Sunday, May 11, 2008

New Slant on Asian Eyelid Surgery Debate

Asian Eyelid surgery is the most popular and fastest-growing cosmetic surgery in northeast Asia — and among Asian-Americans. The surgery adds a crease and makes the eyes look bigger by slicing the eyelid open and fusing the muscle with the skin.

But the procedure has been sensationalized in the media. For example, a Dr. Phil's episode, "Change My Face, Change My Race," claims that Asians are trying to “erase” their ethnic identity.

Almost half of all northeast Asians are born with an eyelid fold, which has long been considered more beautiful in Asia, according to Dr. Edward Kwak, a plastic surgeon.

Doctors and patients say they’re simply improving physical appearances, and that many Americans don’t understand a surgery that is commonplace among young women in South Korea and growing in China and Japan. If done well, meaning that the eye looks proportional to the patient’s face, the surgery is no more extreme than nose jobs or breast implants, some said.

"Asian Eyelid Surgery Sparks Debate" by Karen Zraick is a multimedia story that appears in the Image issue of The story also goes into the operating room to document the 30-minute procedure with Dr. Edmund Kwan, who has offices in Manhattan and Flushing. (Warning: Graphic content)

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