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Highlands, NC 28741

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Blepharoplasty: An Eye-Opening Experience

Blepharoplasty: An Eye-Opening Experience

It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Research suggests that when we look at people’s faces, it is their eyes that we notice first. This could be because we “read” the eyes to discern others’ character and mood. It is also our eyes that others first see. We are quick to notice the signs of aging in this area of the face. Concerns such as under-eye depressions, dark circles, and hooded upper eyelids are hard to miss. They are not hard to fix, though. Patients of Dr. Buchanan can experience eye-opening benefits with blepharoplasty eyelid rejuvenation surgery.

What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is the term used to describe the surgical reconstruction or remodeling of either the upper or lower eyelids or both. Most blepharoplasty procedures are performed to improve the appearance of the area. However, they can sometimes be medically necessary. For example, some people need upper blepharoplasty to remove excess skin or to shorten the muscle that elevates the lid when either causes obstruction of their vision. The upper blepharoplasty procedure is done through small incisions along the natural crease of the eyelid. Excess skin and, occasionally, fat are trimmed. The muscle can also be shortened, the brow tacked up, or the muscles between the eyebrows removed through the same incision. We do the procedure in the office in about 1.5 to 2 hours, after which you go home to recover. Lower blepharoplasty takes a little longer through incisions hidden just below the eyelid margin. Patients are comfortable throughout their procedure with light anxiolysis if needed and a local anesthetic that numbs the area.

Post Blepharoplasty Care

After blepharoplasty, patients can usually control discomfort using an over-the-counter medication like Tylenol. However, a mild prescription pain reliever can be ordered if necessary. The first follow-up visit is usually at 3 to 5 days after the procedure. At this visit, small external stitches are removed. By this visit, much of the swelling that had occurred after surgery is resolving. Bruising may disappear more gradually but can usually be disguised with makeup. We usually also give medication to start before the blepharoplasty to help reduce bruising and hasten its absorption.

There are several reasons why blepharoplasty is one of the leading plastic surgery procedures performed today. Dr. Buchanan provides this service in the comfort of our Highlands, NC office, where patients are in experienced hands for an eye-opening process of facial rejuvenation.

Would you like to look more refreshed? Contact us at (828) 526-3783 to schedule your blepharoplasty consultation.

How Blepharoplasty and Brow Lift Surgeries Differ

Eye vs Eyebrow LiftMost people realize that their skin will change as they get older. What comes as a surprise are what causes some of these changes and the underlying and surrounding structures’ contributions to them. These are caused by stretch of the skin and underlying support and descent caused by gravity. They can cause drooping and fullness of the upper eyelid in several ways.

Heavy and droopy upper eyelids are frustrating. Many people visit their plastic surgeon to explore how they can correct this sign of aging. The common options are to lift the upper eyelids directly using the blepharoplasty technique or to lift the upper eyelids indirectly using the brow lift technique. Because each technique can improve the appearance of the eyes, they may be confused as being the same thing. They’re not and, in fact, both may be required to achieve your desired improvement. Here, we discuss how blepharoplasty and brow lift surgery are different.

Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid rejuvenation with blepharoplasty addresses the upper eyelid that has become droopy with sagging skin, excess fat, and/or loose muscle. Often, all three are part of the problem. To improve the appearance of the eyes, blepharoplasty removes excess skin to restore the visibility of the natural crease and smooth roll around the orbital bone. When necessary, excess muscle is also trimmed. On rare occasions, excess fat is removed, usually from medially. This is because that, in the past, fat removal has resulted in greater cosmetic problem than before surgery, usually several years after the surgery. Experienced surgeons, therefore, rarely ever remove any fat.

Brow Lift

The brow lift technique is also called a forehead lift. Dr. Buchanan performs this procedure through small, hidden incisions. Beneath the skin, the muscle and skin of the eyebrows are lifted and secured in a position that stabilizes the eyebrows above the upper orbital rim. If all the tissue excess in the upper eyelid area is from the brow, this is all that is required.

