Having a double eyelid does not entail any medical advantage over individuals with a single eyelid or monolid. However, from a cosmetic standpoint, double eyelids are viewed as more attractive and make the eyes appear livelier and energetic compared with having just one.
While there are quick fixes like makeup, double eyelid glue and tapes, putting these on every single day can be tiring and bothersome. Since most Singaporeans aren’t born with a double eyelid, double eyelid surgery is definitely one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the country.
Dr Seah TE from TES Clinic for Face & Jaw In Singapore informs us that there are two approaches to double eyelid surgery that patients can choose from. If you are still having doubts, read on to know the basics of each approach so you can have an informed decision.
1. Non-incisional double eyelid surgery (Stitching technique)
From the name itself, non-incisional double eyelid surgery does not involve cutting g the skin to create a double eyelid crease. Instead, this procedure uses sutures that are stitched on the pre-marked doubled eyelid line on the skin until they form the desired crease. These sutures are buried into making them inconspicuous and leaving no scar tissue. The procedure is done under local anaesthesia or IV sedation and can be completed in as quickly as 20-30 minutes.
Side Effects and Downtime
After the procedure, slight swelling and bruising may be felt in the treatment area and will go away in no time. After about 1-2 weeks post-procedure, full recovery can already be expected.
Once the wound has healed, the desired results can already be observed. At the 3rd to 5th-week mark post-procedure, the double eyelid crease will become more evident. When done by a skilled doctor, there is zero to minimal chance of scarring and complications. Results of non-incisional double eyelid surgery are reversible and with proper care, can last for 1-2 years.
Patients with thinner upper eyelids
Because this procedure’s main mechanism is through stitching the skin, it is important that patients are able to maintain the strength and integrity of the sutures. Therefore, individuals with thicker skin may have a difficult time keeping the sutures in place and result in asymmetrical eyelids.
Patients with healthy skin
Continuous rubbing of the eyes caused by eczema or other skin problems can weaken the suture attachments and can sometimes cause displacement and removal of the stitches. So, if you have recurring skin problems that will cause you to rub the skin on the eye area, better inform your doctor first.
Newbies to cosmetic surgeries
This procedure is reversible and can be a good option for first-timers in cosmetic procedures to have a better picture of the effects of double eyelid surgery on their appearance before committing to procedures that can have permanent effects.
Advantages over Incisional Surgery
1. Faster recovery time and little no scarring
Since most Singaporeans have full-time jobs and cannot afford a long time off from work, this procedure is more likely to be preferred by patients. The technique is simpler and less time consuming, so there is no need to worry for scars and you can resume working as soon as you are able.
2. More affordable
In Singapore, the cost for non-incisional double eyelid surgery may range from $3000 – $4500 depending on doctor’s fee, quality of suture material, aftercare medication or follow-ups in case complications are developed.
Results of the procedure can be reversed. So, if you don’t like how it looks, then there is no need to worry about having to deal with it for the rest of your life.
Incisional surgery double eyelid surgery (Cutting Technique)
For this procedure, the doctor makes an incision on the pre-marked double eyelid line and remove the skin lining. Then, excess skin and fat tissue between the incisions will be removed to make the skin tighter. Then, the incisions will be closed by stitching them together to form a desired fold or crease on the double eyelid line. The patient is put under IV sedation, local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia and the whole procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
Side Effects and Downtime
When the anaesthesia wears off, expect some swelling and bruising on the operated area and recovery time can take 3 to 4 weeks to let the wound heal completely. As a pro tip, you may develop sensitivity to light right after the surgery (this is also true for non-incisional surgery) and you may not be able to drive yourself home. As an extra precaution, better bring a friend or loved one with you during your surgery.
With incisional surgery, there is always visible scarring since incisions were made on the skin. To help get rid of the scar, your doctor may prescribe scar lightening gels and creams. With religious application, the scar will disappear after a few months.
New double eyelid crease will become noticeable when the cut has completely healed. With the formation of scar tissue on the double eyelid line, the effects of incisional surgery are permanent and irreversible.
Patients with thick or heavy upper eyelids
If you have thick or heavy upper eyelids, incisional surgery is the way to go. This procedure can remove excess skin and fat on the upper eyelids to make the eyes look livelier.
Patients who want permanent outcomes
The magic of the stitching technique can be very short-lived. So, if you are already sure to get double eyelids for a lifetime, then incisional double eyelid surgery is your best bet.
Advantages over Non-incisional Surgery
1. Saves you a lot of time and money in the long run
Even with longer recovery time and higher procedure cost ($4500 – $5500), incisional double eyelid surgery is only done once and the results can last you a lifetime. This procedure creates permanent results which definitely save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Non-incisional sutures only last for a couple of years and another procedure is required to maintain the effects.
2. More defined and symmetrical double eyelids
Since the new crease does not rely on the strength of the sutures, results from incisional surgery have a lesser risk for asymmetry and weakened attachments. When the wound has completely healed, there’s no more additional care required to preserve the outline and integrity of the new crease.
Talk to Your Doctor
Whatever approach to double eyelid surgery you chose, make sure that you discuss it well with your doctor. A trustworthy doctor will make sure that you get a proper assessment and will only advise you the best and most appropriate procedure for your needs. In addition, if you develop infection or irritations while recovering, always call your doctor to ensure your safety and prevent further complications.