In terms of your face, your eyes are your most important asset. When your eyes look bright and youthful, so do you. When your eyes look “tired”, you do as well.
As we age, the eyelids can also develop signs of ageing such as:
These changes most commonly appear from the mid-30’s onwards but they can appear much earlier, even in the mid-20’s. They also tend to run in families with similar appearances often found in siblings and in one or both parents.
Removal of these changes to create a more youthful look is known as Blepharoplasty and it can dramatically improve the appearance of one’s eyes and face.
Firstly, it is important to realise that Blepharoplasty can be performed either by scalpel or CO2 laser and there are significant differences between the two techniques that warrant your consideration before you decide on which technique to have.
The laser technique offers distinct advantages over the scalpel technique by reason that a CO2 laser seals the tiny blood vessels as it cuts. As a result there is virtually no bleeding during the surgery. This in turn means:
Reassuringly, we have never seen any of these complications after the laser approach on the inside of the lower eyelid.
Unfortunately, because of the high cost of these lasers only a minority of surgeons have one. If you wish to avail yourself of the advantages of the laser technique, you need to locate an experienced Blepharoplasty Surgeon with a CO2 Laser.
Our Dr Mayson originally trained in Laser Blepharoplasty in the USA in 1994 and has used this technique ever since with great success and quicker recovery times for his patients. You may also take comfort in the fact that Dr Mayson has the enviable distinction of never having had a single instance of litigation in any procedure, including Blepharoplasty, over his entire career!
In 1998, Dr Mayson was invited to present before/after segments on a Laser Blepharoplasty patient on Channel Nine’s Midday Show with Kerri-Anne Kennerley.
|Laser Technique||Scalpel Technique|
|Post-Operative Bruising & Swelling||Minimal||More|
|Recovery Period||Upper lids: about 7 days
Lower lids: about 4 days
|2-3 weeks is not uncommon|
|Final Scar||Upper lids: same
Lower lids: NO external scar (unless skin is also removed)
|Upper lids: same
Lower lids: permanent external scar under the eyelashes
|Risk of Deforming the Lower Lid||Negligible||Possible|
|Risk of Blindness from Post-Operative Bleeding into the Eye Socket||Never seen by us. The laser technique is believed to significantly reduce this risk.||Reportedly 1:40,000 – 1:100,000|
The surgery is performed in the privacy of our Clinic’s Operating Theatre Clinic under a combination of Local Anaesthesia and Sedation administered by our Specialist Anaesthetist. You can go home 1-2 hours after your procedure in the company of a responsible person but you cannot go home alone. Post-operative discomfort is minimal and easily relieved with simple analgesics such as Panadol or Panadeine.
Upper Eyelids: An incision is made by laser in the natural crease of the upper lid and then all excess skin, muscle and fat are removed. The skin is then sutured with ultra-fine sutures which are removed 7 days later. The final scar of the upper eyelid incision should eventually be an inconspicuous, thin white line in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. Owing to the laser’s ability to minimise bruising and swelling, you should be able to return to work and social activities after the sutures are removed 7 days later.
Lower Eyelids: In contrast to the Trans-Cutaneous Scalpel approach through the skin, the laser incision is made on the INSIDE of the lower eyelid. This approach is known as the ‘Trans-Conjunctival’ Approach. Its advantage is that it allows immediate access to the protruding fat bag from the ‘inside’ and thereby avoids any cutting of the skin, muscle or orbital septum – the subsequent scarring of which can cause lower lid deformities. As well as virtually eliminating the risks of the lower lid deformities described above, this internal approach also avoids any external scar on the skin. No sutures are necessary with this approach as the edges of the incision approximate as soon as surgery is completed and the eyelid returns to its normal position. If you only have small or medium-sized ‘bags’ of fat, and your lower eyelid skin still has good elasticity without looseness or significant wrinkles, nothing more needs to be done.
If, however, you have:
… the skin could end up even looser after removal of the fat. Skin has an inherent ability to shrink to a new shape but the older we get, the less able is the skin to shrink. Whether your skin can do so, and to what degree, cannot be predicted and will basically depend on your skin’s elasticity at the time. Our Doctor will assess the skin’s elasticity at your initial consultation and advise whether Laser Skin Resurfacing or scalpel excision of the excess skin should be added at the same time as the Blepharoplasty to avoid the skin ending up looser. In some cases, notwithstanding the advantages of the Trans-Conjunctival Approach, the Trans-Cutaneous technique by Scalpel may be the better option.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
The main advantage is that the CO2 Laser is able to cut the skin and deeper tissues without any bleeding. This means minimal chances of bruising, less risk of post-operative bleeding, and less swelling – all of which lead to a faster recovery and quicker return to work and social activities.
With the scalpel technique, an incision is made right across the lower eyelid skin just under the eyelashes and therefore will always leave a scar. Also, this approach can sometimes cause deformities of shape and position of the lower eyelid. In contrast, the laser can make a bloodless incision on the inside of the lower lid which avoids any visible scar on the external skin. This internal approach also avoids shape deformities of the lower eyelid sometimes seen after the scalpel technique.
Laser Eyelid Surgery is performed in the privacy of our own Clinic’s Theatre under Local Anaesthesia & Light Sedation administered by our Specialist Anaesthetist. You can go home shortly after but you must have someone collect you. You cannot go home alone.
Lower lids: 3-4 days
Upper Lids: 7 days
Upper OR Lower Eyelids: Surgical Fee $3,630 + Theatre Fee $1,100, Anaesthetist $990
Total cost: $5,720