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For many, anxiety over cosmetic surgery is enough to bring on a whole new batch of worry lines. The latest laser technology, the Fractional Eyelift, promises to reduce fine lines, dark circles and drooping eyebrows without the trauma of going under the surgeon’s scalpel.
Numerous patients have been seeking an effective eyelift procedure without the associated side effects and downtime. During a surgical eyelift, an incision is made in the folds of skin around the eyelids, allowing the surgeon access to the tissues below. Fat or skin may be removed to acheive the desired cosmetic result. Although usually very effective, invasive procedures can cause significant downtime along with swelling and bruising. Laser resurfacing around the eye has shown excellent results but unfortunately still has significant downtime.
The new fractional eyelift is different from standard laser resurfacing. The laser beam is broken into microscopic columns of laser light. These columns of laser light take away (or ablate) old, damaged collagen and elastic fibers so that new fresh tissue can grow into these channels. When the beams strike, they leave normal surrounding skin areas intact. As this occurs, wrinkles and pigmentation are removed, skin tightens and the eyelids are rejuvenated. Healing occurs quickly and is virtually painless.
The new fractional eyelift procedure has a good number of the benefits of a surgical eyelift without the risks and downtime. The only problem it does not address is bulging fat pads. Metal eye shields are used during the procedure so there is no risk of injury to the eyes. A numbing cream is applied to the eyelids for anesthesia. Patients can expect only mild redness and swelling for a day or so after the procedure. In most cases, three to four sessions are recommended at 2-3 week intervals.
A recent study in over 300 patients showed consistent and very impressive results.
Bruce E. Katz, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Director of the Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Clinic at Mount Sinai Medial Center, and Director of the JUVA Skin & Laser Center located at 60 East 56th Street in Manhattan.