As we age, our eyelids stretch and excess fat can gather below and above the eyelids. Upper blepharoplasty is an eyelid lift procedure that seeks the cosmetic improvement of the upper eyelid. It allows for removing excess fat and skin, which ultimately gives a rejuvenated and well-rested look. Most patients do it for cosmetic reasons.
In addition, loose skin can cause loss of peripheral vision and a feeling of heaviness; and with surgery, immediate improvement is also achieved in that aspect. Now, there are different techniques to go by, which often confuses patients. What is the difference between laser eyelid surgery and traditional blepharoplasty? We get asked that question a lot in our office and it’s time we made it clear in a post. Keep reading to find out the answer.
Laser blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that uses the CO2 laser or the Erbium YAG laser to remove extra fat and skin from the upper eyelid. Little to no risk is involved. The goal is to open up the eyes and get rid of sagging that may interfere with vision. Thanks to laser heat, more precision can be achieved.
So, what is the difference between laser blepharoplasty and traditional blepharoplasty? Both plastic surgery treatments remove excess skin and fat but they employ different methods. With traditional eyelid surgery, the surgeon uses a scalpel to make a small incision into the upper eyelid. Since there is no cauterisation, bleeding is not that easy to control.
With that said, blepharoplasty surgery may be performed on the lower eyelids too. As it eliminates excess fats, it works great for lower eyelids bags (eye bags) which is why it's commonly used in eye bag removal in Singapore. Less swelling occurs with a smaller incision.
Unlike the traditional method, laser blepharoplasty is known to cause less discomfort, bruising, and swelling around the lower and upper eyelids. No stitches are involved, which means there is no visible scarring on the delicate eyelid skin.
Generally speaking, the treatment takes less time to complete than traditional surgery. The technique allows plastic surgeons to be more precise during the process. Because of that, the risk of bleeding is kept to a minimum and the recovery is much faster.
When it comes to healing, there is also less wound contraction. The desired results are noticeable right away but you should wait for the swelling on the upper or lower lids to go away so you can experience the full results.
Blepharoplasty eyelid lift is carried out in an outpatient setting. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and is done under local or general anaesthesia. Protective eyewear is necessary.
A trained surgeon places a metal plate near the eyeball and proceeds to cut into the skin with a laser device. The difference between an incision made with a scalpel versus a laser is that as the laser hits the skin, it burns, or cauterises, the blood vessels, which prevents further bleeding.
As a result of this, the whole treatment is much faster and there is a reduced risk of visible scarring. This also speeds up healing. Once the precise incisions are made, the cosmetic surgeon removes or repositions excess skin and possibly fat. Then, they close the incisions with tissue glue.
The recovery period of laser blepharoplasty is a relatively short one. Right after the eyelid lift procedure, you will spend some time in the recovery room where medical personnel will monitor you to avoid complications. There is no need to worry. You will be discharged on the same day so that you can continue recuperating at home.
After the treatment, the area will be slightly swollen and bruised but this will resolve on its own as time goes by. To minimise the swelling, patients can apply cold compresses to the treatment area. They should sleep with their head raised higher than the rest of their body for a few days. Avoid heavy lifting.
Since there is no stitching involved, there will be no visible scars. You will be required to take some time off from work. Normal activities can be resumed after 7-10 days.
The cost of laser blepharoplasty varies from area to area and can be influenced by many other factors such as a doctor’s medical training and experience, clinical fees, the severity of the problem, and any medication that may be needed.
Generally speaking, you may have to pay up to S$5,000 for a blepharoplasty procedure in Singapore. Because every clinic has its own price list, you should talk to our plastic surgeon about the cost of the treatment beforehand.
If laser blepharoplasty doesn't go as planned, different problems may occur. To save yourself from these complications, choose an experienced surgeon.
You need to be a healthy individual to qualify for laser blepharoplasty. This is a cosmetic procedure, which means it’s not medically necessary, so only certain people will be fit for it.
If you have been previously diagnosed with any medical condition that may put your life at risk during the plastic surgery treatment, you will not make a good candidate for laser blepharoplasty, be it on the upper or lower eyelid. The same goes for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
All in all, you will not be the one deciding on eligibility. It is the plastic surgeon who evaluates a patient’s medical history and makes that call. They are also responsible for creating a personalized treatment plan. It will take your needs and wants into account, whether you want to remove eye bags or lift your eyelids with the help of laser blepharoplasty or other types of plastic surgery.
Both traditional and laser blepharoplasty have their uses. One is not better than the other. It is a matter of eligibility and unique needs. The key to success in an upper blepharoplasty procedure is analysing each patient and selecting the appropriate technique for each one. The goal is to rejuvenate the skin while preserving one's own features; that is, make one look like their photos from years ago.
An overly aggressive plastic surgery on the skin, muscle and fat of the upper eyelid might lead to sunken eyes, a sad look and, in worst-case scenarios, difficulty closing the eyes. That’s why finding yourself a well-trained surgeon in facial and reconstructive surgery is of utmost importance. This goes for any cosmetic or plastic surgery you undergo, not just laser blepharoplasty.
Read more about incisional vs non-incisional blepharoplasty here.