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Tips for a Speedy Recovery after Blepharoplasty

Tips for a Speedy Recovery after Blepharoplasty

Sagging, bulging, hooded eyelids can make you look older than your biological age. This seems to be true regardless of the other lines and wrinkles on the face. Since upper and lower eyelid rejuvenation (blepharoplasty) reverses this, many people choose this surgery alone rather than a full facelift. Rejuvenating the eyes can make that big of a difference for some. In our Highlands, NC office, Dr. Buchanan performs this procedure using local anesthetic and a mild sedative. Patients do not have to worry about the risks associated with general anesthesia, nor do they need to worry about a lengthy recovery. Here, we offer some tips for optimal healing after surgical eyelid rejuvenation.

Preparing for Your Blepharoplasty Recovery

Initially, you should do no lifting, pushing, pulling, or anything strenuous for several days and keep your head elevated for 1-2 weeks. You also have sutures externally for 3-7 days, bruising for a week or two (although we can generally cover this with makeup after the sutures are removed), and swelling for several weeks. You need to plan return to work and social engagements with this in mind. Some tips include finishing work or home projects before surgery, arranging help with children and pets, and making easy-to-prepare meals ahead of time. You should also find extra pillows so you can elevate your head at night, have cold compresses ready, and make sure you have any medications prescribed and liquid tears and gel for use postoperatively. Most people do much better if they have someone to help them for the first several days.

Post Operative Care

For your blepharoplasty recover to go as smoothly as possible, it is imperative that you follow your post-surgical care guidelines provided by our office. Your body will be using significant energy healing. Part of recovery, therefore, is getting the rest that your body will demand. This can be more of a challenge than some people imagine, which is why it is important to not immediately return to your pre-surgical activities. While you are recovering from eyelid rejuvenation surgery, your eyes can get stressed easily. To prevent this, you will need to refrain from too much screen time, reading, and other activities during which you may blink less or be exposed to harsh lights. While you can watch a show here and there, don’t plan on binging entire seasons in one day. What you may want to do more after surgery is sleep and just rest with your eyes closed. As an alternative to watching shows or reading, consider listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and music.

Recovery after this surgery is relatively short and stress-free. The most challenging aspect may be the short-lived appearance of bruising and swelling. Once these subside, the improvements achieved can be enjoyed for many years. 

Learn more or schedule your blepharoplasty consultation at (828) 526-3783.

Rejuvenating the Brow Area

We often hear that the eyes are the first area of the face to show the signs of aging. The eyelids and skin around the eyes are some of the most delicate on the body. Still, it isn’t only the skin here that causes the eye area to look older. Often, the issue is a descending brow line. The eyebrows are a more important facial feature than many people imagine. The arch of the eyebrows, during our youth, lie usually about a centimeter above the upper orbital rim. For many people, age results in the eyebrows sitting lower than the bony edge. Several cosmetic concerns can occur when they do. 

Wondering if you may benefit from a brow lift? There are a few particular issues that this procedure can correct. They include:

  • Low-lying eyebrows
  • Hooding of the upper eyelids due to a descending brow line
  • An angry or sad-looking appearance
  • Horizontal forehead lines
  • Frown lines between the eyebrows
  • Crow’s feet or a downward-slanting crease at the outer corners of the eyes

A New Approach to Brow Lift Surgery

Historically, brow lift surgery has been performed through one long incision across the top of the head or, as Dr. Buchanan has performed it, through several short incisions hidden behind the hairline. His technique provided outstanding outcomes with a relatively quick recovery. Still, the brow lift often required general anesthesia, a technique that Dr. Buchanan has pivoted away from over the years. So that the brow lift could be performed as an office procedure using local anesthetic and mild sedation, he has revised his surgical technique even more. Not only can our patients correct a descending brow without general anesthesia, but they can also do so with a shorter recovery period and minimal bruising.

Brow Lift Recovery

The recovery after surgery is dependent on the extent of lifting and tightening. Patients needing just a lateral brow lift may be back to many normal activities within a couple of days. Patients who need a lateral brow lift and work on the medial muscles can expect a bit more swelling and bruising. We expect these side effects to resolve in one to two weeks. 

