The short pulse carbon dioxide laser versus the colorado needle tip with electrocautery for upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty

Cameron K. Rokhsar, David H. Ciocon, Susan Detweiler, Richard E. Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Background/Objective: Various techniques for blepharoplasty have been described, including those performed with the assistance of the short pulse carbon dioxide laser and those performed with the assistance of the Colorado microdissection needle attached to an electrocautery unit. Although the superiority of the carbon dioxide laser to cold steel has been demonstrated for the performance of eyelid blepharoplasty, no studies have ever compared the carbon dioxide laser to the Colorado needle. Study Design/Materials and Methods: This is a paired comparison study in which 12 healthy patients underwent bilateral blepharoplasty of their upper and/or lower eyelids by a single surgeon. For each patient, a short pulse carbon dioxide laser was used on one side, and a Colorado needle attached to an electrocautery unit was used on the other. Intraoperative times were recorded. At five post-operative visits patients were evaluated for post-operative healing parameters including edema, erythema, scar width, and bruising. Finally, excised tissue was assessed histologically for thermal damage. Results: Comparing both techniques, no difference in patient or physician-measured parameters of healing were noted up to 1 month post-operatively. However, Colorado needle assisted blepharoplasty resulted in slightly shorter intraoperative times. It also resulted in less thermal damage on a histologic level, although these differences were not clinically significant. Conclusions: For the performance of blepharoplasty, the Colorado needle tip with electrocautery offers benefits equivalent to those of the short pulsed CO2 laser but has the advantage of shorter intraoperative times and lower cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008



  • Blepharoplasty
  • Carbon dioxide laser
  • Colorado microdissection needle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

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