From Fatty Monolids to Thinner Double Eyelids - Taipei

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I've always been the only one (along with my...

I've always been the only one (along with my father) in the whole of my extended family to have monolids, so since I was small I'd always wanted to have double eyelids. Even at school, most of my Asian friends had double eyelids, but I only found out about the procedure when I was about 13 years old.

I asked my mother about plastic surgery and she said she wouldn't want to undergo any of it, and that was how I thought I should feel, so I didn't bring the topic up again for a while. When I was around 14-15 I felt very insecure about my appearance, and very much wanted to have eyes like other people, because what you hear a lot is "when I first meet a person, I look at their eyes".

I found out about eyelid tape and eyelid glue when I was 15, and tried them out, but they're very fiddly and most of the time the resulting look makes it very obvious that a person is using tape / glue, so at that time I much preferred having monolids than unnatural double eyelids.

At the end of 10th grade (I was still 15) I asked my mother specifically about double eyelid surgery, and surprisingly she agreed that I could undergo the procedure if I wished. I was still unsure about how I would go about doing so and also how people would react, so I did some research on the internet. Whilst researching, I came across one of Xiaxue's videos about her plastic surgery, and the way she explained it, it seemed logical that I should be undergoing this procedure because I myself wanted it, and thought it would make me more beautiful. A discussion at school in Theory of Knowledge also made me think of this not as plastic surgery, but cosmetic surgery. I think there is a difference in that, as I am just trying to improve my appearance and self appeal.

I went overseas at the end of 10th grade and was contemplating getting the surgery at that time, but decided to only have the procedure done after I graduated from high school. I waited partly because I was scared of how everyone would view me after having looked one way for a number of years and suddenly changing, and I was also afraid of the healing time and actual procedure itself.

Over the next two years I would at times decide not to go through, or that I was definitely going to get double eyelids.. and in the end when I graduated and went overseas again, I went to a consultation at a public hospital. I chose to get the procedure done at a public hospital because although it is public, the cosmetic department is actually private. Since it is hosted at a public hospital though, many people use that cosmetic department, so I was sure the doctors would be experienced and any problems would have been rooted out before long.

The doctor who consulted me said that I had very fatty eyelids and that he would extract some fat during the surgery, my eyes would look much nicer just without the fat and would be even better if I got double eyelids. He said all of this in a very casual tone, which made me feel like this was normal and that many people had this procedure done. After the consultation I talked with my cousins, and they all knew friends who had gotten the procedure done before, and this assured me more.

The surgery went well, although I wish that in the consultation the doctor described the procedure in more detail, so I would know what to expect rather than speculate and make myself anxious.

It was advised that I didn't lower my head for the first week after surgery and before my stitches were taken off, otherwise I might "look like a panda". I followed the advice and used the prescribed antibacterial ointment religiously, along with an ice pack for the first week. By minimal lowering my head, I experienced no bruising, just a slight yellowing around the eye area which I'm not sure what to attribute to.

The swelling lasted around a month and a half for me, and my right eye was puffy up until around the end of the 2nd month. This meant that although fatty tissue was taken out during the procedure, there seemed to be no difference at first (but I can see the difference now). The scars from the stitches faded away by the 3rd month, but I still have a small stitch left outside on my left eyelid which I'm not too sure what to do about.

It's now been around 3 months since the surgery and I am very happy with the results, although as I said there's that small stitch on my left eye, but it doesn't affect how my eyelids sit. My friends were very accepting and most of them realised that something about me had changed, although many of them couldn't pin point it.

- a very safe procedure to do if your doctor is qualified
- minimal pain
- quick procedure, only 60 - 90 minutes long
- still able to participate in activities

- may not be able to go outside for the first week if you have stitches on your lids, or if you need to use an ice pack
- have to be careful not to lower head in the first week (may cause bruising)
- swelling and redness around eye area takes up to 2 months to reduce

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