Medical Minute: What is a Laser Eyelift?

February 12, 2018

Today we’re going to talk about how we can use lasers to help improve the appearance of the eyelids. Our eyes are one of the most important focal points of our face, but with age they can become heavy and puffy, making us appear tired, sick, and less vibrant. Happily, eyelid surgery can address this problem.

Eyelid surgery involves uncovering the natural contours of the upper and lower lids by sculpting or re-draping away extra skin and fat. This leaves eyelids looking refreshed and healthy. Eyelid surgery can be performed with a blade, a cutting cautery device, or a CO2 laser. My preference is to use a CO2 laser because it allows for more precise incisions, better control of bleeding and bruising, and less pain. In eyelid surgery, bleeding can cause complications, so using a CO2 laser provides for a safer surgery.

The other application in which lasers are helpful in eyelid surgery involves improving loose skin and wrinkles in the lower eyelids and improving festoons and malar mounds. Most surgeons will re-drape loose skin to make it appear tighter, but in my opinion that only results in stretched, damaged skin. I prefer to use a laser to remove past sun damage, then allow the skin to grow back looking younger, healthier and more attractive. To explain this, I generally compare the technique to what would happen with a piece of wool: if you pull on wool very tightly, it doesn’t turn to silk, but, when I use my lasers to improve skin, I essentially change wool to silk. This is why I prefer using lasers to perform eyelifts.