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PHONE: (828) 526-3783 | TOLL-FREE: (877) 526-3784

209 Hospital Dr #202
Highlands, NC 28741

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Let’s Talk About Elastin and Collagen

Let’s Talk About Elastin and Collagen

Keeping your skin flexible and firm are worthy skin-care goals for everyone. The proteins Collagen and Elastin play a very important role in meeting those goals. You’ve no doubt heard of them, read about them and may have wondered what they are.


  • Collagen is an abundant protein found in your hair, nails, skin, tendons, muscles and other parts of your body. It is an important component of your body’s connective tissue. Collagen helps your skin stay smooth and firm. It also aids in the formation of new skin cells and keeps harmful toxins at bay.
  • Elastin is a protein that keeps your skin younger by keeping it flexible and elastic which helps counter the effects of gravity on your skin. There is less elastin in your body than collagen, but they work together to keep your skin looking young.

As you age, your body has less of these critical proteins, and, as a result, your skin becomes loose, saggy and thin. It also damages more easily and is more susceptible to the effects of gravity. Fine lines and wrinkles appear, oh dear, and your skin may sag, which creates the appearance of jowls or a double chin.

It’s impossible to completely prevent the effects of aging, but there are some things you can do to protect the collagen and elastin in your body and keep your skin looking young for as long as possible.

• Eat A Balanced Diet
• Stop Smoking
• Avoid UV and UVB Sun Damage
• Replenish Collagen – We offer a number of cosmetic treatments that can counter the effects of aging.

Some of our most popular dermal fillers, such as JUVÉDERM VOLUMA™ XC, use substances to restore lost volume to your face and smooth your skin. Others, such as Radiesse®, stimulate your body’s production of collagen, for natural, and long-lasting results.

Call us for a consultation, today, to learn more about the many anti-aging, cosmetic procedures we offer at the Center For Plastic Surgery. We look forward to meeting you: (828) 526-3783.

Let’s Talk About Adult Acne


acne treatmentThe days of teenage pimples and acne may be in your past, but these days, the face of acne is changing and it may look more like the adult you. In fact, many women in their thirties, forties and fifties regularly battle acne breakouts. This can be annoying, stressful and just one other thing to deal with as you age.

The causes can and do differ with each woman, but here are four common adult acne triggers:


  • Stress – It’s difficult not to be stressed, but some experts say stress can lead to
    acne by signaling the release of cortisol, a hormone that tells your body to produce more pore-clogging oil.
  • Your Hormones – When your body experiences a spike in “male” hormones such as testosterone, oil production increases, and that can cause clogged pores where acne bacteria grows. This leads to inflammation and pimples. This male hormone spike may occur more frequently during peri-menopause, but it also happens just before your period.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is an often-overlooked cause of acne. PCOS affects 5% to 10% of women – many suffer for years without realizing they have it. If your acne is accompanied by excessive hair growth or irregular periods, let us know. PCOS and other types of hormone imbalances can often be treated with medications such as an oral contraceptive or anti-androgen.
  • Your Diet – Oily foods don’t cause oily skin, but other foods can contribute to acne:
    • Carbs and sugar: Any food that leads to a spike in your blood sugar, such as pasta, bread, and sweets, can trigger skin’s inflammatory response and provoke a breakout.
    • Dairy: Several studies have shown a link between dairy products and pimples, perhaps because of the hormones that are present in these foods. Buying organic dairy products may help.

At The Center For Plastic Surgery, we can discuss your acne or other skin concerns with you. We also offer several treatments for acne scars, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and lasers.

Call our office to book a consultation with Dr. Buchanan and let us help you get control of your acne and it’s scars: (828) 526-3783.

Would You Like To Know More About CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing?

The new year brings changes, resolutions and time to evaluate your body and your life. If you have considered treating the problem areas of your skin, such as birthmarks, sun damage, age-spots, acne scars or fine lines, a laser skin resurfacing treatment may be just the thing and the perfect time may be now.

CO2 Laser Skin ResurfacingLaser skin resurfacing is one of the most popular and common of the aesthetic cosmetic procedures. It is used to correct troublesome skin problems that arise because of cumulative sun damage, genetics and even nutritional factors. Additionally, over time, a gradual loss of collagen thins your skin and eventually fine lines and wrinkles form, age spots appear and your skin tone changes.

Dr. Buchanan uses the Luxor® Specialized CO2 laser, which employs a high-energy, intense burst of of CO2 light to treat your skin’s surface as well as deeper into the dermis. The Luxor® Specialized CO2 laser is a fast, revolutionary treatment that targets specific areas with minimal downtime and a speedier recovery. This is ideal if you have a busy lifestyle or cannot be away from work for a long period of time.

