Options for Enlargement of Asian Eyes

I'm an Asian with really small and narrowed eyes. I want my eyes to look fuller and bigger. I have heard about the double eyelid surgery and I am planning to get that soon. But honestly, I don't think that will make my eyes bigger. Is there a eye enlargement surgery that will make my eyes look bigger and fuller?

Doctor Answers 14

Options for Enlargement of Asian Eyes

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You’re correct in that traditional double eyelid surgery does not make the eyes bigger. One would think that their eyes have gotten bigger after getting traditional double eyelid surgery because double eyelid surgery takes up the excess hooding on the upper eyelid. Therefore, if there was excess skin that’s covering a significant portion of the color aspect of the eye that is being shown then after the double eyelid surgery one would think that his eyes have gotten bigger since that excess hooding skin has gone up. However, in order to truly get an eye enlargement, one would need a vertical as well as horizontal eye enlargement. Vertical eye enlargement can be done through a ptosis repair, which in Korea, is also known as adjustment of the vertical height of the iris shown. You can also benefit from lateral eye enlargement, which entails epicanthoplasty and lateral canthoplasty. Epicanthoplasty for Asian eyelids is opening the inner side of the eye while lateral canthoplasty is opening the outer side of the eye. When you combine them both, in your case, you can enlarge your eyes. This is how a lot of the Korean actresses and K-Pop celebrities attain much larger eyes relative to others.  

Big eyed look in an Asian

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Your desire for larger eyes is a simple desire but not easily answered. It depends on a number if factors including where you would like to position your eyelid crease, how low (ptotic) your upper eyelid is, and the function of your two eyelid muscles (levator and müllers muscle)?

If your eyelid is droopy 2mm or less and you have good response to a phenylephrine drop (administered during examination of your eyes) then a müllerectomy performed during your double eyelid surgery would give you the most predictable results. Mullerectomy is shown in the attached video.

If you are more than 2mm ptotic or do not have a good response with phenylephrine, then a levator advancement performed with the double eyelid surgery would be appropriate. Levator advancement can raise an eyelid more than 2mm but requires more adjustment and results can be a little varied since it requires patient participation during surgery.

Carlo Rob Bernardino, MD
Monterey Oculoplastic Surgeon

Enlargment of the Asian Eyelid

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Height & width customization
There is no doubt that your eyes can actually be larger or bigger/brighter.  Doing this takes more than simply removing some skin.  Eyes can be enlarged in two dimensions: width and height. 
In a young person like yourself it would be a small amount of skin, possibly a concervative amount of fat, and a simultaneous advancement of the muscle that opens your eyelid.   Performing all these things together in a single procedure is common and in experienced hands the healing time is essentially the same as it would be had you had only skin removed. . .which would not work for you by the way.  You need the above three components.    Remember to go to someone who works regularly or exclusively with the asian face.   If your surgeon tells you what he/she will do and says something to the effect of "I perform all of my eyelids this way" get another consult.  
Asian eyelids require and increase degree of costumization.  My patients eyelids are customized to the patient's request.  Subtle, big eyes, high crease, low crease, etc.
Widening the eyes requires (simply put) spliting the lids a few millimeters at the later corner of the eyes and a special conjunctival mucosal flap to literally make the eyes wider.  Let me mention though, that this procedure can be  imperfect and should only be performed by experienced eyelids surgeons.
Hope that helps.  Yes, your eyes can look larger.
Chase Lay, MD

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

The double eyelid procedure will help to make your eyes look bigger

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The double eyelid procedure will help to make your eyes look bigger. Based on the picture, it doesn't look like you have any crease. Sometimes skin is allowed to override your eyelid margin which can make the eye opening look smaller.  Also by creating an eyelid crease, the shadowing contributes to the appearance that your eyes are bigger by creating the shadow the meets up with the dark part of your eyes. 

Another procedure that can help open up your eyes is the medial epicanthoplasty that is done in the middle part of the eyes that will open the eyes up horizontally.  Lastly, you can do a procedure that tightens up the muscle that opens up your eyes but this is advanced, is not standardized or universally accepted to open up your eyes.

I hope that was interesting for you!

Thanks for reading.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Asian Eye Enlargement

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The only difference in the upper lids of Asian VS Non-Asians is WHERE on the upper lid the muscle which lifts the lid attaches. In Asians it attaches very low while in others it attaches almost a cm above the lash line. In so doing, upper lid fat is kept 1cm or so above the lash line.

"Double eyelid" or "Eastern to Western Eyelid" operations is VERY popular in the Far East where economic affluence leads many to appear more western. The operations raise the location of the levator attachment creating the so called - supra-tarsal fold.

This operation will NOT increase eye prominence NOR will it make your eyes look "bigger or fuller". It will just change your ethnicity somewhat.

There is NO easy way to make your eye more out going / prominent. The only way to do it is to make your eye sockets more shallow (by grafting the floor) which would push the globes out. This is an operation done in facial trauma victims whose eye globes are too sunken in - not in attractive normal young people.

I find your eyes extremely attractive and I would refuse to perform this or a similar operation on you.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Asian eye enlargement

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Dear Ghprime,

Thanks for your questions.

In your situation, a double eyelid procedure is appropriate.  You do have some ptosis, or drooping of the eyelids and this would ideally be corrected as well.  

Typically, in my practice, we use a non-incisional form of double eyelid surgery where small punctures are used to pass a surgical thread through the eyelid multiple times to create the eyelid fold.  The same thread can be used to tighten one of the muscles of the upper eyelid to correct the ptosis (Muller tuck).  The advantage of this approach is that both conditions, the lack of the eyelid fold and ptosis, can be correctly without a large incision on the eyelid, which greatly shortens your recovery as there is much less bruising and swelling.


Shim Ching, MD

You can enlarge your eyes

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A double eyelid procedure will give the illusion of a larger eye, but in addition, you appear to have some weakness in the muscles that open the eyes. Thus the vertical dimension of your eye is smaller than ideal. This is very common situation and I find that almost all eyes have some degree of what is called ptosis. When you undergo the double eyelid procedure, the muscle that opens the eyes lie in the surgical field - this can tightened up as part of the procedure to help open the eyes more. In addition, removing the inner fold of skin - an inner epi - will increase the visible amount of the whites of the eyes.

To open the eyelids

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There are several methods to open the eyes:

1. Asian blepharoplasty - this is when a certain amount of skin is removed to create a crease that is seen in western eyelids. It can create the appearance of a bigger eye aperture.

2. Levator advancement - This is when the main muscle to lift the eyelid is tightened. Probably not recommended in your case

3. Muellerectomy - This is when the second muscle to lift the eyelid is tightened. It may or may not help in you

4. Botox - This can be used in the lower eyelids in the orbicularis muscle to relax the lower eyelid when you smile.  I don't think in your case it would be that helpful

I think you would need to see someone who can evaluate you thoroughly . Your photos are a little dark and it is hard for me to see what is exactly going on to be honest

Chris Thiagarajah, MD
Denver Oculoplastic Surgeon

Yes, you can make the opening larger

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You can make the opening larger by shortening the levator muscle as it attaches into the tarsal plate of the upper eyelid. It can be combined with an upper eyelid blepharoplasty.

Gary H. Manchester, MD (retired)
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Double eyelid surgery to make eyes bigger

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Double eyelid surgery combined with medial epicanthoplasty will make your eyes bigger. When double eyelid surgery is properly done, eyes look bigger when opened.  With medial epicanthoplasty (treating the Mongolian fold), eyes actually get wider.

Kun Z. Kim, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.