Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is an effective way to eliminate the signs of age or stress from the eyes. However, some patients may be better candidates for another type of facial plastic surgery, while others may be interested in non-surgical treatments that effectively rejuvenate the eye area. In these cases, there are several cosmetic eyelid surgery alternatives on the market that can give the face a younger and more refreshed look, including the use of injectables, laser therapy, and forehead lifting surgery. Below are some of the most common alternatives to upper and lower eyelid surgery.
Laser Eyelid Surgery
Due to the advanced technology used and the fast nature of laser blepharoplasty, the procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis. This is especially beneficial to patients, as it cuts down on the cost of eyelid surgery and allows for an immediate release.
Laser eyelid surgery typically takes anywhere between one and three hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure and the amount of work that needs to be done. Normally, laser blepharoplasty is performed on a patient under a combination of local anesthesia and a sedative. The procedure is often performed in the surgeon’s surgical suite or in a free-standing surgery center.
The distinct advantage of laser blepharoplasty over conventional blepharoplasty is that no incision using a knife or scalpel is made during the procedure. Instead, laser eyelid surgery involves the use of a laser beam (oftentimes a CO2 laser) to make a tiny, accurate incision, sometimes inside the eyelid. The advantage of utilizing a laser to create the incision is that the laser cauterizes the blood vessels as it cuts, effectively minimizing the amount of bleeding a patient may experience in the surgery. This reduces the chance of risks after eyelid surgery. The minimal amount of bleeding is also beneficial to the surgeon, as he or she is able to clearly see around the eyelid area as the surgery progresses, allowing for a safer, quicker, and more effective procedure.
Excess fat, muscle, skin, and tissue are removed through the incision as the surgeon deems necessary and safe. Once this is complete, the incision is carefully closed up with sutures.
Recovery and Results
Patients who choose to undergo laser eyelid surgery are often able to avoid scarring in the days and weeks following the surgery, while some scarring can be expected for those who opt for traditional eyelid surgery. The chances and severity of swelling, discoloration, and bruising are also reduced as a byproduct of laser blepharoplasty. The time it takes to recover fully from the procedure is much shorter than the recovery time needed for conventional eyelid surgery.
The results of laser blepharoplasty are usually long-lasting and may even be permanent for some patients. However, depending on your lifestyle, activities, and age, a touch-up procedure may be necessary at some point in the future.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view more eyelid surgery before and after photos.
Photo credit: Vincent R. DiGregorio, MD
Laser Skin Resurfacing
For a less invasive alternative to blepharoplasty, many patients turn to laser skin resurfacing. Laser skin resurfacing eliminates damaged outer skin layers and stimulates the production of collagen around the eyes. A controlled beam of laser light removes the surface skin and reveals the unblemished skin underneath, resulting in a younger, healthier appearance. The natural effects of age, sun damage, and even some skin disorders can all be treated with laser skin resurfacing. Learn more about laser skin resurfacing.
Eyes by Thermage®
Eyes by Thermage® is one of the latest cosmetic treatment breakthroughs. Using a radiofrequency tip, doctors can stimulate the growth of new collagen around the eyes and tighten up the existing skin. The procedure helps to soften crow's feet, reduce hooding of the brow, and eliminate under eye bags in a way that is completely non-invasive.
ReFirme™ is a non-surgical skin treatment that tightens and tones the skin. The procedure utilizes elÅs technology and is designed to effectively treat laxity of the jowls and neck, bags under the eyes, sagging brows, and nasolabial folds. ElÅs technology incorporates use of bi-polar radio frequency (RF) and optical energy to reduce the signs of facial aging.
One of the most commonly requested cosmetic procedures of the last decade, BOTOX® Cosmetic is a quick and effective treatment that involves virtually no recovery time. BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments usually take less than 15 minutes and are much less invasive than traditional eyelid surgery. Injections of BOTOX® Cosmetic temporarily prevent the muscles around the eyes from contracting and creating wrinkles in the skin. The results of the procedures can last for up to four months.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is just one of many injectable cosmetic treatments available. Dermal fillers such as Restylane® and Radiesse can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and fill in under eye areas that look gaunt and hollowed out.
Brow Lift Surgery
Many patients request eyelid surgery when a traditional brow lift may be a better alternative. This is particularly true of male patients. Sometimes referred to as a forehead or eyebrow lift, brow lift surgery is one of the least painful and least complex cosmetic surgery procedures. Like blepharoplasty, brow lift can raise drooping upper eyelids; however, the procedure also raises sagging eyebrows and minimizes the appearance of frown and forehead lines.
Consult a Facial Plastic Surgeon in Your Area
While laser blepharoplasty can be a greatly beneficial procedure, the choice to undergo any type of surgery is a significant one and should be made with care and education. You can use DocShop's online directory to find a facial plastic surgeon in your area. By doing so, you can have your questions and concerns addressed before making a decision about laser eyelid surgery.