Asia and has consistently maintained its position over past three decades as cultural acceptance and techniques have evolved. Eyelid aesthetics cannot be underestimated as they can exert significant social and economic influence in an extremely homogenous Asian society. A highly competitive culture mixed with modern values for beauty has created a constant demand for this procedure.
Surgical creation of the supratarsal crease has become synonymous with the term “double eyelid” surgery. The premise of the operation is to create a supratarsal crease that creates an eyelid that is more aesthetically pleasing. The term “double eyelid” is a bit of a misnomer as creation of a supratarsal crease does not actually create another eyelid; it is simply a translation of the Korean term “ssang-cupul” (쌍꺼풀 双眼皮)that has come about from the Chinese character “ssang 双” which means “double” and the Korean character “cupul 꺼풀” which means “cover”. It has been estimated that 30%-50% of East Asians (China, Korea, Japan) have a natural supratarsal crease. 5 The earliest procedures began in Japan in the early1900s, and have been more recently modified by Korean and Chinese plastic surgeons. 13
The Asian blepharoplasty procedure has often been called a “westernizing” procedure. This description is a gross oversimplification of its role in both function and form. Functionally, patients may request this procedure to address corneal irritation from eyelash inversion, ptosis, or pseudoptosis. 19 In form, patients may request this procedure for purely aesthetic reasons, but the most important principle to remember in Asian blepharoplasty is that is it not a “westernizing” procedure. Patients universally want a natural look that respects their Asian identity. They want a look that naturally “opens the eye” and brings out its inherent shape and beauty. The tell-tale signs of a poor Asian blepharoplasty is an excessively high and thick supratarsal crease that is overly stylized and contrived. Correction of this disfigurement is fraught with complexities and unpredictable results. 23, 24
The key elements in Asian blepharoplasty require finesse, precision, and a clear understanding of anatomy. The patient’s goals and priorities must be clearly defined. Despite satisfaction rates that vary widely (50%-90%), Asian upper lid blepharoplasty can be extremely rewarding and can provide a unique opportunity to create an expert niche within an aesthetic eyelid practice. 26, 36 ….