Objective: To introduce the use of a CO2 laser for ablation of the orbicularis oculi muscle (OOM) in a modified Hotz procedure for correction of epiblepharon and to report its clinical outcome. Methods: A retrospective consecutive study was conducted from August 2014 to January 2018. Patients who had undergone surgical correction for epiblepharon with the modified Hotz procedure and a CO2 laser ablation of OOM were included. The procedure includes a transverse subciliary incision with removal of a very small amount of skin using CO2 laser ablation. The ablation was carried out continuously on parts of the pretarsal portion and parts of the preseptal portion of the OOM inferior to the lower edge of the incised skin. Finally, the incised skin was closed and secured to the tarsus. The patients were followed for direct inspection of the wound, the direction of the lashes, and the status of the cornea. Results: One hundred eyelids from 50 patients were enrolled. The average age was 6.4 years. The mean postoperative follow-up period was 14.3 months. In 90 eyelids (90.0%), the eyelashes were successfully outwardly everted. Undercorrections were noted in 10 eyelids (10.0%). To date, the cosmetic outcome was satisfactory in all cases without complications such as wound dehiscence, ectropion, and eyelid retraction. Conclusions: A CO2 laser is a safe and effective alternative to the scalpel in the modified Hotz procedure to correct epiblepharon. Its advantages include limited skin excision, minimal bleeding during surgery, short operation time, and a satisfactory clinical outcome.
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