Your face is your calling card. Help it reflect the real you. Call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783 to consult with  Dr. Buchanan about brow lift surgery. 

Brow Lift Surgery: Your Questions Answered

Brow RejuvenationEveryone is different and different areas age differently. For many people, the primary sign of aging is the drop of the eyebrows. Once the eyebrows start to sit lower over the eyes, we use muscles located on the forehead to lift them. This persistent motion then causes horizontal lines to form on the forehead, further aging the face. It can be a vicious cycle, but it doesn’t have to be. A brow lift can restore the eyebrows to their proper position and put a stop to the need for the forehead muscles to lift them. Additionally, a brow lift can reduce those “worry lines” on the forehead and prevent further development. Here, we answer some of the most common questions patients have about this procedure.

Is a brow lift very invasive?

Brow lift surgery used to be performed through a long incision from ear to ear across the top of the head hidden behind the hairline. Today, all methods of brow lifting are less invasive and some techniques are minimally so. Dr. Buchanan now does brow lifts in the office under local anesthesia.

Are brow lift scars visible?

Since all scars are visible, we put them where they are either not visible or hide exceptionally well. If possible, we place them behind the temporal hairline where the hair can hide them. If that is not possible, we generally use an upper blepharoplasty incision, especially when that is going to be done at the same time. Occasionally, if there is no other option, the scar is put just above the eyebrow. Though this is the least hidden, the results are frequently some of the best.

How long do brow lift results last?

One of the primary reasons to have a brow lift vs. Botox is because the results are generally permanent, though some further descent may occur after many years. Most people who have a brow lift never repeat this procedure. The results also refresh the face by about 10 years; who doesn’t like the idea of looking ten years younger!

How long does brow lift surgery take?

Brow lift surgery usually takes about an hour or slightly longer. Many people combine their brow lift with blepharoplasty to achieve more significant rejuvenation in the eye area. This usually adds about 30-45 minutes to the blepharoplasty time.

Would you like your eyes and forehead to once again reflect your personality and liveliness? Contact our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783 to schedule your brow lift consultation.

A Younger-Looking Face from Blepharoplasty?

Eyelid Surgery Highlands, NCNone of this mind getting older, we would just like to not look it. The eyes, in particular, are a part of the face that tend to show age. We lose volume under the eyes, the skin stretches in both the upper and lower lid areas, the brow this ends, and the skin pins and becomes crepey. This can lead to problems like undereye bags and heavy upper eyelids. These changes can make the face appear not only older but less friendly. Blepharoplasty is an excellent way to reverse these changes.

What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is the term that we use to describe eyelid remodeling. The intent of the procedure is to rejuvenate the upper or lower eyelids. It does not eliminate all lines and wrinkles around the eyes, such as crow’s feet. What upper or lower blepharoplasty does is return the area around the eyes to a younger appearance to reveal your vibrant energy. Blepharoplasty makes one look like your younger self, friendlier, more vital, and more confident.

If you’ve been slathering on expensive serums and creams in hopes of tightening loose eyelid skin or banishing undereye bags, you may be a great candidate for blepharoplasty. While no cosmetic surgery can stop the aging process, most people who undergo eyelid rejuvenation never have to repeat the procedure to maintain their more youthful appearance.

Is Blepharoplasty Right for You?

Blepharoplasty may be right for you if you want to get rid of undereye bags caused by loosening of the muscle and skin under the eyes or if you have excess skin in the upper lids. Lower blepharoplasty repositions the fatty tissue and tightens the skin and muscle. Occasionally you may also need volume added. Upper blepharoplasty trims the sagging skin and restores the natural eyelid crease, making the eyes look more open and youthful. Occasionally, you can also improve the vision by elevating the upper lid. The only way to find out if blepharoplasty is right for you is to come in for an evaluation.

We enjoy helping our patients feel their best through minor, minimally invasive procedures that can be performed in our office under local anesthesia. For more information on blepharoplasty, call  (828) 526-3783.

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.