In a world full of eyelash extensions, tints and chemical lifts, Julie Ann Woodward, M.D., says they’re not actually solving the problem of downturned eyelashes, only temporarily hiding it.
“They bend the eyelashes upwards, but they don't change the direction that the eyelashes are growing out of the eyelid margin,” she says.
Dr. Woodward, chief of oculofacial surgery at Duke Medical Center, introduced a technique at Cosmetic Surgery Forum 2019 that, she says, actually changes the position of the lashes. She calls it the Woodward Laser Lash Lift.
“We use the laser with an incisional handpiece to put a series of small point ablations above the eyelashes, usually in two rows 25 to 30 spots as the globe is protected with a Jaeger plate. And it's like magic because you can watch the eyelashes stand up as the lasers going across,” says Dr. Woodward.
The results last for many months and years, she says.
“The problem is that the eyelashes tilt down and the laser actually makes the tilt of the follicles go upwards so that you can see the bottom edge of the tarsal plate, which makes the eyes look more bright and wider.”
In a study published in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, researchers, including Dr. Woodward, examined the CO2 laser lash tilt procedure in tandem with upper eyelid blepharoplasty to assess the qualitative change in lash lift when compared to a control group of patients who received blepharoplasty alone.1
“Improvement in lash position seen in the laser lash group was significantly greater than the improvement seen in the control group (p = 0.001). There were no complications and all patients were satisfied with their results,” study authors write.
For a local TV news story, Dr. Woodward described a patient who received the Woodward Laser Lash Lift after years of using tools and devices that didn’t work.
“She had spent thousands of dollars on eyelash curlers and permanents that do not cure the etiology of the problem,” she says. After receiving the lift, her lashes look naturally curled and appear thicker and her eyes more open and awake.
Dr. Woodward is currently writing up a study that uses the lash lift without a concurrent blepharoplasty and she says, “… our results are even more dramatic than when the blepharoplasty isn’t done at the same time.”