Have you heard of the Mongolian fold? The Mongolian fold - also called epicanthal fold and epicanthus - covers the inner corner of the eyelids, a feature commonly seen in Asian eyes. One of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in Asia and across the world is a procedure used to make the eyes look bigger and wider - epicanthoplasty.
Singapore is no exception in the popularity of the epicanthoplasty method. It is becoming increasingly more popular among people. So much so that there are a lot of cosmetic products and eye makeup techniques used to imitate the effect of an epicanthoplasty or double eyelid surgery.
In this article, we’re going to talk in much detail about epicanthoplasty in Singapore - what it is, what you can expect during the procedure, what’s the difference between that and double eyelid surgery, as well as costs you can expect in Singapore.
What is Epicanthoplasty?
Before we explain everything about the surgery in detail, it's a good idea to talk more about the eyes and why some people would like to make them look bigger.
- The canthus: this is the corner of the eyes where the upper eyelid meets the lower eyelid. The inner eye corner is called the medial canthus. The outer corner of the eyes is called the lateral canthus.
- The epicanthal fold (or epicanthic fold): This is a trait commonly seen in people of East Asian descent. It's the fold on the upper eyelid that covers the medial canthus.
So what exactly is epicanthoplasty?
This is a plastic surgery procedure performed to create wider and bigger eyes. It’s a method that releases the Mongolian fold eye shape (also called the epicanthus or epicanthic folds) - and ultimately widens the inner corner of the eye. A lot of people prefer to get an epicanthoplasty because the Mongolian fold can create the illusion that the eyes are spaced too widely.
With the surgery, the distance between the eyes will be corrected. For the most part, the procedure is performed while the patient is receiving a double eyelid surgery (a procedure that creates double eyelids in people with monolids).
It’s a permanent way to achieve the look patients want. There are several methods to the surgery and several sub-types of epicanthoplasty. Surgeons may opt for the so-called medial and lateral epicanthoplasty depending on the goals the patients have.
Benefits of Epicanthoplasty Procedure
- Corrects very pronounced Mongolian fold
- Minimises impression of slanted eyes
- Lowers inter-canthal distance
- Improves a tired appearance
- Balances the face
- Lengthens the appearance of the eyes and enhances eye shapes
- Makes the inner eyelid look more open
- Gives patients more self-confidence
Epicanthoplasty Cost You Can Expect in Singapore
The epicanthoplasty surgery cost in Singapore may go from $850 to $2,000 for the procedure alone.
There are several deciding factors when it comes to the final cost of lateral and medial epicanthoplasty procedures in Singapore. First, the most important thing is whether you’ll be receiving it alongside a double eyelid surgery. If you do, the cost is likely to increase and be more expensive.
The other important factors to the price of the surgery are the doctor’s expertise, local anaesthesia, whether you get other medications and the fee of the facility.
Ultimately, the bill will depend on your personalized treatment plan. Once the latter is ready, you’ll also receive a pricing breakdown for the surgery.
What Happens During an Epicanthoplasty Plastic Surgery?
Before the epicanthoplasty procedure itself, you and your plastic surgeon will have a consultation in which your epicanthal or Mongolian fold will be assessed - they will calculate its width and decide how to make an incision. The doctor will make marks with a pen on the incision line.
During plastic surgery, you can be under local anaesthesia or the so-called twilight anaesthesia. This means that throughout the whole procedure, you won’t be able to feel a thing due to the numbing agents in your system but will still be able to talk to the surgeon. They will remove excess skin and fat, and after the procedure is over, they will close the area with sutures.
The eye surgery will take around 30 minutes and you won’t have to stay in the hospital after. You’ll only need around 2 hours for your eyes to relax slightly before going home. Depending on your speed of recovery, you will have the stitches removed in 5-9 days.
What’s the Epicanthoplasty Recovery and Healing Process like?