• Following treatment, your skin will glow, your skin tone will be evened out and your skin will respond by stimulating the growth of new collagen.
• You will notice an immediate softening of wrinkles, fine lines and scars.
• There may be some slight swelling.
• You should be able to return to work in about five to eight days.
• You must avoid exposure to the sun and apply sunscreen when you go outside.
• Results are long-lasting and with proper skin care can last for many years.
• Usually one treatment gives great results but in patients with deeper wrinkles a second treatment may be needed.
• And here’s some additional good news: Both men and women can benefit from laser skin resurfacing!

If you have questions or concerns about your skin, call to book a consultation appointment with Dr. Buchanan, today: (828) 526-3783.

Do You Feel Like A “Peel” Would Be Wonderful?

Tempus Fugit – Time Flies.

As you age, changes to your body and skin begin to show the effects of time, your genes, the environment and missing hormones. But you aren’t alone. Today, more and more women and men are turning to chemical peels as a treatment for blemishes, large pores, acne scars, age spots, uneven pigmentation and pre-cancerous growths.
It’s true. A chemical peel is a great way to achieve smoother, more youthful-looking skin.

The facial peel is one of the oldest cosmetic procedures in the world. Today, peels are popular because they offer nearly immediate results and can be performed as an outpatient procedure.

chemical peels

A chemical peel is a controlled injury to the skin. An alpha or beta hydroxide acid, resorcinol or other acid solution is applied to the skin, removing its damaged, outer layers, smoothing and enhancing its texture.

Patients with light hair and fair skin are great candidates for chemical peels. Those who have darker skin may still achieve good results. Although chemical peels can improve the appearance of fine lines, they are not designed to treat deep wrinkles.

At The Center For Plastic Surgery, we offer a variety of peels, from lighter peels to skin-sensitive peels to deeper, more potent peels. We tailor the strengths of our peels to your individual needs to achieve the best results with the least risk and down time.

To prevent pigmentary problems with the TCA and Phenol/Croton Oil peels, we require our patients to be on the Obagi® System or Hydroquinone for six weeks before the peel.

Rest assured. We will carefully evaluate your skin to determine how to provide you with the best possible results.

Your peel will be performed in our office.
Your new pink skin will emerge in about 7-10 days.
The pink color will fade but your skin will be sensitive.
Avoid the sun until the pinkness fades and use sunscreen every day.
Recovery time is zero to two weeks depending on the peel used.
A peel would, indeed, be wonderful!

Call, today, to book a consultation appointment: (828) 526-3783.

What Does It Take to Have Total Facial Rejuvenation?

51833917Everyone will eventually succumb to the signs of facial aging — from forehead wrinkles to sagging eyelids to nasolabial folds. No one is exempted from this fact of life. The good news is you can actually take measures to either reduce or tone down their appearance either via surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

Let’s explore the surgical route below!

The Facelift

This procedure is primarily considered as the gold standard of facial rejuvenation. Generally, a face lift has the following basic components: removal or redistribution of facial fat, tightening of the facial muscles, and trimming excess facial skin.  If your main concerns has to do with prominent jowls, sunken cheeks, and the appearance of moderate to severe degree of laxity, a facelift is your best bet.

The Eyelid Lift

If your facial aging woes also includes sagging upper and lower eyelids, an eyelid lift or blepharoplasty should also be in order. Dr. Buchanan can make eyelid lift incisions as subtle and unobtrusive as possible. On a whole, an eyelid lift can fully complement what a face lift does to the middle and lower thirds of the face.

The Forehead/Brow Lift

An eyelid lift may come to mind if you want to improve the appearance of your brows. However, there’s another surgical cosmetic solution for such issue — a forehead or a brow lift. By and large, a brow lift can help improve the appearance of drooping brows and restore them to a more youthful position.

Your Personalized Facial Rejuvenation Plan by Dr. Robert T. Buchanan

Dr. Buchanan’s aim in every facial rejuvenation procedure is to do more than just improve the appearance of your face but rather make sure that each feature is restored to their naturally youthful positions.

We are located at 209 Hospital Drive, Suite 202, Highlands, NC. Call us at 828-526-3783 or fill out this contact form to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to your visit!


Everything You Need to Know About Compression Garments and Its Accessories

Here at our North Carolina plastic surgery practice, we make it a point to make your recovery period as smooth and safe as much as possible. Although healing from surgery varies from one individual to another, there are certain aids that will prove to be very helpful in your recovery, one of which include compression garments.

