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When you Google, “What is Blepharoplasty?”, the first result from MayoClinic reads, “Blepharoplasty (BLEF-uh-roe-plas-tee) is a type of surgery that repairs droopy eyelids and may involve removing excess skin, muscle, and fat. As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken.”  

In other words, a blepharoplasty procedure fixes eye bags — both on the upper and lower lids. There are two ways to fix droopy eyelids: through CO2 laser treatments or the traditional “cold steel” surgery. Both procedures have their advantages and disadvantages, so how can you know which is suitable for your needs? Read below to find out.


What Is Traditional Blepharoplasty?

Traditional blepharoplasty — also known as “cold steel” blepharoplasty has been practiced for decades. As people age, their eyelids become fattier, causing them to droop. Sometimes, this drooping is so excessive that it can impair vision, particularly at the peripherals. Aside from the visual challenges droopy eyelids can pose, most people don’t appreciate the “perpetually tired” look and prefer a younger, more awake one. Hence, the creation of blepharoplasty surgery.

Traditional blepharoplasty removes eyelid fat by cutting along the eyelid fold, removing excess skin, muscle, and fat, then closing the cut again. On the lower lid, the surgeon cuts below the eye’s crease (along the lashes) and either removes or redistributes the fat, muscle, and extra skin before once again closing the cut. Since it is a surgical procedure, there is quite a bit of downtime to allow the eyes to heal. However, once the eyes have healed, patients are thrilled with their younger, alert look and the broader field of vision.


What Is CO2 Laser Blepharoplasty?

Laser skin treatments have been increasing in popularity over the past years, and for a good reason. As a great alternative to traditional surgery, laser treatments provide similar results without requiring the patient to go “under the knife.” Therefore, many patients turn to CO2 laser treatments for their facial skincare and contouring goals with minimal discomfort and less downtime.

Unlike a “cold steel” blepharoplasty, a CO2 laser procedure is non-invasive. There is no surgery taking place, only a laser treatment. CO2 laser treats the skin by removing/ablating damaged skin and stimulating new collagen production as heat energy is delivered. By only disrupting the top layer of skin, the CO2 laser keeps the lower layers of skin safe. A laser blepharoplasty allows the surgeon to make accurate, precise incisions and determine the amount of tissue that needs removal during treatment. Since there is minimal risk of hyperpigmentation, demarcation, or induced infection, it’s one of the most advanced treatments on the market. Laser blepharoplasty treatments are effective, have minimal downtime, and provide patients with results that leave them wide-eyed and satisfied. 


Are They The Same?

Yes and no. Both “cold steel” blepharoplasties and CO2 laser blepharoplasties deliver the same results, meaning both can successfully fix saggy eyelids. Even as early as 1993, research centers reported how amazing it was that CO2 and “cold steel” blepharoplasties delivered near-same results despite using very different techniques. So in a sense, they are the same in the results they deliver. But in another sense, they are incredibly different: one is surgical, the other is laser-based.


What Other Differences Are There?

Nowadays, most people opt for the CO2 laser blepharoplasty for six reasons:

  1. Shorter treatment period
  2. No bleeding/surgical qualities
  3. Better precision
  4. Less bruising and swelling
  5. Minimal pain/discomfort
  6. Shorter recovery period

On the other hand, CO2 laser blepharoplasty tends to run more expensive than “cold steel” surgery, so some patients prefer the less expensive option despite being surgical and having a more extended and more intense recovery period. In other instances, depending on how intense the eye droop is, surgery may be the best option for very drastic changes. Ultimately, the best way to decide what type of blepharoplasty is best for you is to schedule a free consultation with us at the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery. We would love to create a personalized treatment plan customized to address your goals, wants, and desires. This includes weighing the pros and cons of both blepharoplasties for your preferences, skin type, eye bag condition, and more! We want to deliver the best results for you. Contact our office today!

Beautify your eyelids and glow with confidence

Book A Complimentary Consultation

We can’t wait to talk about blepharoplasty options with you! We here at VIPs prioritize patient experience and results, so we want to help you find the right treatment. We also offer one-time payments or payment plans to help make things as convenient and hassle-free as possible. Book a complimentary consultation with Dr. William J. Vinyard, MD, FACS to discuss more of what we can do for you!

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