Understanding the Differences and How They Apply to You

We could use the analogy of drooping eyelids being like a pair of pants whose legs pool on the floor. The pants may droop because they are too long, or they may droop because their belt does not hold them up at the waist or both. Eyelids that are too long due to excess skin and muscle laxity can be refreshed with blepharoplasty. Eyelids that are not being held well by the tissue and muscles of the forehead require a brow lift for correction. In some cases, a combination of the two is the ideal approach.

Both blepharoplasty and brow lift surgery may be performed without general anesthesia in the office. The use of minimally-invasive techniques also reduces downtime and speeds recovery. To learn more about these procedures, call (828) 526-3783 and schedule a consultation in our Highlands, NC office.

Are You a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid Surgery Highlands, NCIf your upper eyelids have become heavy and saggy or your undereye area has developed bags or dark circles, you may have tried more creams and serums than you care to admit. The fact that the skin around the eyes is thinner than most other areas of the body means that it is the first to show the signs of aging. Although the skin on the face and body does benefit from the use of quality products and ingredients, they cannot correct all the signs of aging, especially where there is excess or stretched skin. In those cases, surgery is the ideal approach.

If you’ve considered the idea of having eyelid surgery, you may be wondering if you are a good candidate for this procedure. This is an excellent question to discuss with Dr. Buchanan. Here, we offer some tips for determining if eyelid surgery is right for you.

How are your upper eyelids?

The upper eyelid skin loses collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep tissue firm and stretchy. The lid area also loses fat, which creates room beneath the skin making it seem looser. In combination, these losses contribute to sagging and upper eyelid hooding. Heavy, saggy upper eyelids can make the eyes look tired and unfriendly. Occasionally, with time, the muscle that holds the lid open also stretches, lowering the lid. In severe cases, excess skin or lowered lid can obscure vision.

Upper blepharoplasty is the eyelid surgery performed to correct these problems. The outpatient procedure is performed in the office using a local anesthetic and, if desired, a mild sedative. To smooth the eyelids, Dr. Buchanan makes an incision in the natural crease of each eyelid. Underlying muscle is tightened and trimmed using small instruments. Excess fat is removed as needed to make the eyelid look more youthful. Finally, the right amount of skin is trimmed to recreate a smooth appearance. If necessary, the muscle elevator of the lid is shortened to elevate the lid to give you a more wide awake look.

How is your forehead?

Why would you pay attention to your forehead when it is your eye area that is exhibiting the signs of aging? Because the forehead can contribute to tired-looking eyes. Sometimes, the forehead muscles and tissue lose resiliency and cause the eyebrows to drop lower than their normal position. This drop in itself can cause the upper eyelids to look bulky by pushing extra tissue into the  lids. When this happens, a brow lift is added  to the blepharoplasty to return the brow to its normal position. On rare occasions, elevating the brow is all that is needed to rejuvenate the eyes.

How is your undereye area?

The skin under the eyes is as delicate as that on the upper eyelids. Its thinning and loss of under eye fat can lead to dark circles or hollowing. This produces bags and puffiness. If the skin is only mildly stretched, a filler below the orbital ligament can return the tissues to a normal appearance. If the skin is too stretched, however, Dr. Buchanan can reverse these age-related changes with lower blepharoplasty. Using the same techniques common for the upper eyelids, lower blepharoplasty smooths the undereye area to look rejuvenated for many years.

Eyelid surgery can bring your face back to life. To learn more, call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

Fillers or Blepharoplasty: What is the Best Option for You?

Blepharoplasty Highlands, NCThe eye area is a point of concern for many adults. Several different problems under the eyes can cause frustrating problems, such as puffy bags, lines or dark circles. These can be caused by the stretching of the eyelid skin, descent of the tissues or loss of supporting tissues. You may have heard of filler treatment for under-eye problems like these and that there is a surgical procedure, lower blepharoplasty, that can improve the appearance of the under-eye. Both provide an excellent opportunity for a younger, fresher looking face, but it is likely that one is a better option for you based on your desired outcome, what caused the problem and your preferences. Here, we discuss details of blepharoplasty and fillers to set you on your best path.

