Asian eyelid surgery, or double eyelid surgery, is a procedure that is done to the upper eyelid, with the goal of creating a crease in the lid that opens up the eye. This procedure is very common in countries such as China and South Korea but it is also increasingly performed in America. In fact, this surgery has become the most common plastic surgery procedure performed on people of Asian descent in America. Women tend to have this surgery done more often than men, perhaps reflecting the general attitude of each gender towards cosmetic surgery. However a substantial percentage of men also choose to have this procedure.

Double eyelid surgery ( blepharoplasty) is not exclusive to Asians. Many older Caucasian men also have this surgery done, to correct the shape of their eyelids which may have stretched or drooped with age, seeing cosmetic surgery as a means to maintain a younger or more authoritative appearance. Others have the surgery done earlier in life – if done early enough; the procedure can be done with minimal surgical intervention, requiring just a few stitches. However for most Caucasian men the procedure involves the stretched or weakened skin as well as any fat that might affect the shape of the eyelid.

There are two ways that the addition of the eyelid crease can be effected. The easiest version of the procedure can only be done in younger patients. This involves stitching the eyelid, rather than a surgical approach. The benefit of this procedure is that it is very quick, and relatively minor. The disadvantage is that effects might not be permanent. This technique is not usually used in the US.

In simple terms the surgical approach involves cutting across the upper eyelid and through fat and muscle, then removing some skin and fat and sewing up the incision. There is noticeable swelling, bruising and redness following surgery that can last up to a week. The swelling in the eyelid will diminish over the next few months, with near normal appearance attained after around one month. This surgery can be done using a laser as an alternative to a scalpel but some specialists feel that this may increase scarring.

There has been discussion in the media about this procedure, with some commenting that asian women should not feel pressured to conform to 'western' ideals of beauty. Those who choose this surgery counter that they are not 'westernising' the shape of their eye – just making it more beautiful. They point out that around half of all Asians have naturally occurring creases in their upper eyelid, so the feature is not exclusive to Caucasians.