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What is Unique About Asian Aesthetics?


Anatomy. Perception. Cultural.

The anatomical make up of how our tissue behaves, heals and responds is unique.

Perception of ourselves and the world we live in are unique.

This subtle cultural understanding of what we are and what we are about dictates that our approach to aesthetics must also be unique,

This is made possible by the world leading Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Australian surgical training program.

As a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon with Korean heritage and international experience in New York and South Korea. I am commitment to the highest standards of Asian aesthetics. 

Asian 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 our unique anatomy.

The fold exists because the mechanism of opening your eyes enabled by a muscle in the eyelid called the levator that becomes a thin tendon near the edge of the eyelid. This tendon is connected to the edge of the eyelid but also into the skin of the eyelid. This connection to the skin then causes a fold to appear when the eyes are open, rather like a belt can cause a fold in the clothing above the belt to roll or fold over the belt.

The fold is not the only unique feature of the Asian eye. The fat within the eye socket is often larger and hangs lower in an Asian eyelid and this needs to be addressed very precisely to maintain a youthful appearance.


How is Asian Eyelid Surgery Done?

There are three main methods

Open technique – Surgery is performed with an open incision to gain access to tendons and muscles. This is often the method of choice for a person who has thicker skin and fat that needs to be removed. Some say this technique has longer down time but this is not necessarily true.  Swelling and increased down time often comes from bleeding and the open technique allows greater visibility of the blood vessels so they can be avoided. Done with precision this also improves the outcome and lessens the 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. If the fold by itself is the only aesthetic issue to be addressed, this method may be preferred since there is no need for the larger incision that would be required if fat removal had to be addressed.

 Partial Incision technique– The fold is created using similar technique as the Closed Suture method but there is only a smaller amount of fat to be addressed.  The recovery time is similar but this is only suited to limited number of patients where the skin is ok but only a small amount of fat that needs to be re-contoured.

These procedures can be undertaken under either local or general anaesthetic depending on what needs to be done.  The operation takes between one and two hours to complete. The sutures will be removed in the first week and the initial swelling and bruising general takes about two weeks to settle down enough to go back to work, although some people recover much quicker.

We will provide you with a detailed postoperative plan and you will begin to see how the final result will look in around six weeks.

The swelling will continue to go down over that time initially the fold will appear to be higher than it should but as the swelling goes down the line will drop into a natural position.

What is Eye Reshaping?

Eye Surgery is not a “one size fits all” operation. Each person’s eye aesthetics are different so different techniques need to be employed for the best possible result.

Epicanthoplasty – Epicanthoplasty is a surgical technique to change the shape of the eye.  This shaping can move the appearance 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 about altering the shape of the eye itself.

The operation is usually designed to make eyes appear wider. When coupled with the eyelid fold it can greatly improve the aesthetics of your eyes.

The skin around the eyelid heals well but to guard against scaring you need to be mindful that because Asian skin heals differently it is absolutely essential to following the postoperative plan.

Asymmetry correction – Many patients come to us with the complaint that their eyes are uneven. This is a very common concern, because for almost everyone their left eye and right eye is different. If the difference is too great this can usually be corrected with surgery.

A differential approach for each eye is often crucial to minimising any asymmetry.  To produce the desired result we often need different things to be done with each eye.  

One reason for asymmetry is ptosis which is when one eyelid is lower than the other.  We need to ensure there is no other pathology involved and depending upon the cause more complex surgery may be required. 

Asian Facial Surgery

Asian facial aesthetics focus on a slim “small” face whilst having clearly defined features such as stunning eyes and a prominent and elegant nose. The chin aesthetic is considered important with an emphasis often placed on “V” line of the chin.

Altering the jawline usually involves a branch of surgery called orthognathics where the relationship between 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 isachieved 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 Nose Surgery

Asian or ethnic rhinoplasty is a very different operation from the typical “Caucasian” rhinoplasty.  As specialist plastic surgeons we classify the various parts of human anatomy to better understand form and function. When planning rhinoplasty we classify a Caucasian nose into nine different “subunits”. An Asian nose typically has five subunits.

Understanding these differences in anatomy as well as cultural differences are absolutely essential in ensuring the aesthetics of a nose meet the expectations of our patients.

The usual demands of Asian rhinoplasty is better a better side profile and changing the shape of nostrils. This is achieved in a few ways.

Non surgical rhinoplasty– This is only a temporary procedure using fillers but it does allow you to see what is possible with minimal down time.

Insertion of silicone or other prosthesis. This is a common operation in Asia and is done to change the profile of the nose. It is reversible but inserting any foreign object into your tissue has a risk of causing infection.

Permanent rhinoplasty This procedure is similar to the insertion of a synthetic prosthesis as above but it is done using tissue from your own body which becomes a natural part of you. It also has a lower risk of infection.

Adjustment of the nostril size and shape. This is a purely surgical technique using incision and sutures to form the desired nostril shape.

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 greater the risk of a scar not healing well.  While this does not take into account each individual’s variation in genetics the pigment in your skin does increase the possibility of you forming obvious scars. 

Sometimes skin pigmentation can cause hypertrophic 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 skin fold shades the area and helps to disguise the scare.  Closing the incision meticulously with very fine sutures also helps the scar become less obvious or even hidden as it matures

You will be continually monitored even after the wound has healed because there are adjunct interventions that can help.  Please also read our Our Scar advice page

Scar management is tailored for each individual based on skin type, scaring history and position on your body.




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