Procedural Similarities and Differences

Blepharoplasty is an eyelid surgery that is performed as an outpatient procedure. It is best for those who have too much skin in the under-eye. In most cases, unless cheek elevation also needs to be done, the procedure can be done in the office with local anesthesia. Our blepharoplasty techniques are conservative, focusing on removing excess and repositioning tissue to achieve an excellent, long-lasting contour beneath the eyes. Lower blepharoplasty surgery can take anywhere from an hour to several hours, depending on the degree of change needed to achieve the desired outcome. Recovery is rapid. Sutures are removed in 3-5 days and most swelling and bruising resolve in 10 days to 2 weeks. You can resume most activities in several days.

Filler treatment is done in the office and can be done with local anesthetic if needed or a topical numbing cream can be applied to the skin. The treatment itself usually takes less than an hour, and all fillers we use contain a numbing medication so any sensation is minimized. They are ideal for those who have simply lost volume and have minimal excess skin. A filler below the tear trough at the upper cheek can restore volume to the area and diminish the appearance of both hollowness and puffiness. By smoothing the area, shadows and highlights are eliminated reducing “dark circles.” You do not need to take time off work or social obligations to recover from filler treatment. If, instead of an off the shelf filler, you opt for fat grafting, recovery is almost the same.

In some people, a combination of treatment may be the most reasonable. In fact, we have stopped doing cheek lifts and, instead, combine Blepharoplasty and filler or fat grafting.

The results of blepharoplasty last years. The eyes will always look younger than they would have had a blepharoplasty never been performed. However, the area will continue to age over time and further treatment may be desired again in the future. Fillers, on the other hand, are partially absorbed naturally by the body over time. This means that some of the filler is permanent having been used by the body to create new collagen, the building block of the tissues. Because the filler we use for eyelid rejuvenation is the longest lasting one available, it lasts minimally two years and has lasted significantly longer, in one case, well over 4 years.

There are pros and cons to both forms of eyelid rejuvenation and each has a specific problem where it is ideal. For further information and to find out whether fillers or blepharoplasty would be best for you, call our Highlands office at (828) 526-3783.

Blepharoplasty De-Mystified

eyelid surgeryAn “eyelid lift” is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures. It can take years off your facial appearance and may even improve your vision by removing excess skin  or repairing stretched muscles causing droop of your upper lids. Blepharoplasty is the technical term for this confidence-building procedure. Read on to learn more.

Eyelid lifts are popular among both men and women, and are considered one of the best ways to achieve a more youthful, refreshed, natural facial look. Blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper or lower eyelid, or both, depending on your unique needs or desires. It is performed using local anesthesia in the office with small incisions on your upper and/or lower eyelid. The fat may be repositioned, but, now, almost never removed, any excess skin is removed. Tiny sutures close the incisions. Once healed, the incisions are usually invisible.

Recovery time is rapid. You will be advised to rest and do nothing strenuous for several days. Skin stitches will be removed at 3-5 days. Any puffiness or bruising to the delicate skin around your eyes is usually greatly reduced after a week and mostly resolved by two weeks. Some bruising can last 2-3 weeks, but can be covered by supplied camouflage make-up as soon as the sutures are out. Within 5-10 days post-surgery, you can expect to return to your normal activities.

Why should you consider an eyelid lift? Blepharoplasty can improve the appearance of the areas around your eyes, resulting in a less tired, more refreshed look. It improves or eliminates under-eye puffiness and bags, wrinkles and even dark circles. It can also provide relief for those who have excess drooping upper lid skin that impairs their vision (ptosis repair).

In some people, Botox can improve the upper lids or a filler like Juvederm Voluma can correct the lower lid problems as much or nearly as much as a blepharoplasty. The only way to know is with a consultation and careful evaluation.

What’s the take-away? If you are considering improving your eye area, we invite you to call to schedule a consultation. At that time, we can help you determine if blepharoplasty is a good choice for you, discuss your concerns, and tell you more about the procedure and options: (828) 526-3783.

Is A Brow Lift In Your Future?

In a culture that celebrates youth, men and women alike are turning to cosmetic procedures to help them maintain a youthful, fresh appearance for as long as possible.