It will take roughly 14 days to recuperate from the surgery and go back to daily activities. For a full recovery, a few weeks can go by until everything settles. After the procedure, you’ll have follow-up consultations to make sure your healing is going well.
The recovery time may look different for each individual patient. While after an epicanthoplasty surgery, most patients can jump back into work and their daily life within two weeks, for some it may take longer. You will be able to wear makeup within a few days.
The best thing you can do for a fast return to complete health is to follow your doctor's instructions. They will likely tell you to apply cold compress on your eyes to reduce swelling and avoid sun exposure. In addition, you should wear large sunglasses whenever you have to be out and about during those first weeks post-op.
During the recovery time, you may feel some pain, but your surgeon will prescribe you mild pain medication for it. The remaining swelling will resolve on its own after a while.
Side Effects from Epicanthoplasty Surgery
While this is a very safe surgery with a high success rate, just like any other plastic surgery there are some possible side effects that can occur. They correspond to the ones that can occur during any other surgery, such as infection and irritation. This is a rare occurrence, however.
Other side effects that may occur are:
- Scars: scar lines in the eyelid skin may be noticeable for months following the surgery
- Uneven, far from ideal, results
- Anything but natural-looking eyes
There will also be side effects following local anaesthesia, like soreness, bruising, and even bleeding where the injection was administered.
Note: the above problems can be minimized if you let an experienced professional tackle your case.
What is Medial and Lateral Epicanthoplasty?
As we’ve mentioned previously there are two subtypes of epicanthoplasty - medial and lateral.
With the medial epicanthoplasty method, the surgeon makes a mould on your natural Mongolian folds. He will make sutures at the inner corner of the eye. This reduces the risk of scars and creates a more natural look. This, too, is often carried out while the patient is getting double eyelid surgery. The surgeon will remove the stitches around a week after the surgery.
With the lateral epicanthoplasty, the surgeon will make very small incisions at the outer corner of the eye and soft tissues. Surgical methods like this one are suitable for patients that complain about droopy eyelids. The technique achieves a wider look. It can also be done during double eyelid surgery. The plastic surgeons will remove the stitches in 5-7 days following the surgery.
No matter which path you take, the medical team will come up with a personalized surgical plan for you that outlines your particular needs.
Does Epicanthoplasty Leave Any Scarring in the Inner Corner of the Eye?
Epicanthoplasty can leave a scar in the treated area but oftentimes it is barely visible. Plus, it can be hidden by makeup. The size of the scar will depend on the technique used and the surgeon’s training and qualifications. To avoid ruining the inner aspect of your eyes, make sure to pick a certified specialist for the job.
Ideal Candidates for Epicanthoplasty Procedure
Ideally, you want someone who has good health and is a non-smoker so that the healing process is not hampered in any way. If they do like the occasional cigarette, they will have to discontinue smoking for a good while so they can have the treatment.
If you wear contact lenses, you will need to remove them on the day of surgery.
The specialists will review your medical history. If you have a condition that hinders your body's ability to heal, you may not be eligible for the procedure. Any severe illness will be a problem that needs further assessment.
Aside from the medical details, epicanthoplasty is suitable for people who don’t seem to be content with their eye shape and would rather pursue a different look. In most cases, patients are after a more wide-eyed appearance.
What’s the difference between Epicanthoplasty and Double Eyelid Surgery?
While the two surgeries may sound similar, they are two separate procedures. Double eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is a plastic surgery performed to create a double eyelid. During the surgery, the plastic surgeon goes making incisions along the eyelid to create the eyelid crease.
There is also a non-incisional surgery, in which the technician opts for small sutures which will create the same effect on the upper eyelid crease. Patients return to work in one week or two. It's worth noting that double eyelid surgery can also correct ptosis and restore the previous shape of the eyes.
On the other hand, epicanthoplasty is an eye surgery performed on the Mongolian fold, also called the epicanthal fold. It affects the inner corner of the eyes. Then again, it’s also a surgery that can be paired with a double eyelid surgery so that eyes are even bigger.