The Asian eyelid is very different from that of Caucasians both in anatomy and in aesthetic appearance. For the upper eyelid the ‘double eyelid’ blepharoplasty procedure is well known to create a crease which does not naturally exist. But for the lower eyelid aesthetic enhancements are less well known or requested.
One newer lower blepharoplasty aesthetic enhancement procedure is that known as Asian Love Band surgery. In this procedure a fullness is added to the lower eyelid just below the lashes. This is intended to enhance the underlying orbicularis muscle which in youth is fuller and more developed. (orbicularis roll) With aging the orbicularis muscle stretched and thins losing its fullness. To illustrate cultural differences in facial aesthetics, an orbicularis roll in Caucasians would be considered undesireable and often requested to be removed. The Love Band operation is also perceived to make the eye look larger and more open, an optical illusion created by dividing the lower eyelid into two visible parts which is similar to what “double eyelid” surgery does for the upper eyelids.
The Love Band lower eyelid surgery is done by placing small strips of grafts or implants under the skin through two small incisions at the inner and outer edges of the lid just below the lash line. Traditional materials used include allogeneic dermis (Alloderm) or Gore-Tex. The procedure can also be done non-surgically (albeit temporarily) by using hyaluronic-based injectable fillers.
The surgical technique that I have developed for Asian Love Band surgery uses temporalis fascia. This is a natural material that is harvested from small incisions in the temporal area. (although Alloderm can also be used) A small fat injection cannula is passed from one side of the eyelid to the other. The strips of temporalis fascia have a suture pass through them of which the ends are passed into the length of the cannula. The cannula is then removed leaving the suture on the other side of the eyelid. The suture is then used to pull the fascial graft through the lower eyelid tunnel, trimmed and closed with a tiny dissolveable suture.
The Asian Love Band procedure requires a method to pass a graft or implant right under the lash line through the tiniest of incisions. This cannula passing method provides a simple and effective method to do so.
Dr. Barry Eppley