Ideally, your appearance should reflect the way you really feel inside. But as you age, exposure to the sun, loss of skin elasticity and repeated muscle contractions over time combine to drop your brow.

browlift surgeryA furrowed, drooping brow can make you look older, more stressed and habitually tired.

One popular surgical procedure is a BROW LIFT…which is designed to revitalize a sagging, drooping or lined forehead and refresh the area between the brows and the upper eyelids for a less tired, sad, angry look.

If you’ve heard of this procedure and want to know more, read on.

A brow lift can elevate your brows and return them to a more youthful position, taking years off of your appearance.

A brow lift can smooth the horizontal lines on your forehead, making you look less stressed.

A brow lift can erase the vertical creases between your brows. These are the creases that can make you look tired, angry, stressed and worried.

A brow lift can improve the appearance of sagging folds above your eyelids.

A brow lift can reduce the lateral “crow’s feet” beside the eyes.

For some patients, improving the appearance and position of the brows and removing sagging skin above the eyes makes it easier for them to see.

Dr. Buchanan performs this procedure in a minimally invasive manner, using incisions hidden in the hair, in the upper eyelid or just above the brow. The technique depends on your anatomy and generally provides you excellent improvement and fast recovery while maintaining a natural appearance. You should be able to return to your daily activities in a few days with minimal, or easily concealed bruising.

If you’d like to learn more about  brow lifts at the Center for Plastic Surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Buchanan, today at 828-526-3783.

It’s Possible to Maintain a Youthful Look into Your 50’s & Beyond

 Medi-Spa Services Highlands, NCAging gracefully doesn’t have to be impossible. In fact, one of our goals here at the Center For Plastic Surgery is to help everyone age as well and gracefully as possible. If you have reached that point in your life, maybe around your 50’s, where you are looking in the mirror and wondering where your youth went, then let us help you find it again. Although we won’t be able to take you back more than a few decades,  we can reverse considerable aging of your skin, face and body.

Watch Your Skin Care

If your skin care regimen has not  maintained your skin looking young and radiant, then it is time for a medical grade system that will reverse everything that has happened to it. If you have maintained most of your skin’s youthful properties, you may just need to modify a few things to keep it looking healthy and young. Frequently, we don’t realize how our skin is aging until it actually requires a lot of work to reverse the problems. That is why we suggest adding retinol to basic skin care of a gentle cleanser, pH balancer, exfoliant and sun block at about 30 years of age. This can markedly help reduce fine lines and wrinkles later on.

Try Fillers and Botox

If you haven’t already, give fillers and Botox a try. Both of these injectables are great at reversing early facial aging without having to undergo surgery. Plus, because they are more affordable than surgery, they may be a good jumping off point. Botox is also one of the mainstays of preventing wrinkles by correcting the imbalance between thinning skin and increasing muscle function, one of the main contributors to wrinkles and crinkles. Once wrinkles are present, fillers are important also in reversing the problem without laser or peels.

Consider Surgery

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a surgical lift; whether it be a forehead lift, eye tuck or something else. In fact, it’s the best way to get long-lasting results. Our present procedures are easier and have a faster recovery than those in the past.

As you can see, we have more than a few ways to help you maintain or get your youthful look back. To learn more about these and other options, schedule a consultation at our Highlands office by calling us at (828) 526-3783.

Lift Your Lids – The 411 On Blepharoplasty

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)As you age, “droopy” anything is not good. Droopy eyelids, especially, can make you look older, and even more importantly, can impair your vision. Eyelid surgery, also known as Blepharoplasty, is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures at the Center for Plastic Surgery. It can correct eyelid droopiness and the puffiness under your eyes that can make you look habitually tired. A blepharoplasty does not remove fine lines, wrinkles or dark circles, however, and it doesn’t change sagging brows (a brow lift would be recommended for that).

Upper or lower?

  • Upper eyelid surgery: The surgeon marks the natural folds, lines and creases of your lids; this keeps the scars as invisible as possible. The incision is made and any loose muscle and skin are removed. Tiny stitches are used to minimize the visibility of any scarring.
  • Lower eyelid surgery: The surgeon makes the incision along your lower lash line and smile creases of your lower lid. Excess fat and skin are removed and the incision is closed with tiny stitches. The sutures (stitches) are usually self-dissolving and leave no visible scar. Under normal conditions, blepharoplasty takes from one to two hours.

