Asian Aesthetics

What’s unique about Asian Aesthetics?

Anatomy. Perception. Cultural. The anatomical make up of how our tissue behaves, heals and responds is unique. Perceptions of ourselves and the world we live in are unique. The subtle cultural understanding of what we are- this is what we are about. Approach to aesthetics must also be made unique, made possible by the world leading Australian surgical training program (Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) and fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon with a Korean heritage, coupled with international experience in New York and South Korea. A commitment to Asian aesthetics is made to the highest of standards.

Asian Eyelid Surgery

“Double eyelid” Surgery

Originally described in the Japanese literature, this is one of the commonest operations performed in Asia. 50% of the Asian population do not have the fold in the upper eyelid and this is due to the unique anatomy in Asian patients.

  • The fold exists because the mechanism of opening your eyes enabled by a muscle in the eye (which becomes a thin tendon near the edge of the eyelid) called levator not only inserts into the edge of the eyelid but also into the skin. This connection into the skin then causes a fold to appear when one opens their eyes, much like part of your top that folds and lays over your belt.
  • But it’s not only the fold that is unique- the fat within the eye socket is often larger and hangs lower in an Asian eyelid and this needs to be addressed just right to maintain youthful appearance but also not give the “gaunt” look from over correction. This can lead to eyes being more “puffy” and appearing smaller.


How is Asian eyelid surgery done?

Largely there are 3 methods.

  • Open technique– surgery is performed with an open incision to get access. This is often more suited to a person who has thicker skin and fat that needs to be addressed. Some say this technique often has longer down time but this is not necessarily true- swelling often comes from bleeding and open technique allows more direct visualisation of the vessels to be dealt with on the spot so if done right it has more permanent result with less chance of the fold becoming undone.
  • Closed or suture technique– The fold is created by passing a suture through 2-3 small incisions to secure the skin to the levator. The advantage is that there is less incision and some say quicker recovery. This is suited to a person who the rest of the eye aesthetics doesn’t need addressing, just the fold because lack of incision doesn’t allow access to do other things.
  • Partial incision technique– The fold is created using similar technique above but in addition to the closed technique it does allow the fat to be addressed to certain extent. The recovery time is similar though and this is only suited to limited number of patients where the skin is ok but only some fat needs recontouring.

These procedures can be undertaken both under local or general anaesthetic depending on what needs to be done and takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete. The sutures will be removed in the first week and the initial swelling and bruising takes about 2 weeks to settle down enough to go back to work, although people recover much quicker. The initial glimpse of the final result is to be seen about 6 weeks as the swelling will continue to go down over that time and be mindful that the fold appears to be higher than it’s actually going to end up- as the swelling goes down the line will drop into a natural position.

There’s more to it than just double eyelid surgery.

It’s not one operation fits all- each person’s eye aesthetics is different so different techniques need to be employed for the best possible result.

  • What is Epicanthoplasty?
    • It is surgical technique to change the shape of the eye both towards the centre and outwards laterally. Often called in Korean as “front opening” and “back opening”. There are other intricacies such as “top opening” and “bottom opening” but in essence it is altering the shape of the eye itself.
    • It often makes eyes appear wider and coupled with the eyelid fold can improve the aesthetics of your eyes.
    • The scars around the eyelid heals well but need to be mindful that Asian skin heals differently so strict postoperative plan is important.
  • Asymmetry correction– No two eyes are the same and presenting with “my eyes are uneven” is a very common complaint. Differential approach to each eye is crucial to minimise the asymmetry in the final result and two eyelids often need two different things to be done. One of the reason for asymmetry is ptosis which is when one eyelid is lower than the other and this involves a more complex techniques.

Asian Nose Surgery

Asian or ethnic rhinoplasty is a completely different operation to the typical “Caucasian” rhinoplasty. We specialist plastic surgeons classify things to understand it better in our minds and we divide a Caucasian nose into 9 different “subunits”. Asian nose typically has 5. This difference in anatomy again is crucial and then of course there are cultural slant to aesthetics of a nose.

Demands of Asian rhinoplasty is better side profile and shape of nostrils. This is achieved in a few ways.

  • Non surgical rhinoplasty– the effect is temporary but it allows you to see what is possible with minimal down time.
  • Insertion of silicone or other prosthesis to change the profile of the nose. This is a foreign body of course and there are risks with infection but it is reversible and common operation in Asia.
  • Permanent rhinoplasty using your own body tissue– necessary component of what would be silicone above is used for a permanent result with lower risk of infection.
  • Adjustment of the nostril size and shape.

Asian Face

Asian facial aesthetic is centered around slim “small” face whilst having very defined features such as stunning eyes and prominent and elegant nose. The chin aesthetic is considered important with emphasis often placed on “V” line of the chin and a branch of surgery called orthognathics where the relationship of the teeth and bony structures become important. This change in the fundamental bony structures of the face is behind those dramatic before and after pictures out of Korea and other Asian countries.

  • Chin and cheek surgery- a better balance of the side profile is achieved by either changing the bony structure of the jaw itself or using prosthesis like silicone.
  • Relationship of top and bottom teeth and the bones that teeth sit in- this brings about the most dramatic change of what we call “occlusion”.

Asian Breast and Body

Bigger is not better. It’s about subtle changes that suit the body shape of an individual.

The difference is in the skin, the thickness and how it behaves. Where the incisions are made, how a soft tissue envelope sits and how it is contoured.

Asian Scar Management

As a general rule the darker your skin the worse the scar heals. Of course this doesn’t take into account each individual person’s variation in genetics but the pigment in your skin does dictate the likelihood of you forming worse appearing scars, some times even hypertrophic scars and keloid scars. These scar formations once they happen are difficult to treat and carry a prolonged treatment course.

How do we achieve better scars in darker skinned individuals?

We as surgeons cannot operate without scars, but we can choose where to place them, in what orientation to put them in and how to look after them after the surgery. Specialist Plastic Surgeons have become extremely good at hiding scars in natural creases of the body, where the darker shade of the light hits and to close it in the most meticulous manner so that once the scar matures it no longer becomes a topic of discussion.

You will be continually monitored even after the wound has healed because there are adjunct interventions that can help. And of course feel free to browse Our Scar advice page. Your scar management will be tailored to your scar and in the position of your body.

let us look after you

Contact us for a thorough discussion about your needs and your situation. Make sure you get a referral from your local GP as you may be eligible for a rebate from Medicare for the consultation. Send us a message here and we will contact you at a time that is convenient for you. 🙂

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