Have you heard of the Mongolian fold? The Mongolian fold – also called epicanthal fold and epicanthus - is 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 - the epicanthoplasty. Singapore is no exception in the popularity of the epicanthoplasty method. Epicanthoplasty is becoming increasingly more popular among people. So much so that there are a lot of cosmetic products and makeup techniques used to imitate the effect of an epicanthoplasty or a double eyelid surgery.
In this article we’re going to talk in much detail about epicanthoplasty in Singapore - what is it, what can you expect during the procedure, what’s the difference with a double eyelid surgery and 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 corner of the eyes is called a medial canthus. The outer corner of the eyes is called the lateral canthus.
- The epicanthal 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 (also called the epicanthus or an epicanthal fold)- 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. A lot of the time, the procedure is done while the patient is receiving a double eyelid surgery.
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.
What happens during an epicanthoplasty?
Before the epicanthoplasty procedure itself, you and your plastic surgeon will have a consultation in which your epicanthal or Mongolian fold will be assessed – he will calculate its width and decide how to make an incision. The surgeon will make marks with a pen on the incision line.
During the plastic surgery, you can be under local anaesthesia or the so-called twilight anaesthesia. During the whole procedure, you won’t be able to feel a thing due to the anaesthesia but will be able to talk to the surgeon. He will remove excess fat and skin and after the procedure is done the surgeon will close the area with sutures.
The 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. Your surgeon will remove the stitches in 5-9 days depending on your speed of recovery.
What’s the epicanthoplasty recovery and healing process like?
It will take roughly two weeks to recover from the surgery and go back to daily activities. For a full recovery, it can take a couple of months until everything settles. After the procedure, you’ll have follow-up consultations to make sure your recovery is going okay.
The recovery period may look different for each patient. While after an epicanthoplasty surgery, most patients can go back to work and their daily life within two weeks, for some it may take longer. You will be able to wear eye makeup within a few days.
The best thing you can do for fast recovery is to follow your surgeon's instructions. They will likely tell you to apply cold compress on your eyes to reduce the swelling and avoid sun exposure. During the recovery period, you may feel some pain, but your surgeon will prescribe you mild pain medication for it.
Are there any side effects from an 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. The side effects of epicanthoplasty correspond to the ones that can occur during any other surgery – such as an infection and irritation. These are rare side effects, however.
Other side effects that may occur are:
- Scars: scar lines may be noticeable for months following the surgery
- Uneven results
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 mold 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 is often done while the patient is getting double eyelid surgery. The surgeon will remove the stitched around a week after the surgery.
With the lateral epicanthoplasty, the surgeon will make incisions on the outer corner of the eye. This is a method suitable for patients that complain about droopy eyelids. The lateral method a wider look. It can also be done during double eyelid surgery. The surgeon will remove the stitches in 5-7 days following the surgery.
What’s the difference between Epicanthoplasty and Blepharoplasty?
While the two surgeries may sound similar, they are two separate procedures. The double eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is a plastic surgery performed to create a double eyelid. During the surgery, the surgeon will make incisions along the eyelid to create the eyelid crease. There is also a non-incisional surgery, in which the surgeon opts for small sutures which will create the same effect on the upper eyelid crease.
On the other hand, epicanthoplasty is a surgery performed on the Mongolian fold, also called the epicanthal fold. It’s also a surgery that can be during a double eyelid surgery so that eyes are even bigger.
Epicanthoplasty Cost You Can Expect in Singapore
There are several deciding factors when it comes to the final cost of an epicanthoplasty procedure 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 final cost of the surgery are the doctor’s expertise, the anaesthesia, whether you get prescribed medications, and the facilities’ fee. Ultimately, the final cost will depend on your personalized treatment plan. Once your treatment plan is done, you’ll also receive the final cost for the surgery. That being said, the epicanthoplasty surgery in Singapore may go from 850$ to 2000$ for the procedure alone.