What happens next?

  • Immediately following surgery, tiny sterile bandages are applied. It is not crucial that your eyes be completely covered, but an ointment to prevent dryness may be used. A bit of bruising and swelling is normal. Cold compresses, as well as keeping your head elevated, will promote healing, and relieve any
  • For about ten days following your surgery, your eyes may feel dry, itchy and sticky. Eyedrops may be recommended and your surgeon will give you a list of activities and environments to avoid for a few weeks. Any permanent stitches will be removed three to five days after surgery; self-absorbing stitches will dissolve on their own. Your eyelids will heal remarkably quickly and scars are usually inconspicuous.

Is it risky?

The risks are minimal but may include poor healing, persistent fat or loose skin and muscle, dry eyes, and very rarely, visual changes or loss.

If you would like to learn more about an eyelid lift, give us a call. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss this popular, age-defying cosmetic procedure: (828) 526-3783.

Are You Considering Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid Surgery Your eyes. They may or may not be the windows to your soul, but they are one of the first things people notice about you. Aging is inevitable and that, coupled with exposure to the sun and genetics, combine to cause the lids of your eyes to sag and droop…one of the major reasons to consider blepharoplasty, also known as “eyelid surgery” or “eye lift.”

A blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure which tightens and removes excess upper eyelid skin, muscle and sometimes fat for a more youthful, alert appearance. As a side benefit, blepharoplasty may also improve your vision by providing a less obstructed field of vision once the drooping eyelids are improved.

You would be a good candidate for eyelid surgery if:

  • You have loose skin which hangs down from your eyelids and covers your lashes
  • You have excess skin which covers the natural fold of your eyelids
  • Your lids appear puffy, making you look tired

Your eyelid surgery will be done by Dr. Buchanan usually as an outpatient procedure either in our office or a hospital, depending on your unique needs.

Eyelid surgery can be combined with other procedures, such as a facelift or forehead lift, followed by Botox cosmetic treatments…to achieve the most desirable results.

During the procedure, small incisions are made in the natural crease of the upper eyelid.
Excess skin and fat are removed and the incision is closed.
You should be able to return to your normal schedule in about five days.
Following your surgery, expect your eyes to be swollen and bruised.
It is important to keep your head upright.
Applying ice packs to your face can soothe any pain and control inflammation.
You will be given pain medications and antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
Heavy exercise is not recommended for several weeks after surgery.
Easy walking is recommended in the early phase of your recovery.
Avoid exercises that require you to bend over, such as yoga, and avoid lifting heavy weights for up to three weeks.

Eyelid surgery is a life-changing procedure! Now is the perfect time to call Dr. Buchanan to book a consultation appointment: (828) 526-3783.

Highlands, NC Eyelid Surgery – Is It Right for Me?

As you age, no matter how hard your work to stay in shape and eat right, your eyelids may not cooperate. If they have started to droop, there isn’t an exercise out there to bring them back to their younger form.

It may be time to consider eyelid surgery.

Eyelid surgery can help with a number of different imperfections surrounding the eyes such as:

  • Smoothing out wrinkles around the eyes.
  • Removing unsightly bags under the eyes.
  • Lifting and tightening sagging skin.
  • Tightening the eyelid for a more lifted appearance.

Is it right for you?

If your skin is in good general health and you would like to fix any of the above problems, eyelid surgery can help you look younger and healthier, whatever your age.

An initial consultation with a doctor will detail how the surgery will proceed and whether you’re a good candidate. Here is what makes a good candidate:

  • Is in good general health
  • Has realistic expectations of what the surgery will do
  • Is a non-smoker
  • Can take time off for recovery

The eyelid lift can also be performed along with other surgeries or procedures like Botox, facelifts, or forehead lifts to have everything done in a single session. Newer methods available in these surgeries allow for easier recovery and better results. Recovery time needed varies from person to person, but is typically 4-6 days long.

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