What is Epicanthoplasty
A major and recognisable feature of an average Asian person’s facial appearance, is the presentation of Mongolian fold eyelids.
The mongolian fold tends to start from the inner corner of the eyes and spans to the outer corners. This is medically referred to as an epicanthal fold.
This epicanthal fold can make the eyes look smaller, beady and sometimes tired looking. This is why a lot of men and women seek a more “westernized look”. Western features tend to have eyes that are bigger and hence look brighter. This change in the appearance of their eyes can be achieved with epicanthoplasty surgery, where the epicanthal folds are altered to enhance the appearance of the eyes.
Types of Epicanthoplasty procedures
There are mainly two procedures in epicanthoplasty. They are medial Epicanthoplasty and lateral epicanthoplasty.
This procedure widens the inner corners of the eyes. It involves the removal of the excess fold in the eyes to expose the medial portion. This is usually done for cosmetic reasons, so that the eyes can appear more open and so that slanted eyes can be evened out.
A lateral Epicanthoplasty is performed on the outer corners of the eye. It is used to correct the slant that makes the eyes look tired and drooped and also to make the eyes look longer.
Is an EPI suitable for me?
The doctor will discuss the procedure with the patient before determining if an epi is the best procedure to achieve the patient’s goals. It is essential that the surgery is carried out by a medical doctor – usually a plastic surgeon. Always choose a doctor that has years of experience in eye surgery and has done many successful cases.
Epicanthoplasty surgical methods
There are several methods in which an epicanthoplasty can be performed. They are:
Uchida Method: In this method, the least possible incisions are made so as to reduce the likelihood of creating scars.
Hiraga Method: In the Hiraga method, the incision line is well hidden. The eye muscles and the fibrous film that actually cause the epicanthal folds are also separated.
Skin redraping method: This procedure involves hiding the incision well by keeping apart and suturing the fibrous film and eye muscles that causes the Mongolian fold.
Restoring the Mongolian fold: In instances where excessive epicanthoplasty is carried out, specialists can partially recreate the Mongolian fold to maintain balance in the eyes.
Who is a suitable Candidate for Epicanthoplasty?
Mongolian folds tends to be a dominant feature for Asian people. Hence Epicanthoplasty surgery is mostly performed on Asians, especially women.
Epi surgeries are usually done in conjunction with double eyelid surgery where a crease or double eyelid profile is created for the patient.
It is a traditional conception of beauty in Asia that an almond eye is a factor that defines beauty. As such, almost all doctors will not perform a full Epicanthoplasty as this will completely alter the shape of the eye. So, a small part of the epicanthal fold will be left to keep the almond shape in place but at the same time, making the eye appear bigger and brighter.
HOW ARE EPICANTHOPLATIES PERFORMED?
These days Epicanthoplasty surgeries are done at clinics and day surgeries. There is no need for overnight stay and the patient can return home the same day. In fact, the surgery takes less than an hour.
It is important that the patient is under local anesthesia. The procedure involves the doctor making many incisions around the corner of the eyes so that tiny flaps can be created which will allow the restructuring of the inner eyelid and the removal of excess skin.
Will there be scars?
Some medical doctors have over time developed ways that they can make incisions inside the eyelids. This lets them carry out epicanthoplasty without creating visible scars after the surgery.
What is the expected recovery time?
The average time for recovery after surgery is two weeks. After this period of swelling and bruises, the eyes return back to their normal state.
Patients are often advised, during this period to avoid any strenuous activities and used prescribed pain relief medicines in the period of their recovery. After one week, the sutures that were used to seal up the incisions may be taken off.
Should I avoid makeup after surgery?
Most doctors will advice you to lay off makeup for at least 2 weeks. This is because your wounds are still open and makeup can cause infection which would prolong your recover. After the wound heals, patients can begin to wear makeup.
An epicantoplasty combined with double eyelid surgery can do wonders for your appearance. The change would be highly noticeable and permanent, hence be sure that you choose a very good plastic surgeon to perform this surgery. Minute differences are amplified as the eyes are a large focus of the face, affecting its symmetry in a big way.
Ask for before after photos and check around on the plastic surgeon‘s skill in performing double eyelid surgeries. Afterall, the eyes are the windows to the soul, its best to treat this delicate part of the face preciously.