Compression Garment Purposes

Compression garments help reduce swelling and bruising on the operated area. Furthermore, it helps avoid blood clot formation and make sure that the body part operated on is “molded” the right way.

Every so often, compressions garments should be worn out for 24 hours during the first week post-surgery. In breast and abdominal surgeries such as a tummy tuck and liposuction, you may be required to wear it a bit longer. Lastly, compression garments also have aesthetic purposes as it could make you appear slimmer.

Compression Garment Accessories Specific to Each Surgery

  • Breast surgeries – compression bras with breathable fabric, seamless, no underwires, soft cups, and with cushioned or padded shoulder straps

  • Arm, abdominal, and leg surgeries –  varying sizes of compression garments may be needed depending on the your body’s gradual reduction in size; garments should be made of breathable fabric, no-show seams, and no hooks for long-term recovery

  • Facelift – facial bands, cushioned hats with wrap-around ties

  • Eyelid Lift –– large-framed eyeglasses with wrap-around protective coverings to shield sutures from sunlight

Quick and Safe Recovery After Your North Carolina Plastic Surgery

Let us help you figure out ways for a quick and safe recovery after your North Carolina plastic surgery. We are located at 209 Hospital Drive, Suite 202, Highlands, NC.  Call us at 828-526-3783 or fill out this contact form to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to your visit!

Learning from Sleeping Beauty

It looks like there’s more to life lessons and happily-ever-afters that fairy tales are trying to teach us when it comes to aging gracefully. Take, Sleeping Beauty, for example. This recent study by physician-scientists at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center was able to conclusively demonstrate that lack of sleep could accelerate aging and decrease the skin’s ability to recover from sun exposure.

They Don’t Call it Beauty Rest for Nothing

While it has been known for a while that chronic lack of sleep could negatively affect your looks, the aforementioned study was the first research to actually support such theory with a solid scientific data. Interestingly, they even figured out that it’s not just about the number of hours you devote to your bed, the quality of sleep also plays a significant role.

The Action Plan

To help you snooze your way to younger looking skin, we recommend the following steps:

1. Create a sleep-friendly atmosphere. A dark, quiet, and cool environment works for most people. Figure out what works for you and work towards creating the right setup. ]

2. Sleep and wake up at the same time. By doing so, your body will be able to adapt to your sleeping pattern.

3. Limit exposure to PC,  gadgets and television. This study found out that giving up on your PC and TV habits before bedtime could help you reduce your sleep debt.

Let us help you figure out the best solution for your aging concerns — from crow’s feet to sagging facial skin. We are located at 209 Hospital Drive, Suite 202, Highlands, NC.  Call us at 828-526-3783 or fill out this contact form to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to your visit!

Your Exercise Could Be Making You Look Older

Apart from time itself, aging is influenced by a variety of factors — from sun exposure to nutrition to one’s lifestyle. However, did you know that your workout could actually make you look older? Find out why below.

Premature Aging

High-impact exercises such as running could actually make you look older by making your skin thinner, resulting to that prematurely old and gaunt appearance. Increase intake of oxygen also makes those wrinkles appear earlier than usual. Add in prolonged exposure to the sun and fluctuating levels of temperature and your collagen easily degenerates.

Bouncing Breasts

Ill-fitting sports bra and too much exercise may cause your breasts to sag as they are constantly bouncing up and down while doing your workouts.

The Action Plan

You do not have to stop exercising in order to avoid sagging breasts and premature aging. Here at our North Carolina plastic surgery practice, we recommend the following tips and tricks to make your workout more enjoyable and less stressful on your end.

1. Consider trail running over road running. The trails offer less pollution and less impact (which also means less risk of injury).

2. Slather on sunscreen before going out and always follow label instructions as to the amount and timing of application.

3. Wear proper support.

If you’ve been exercising for a while now and you’re noticing obvious signs of aging, let us help you out! We have a variety of anti-aging options suited to your needs and preferences.  We are located at 209 Hospital Drive, Suite 202, Highlands, NC.  Call us at 828-526-3783 or fill out this contact form to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to your visit!

Don’t Let Crow’s Feet Bring You Down

So you wake up one morning and looking at the mirror, you suddenly discover that you’ve got those unflattering wrinkles around your eyes! Ugh, you’ve got crow’s feet! One of the most effective ways to avoid crow’s feet from happening is to never squint, frown, smile or even laugh! But that would be next to impossible.

Here at our Highlands plastic surgery practice, we have a solid plan to help you bring those crow’s feet down and not the other way around!

1. Slow down on your smoking habits. It’s quite known that smoking accelerates aging so the lesser you smoke, the lesser your chances of aging faster.

2. Keep your moisture levels up, both from the inside and the outside. Increase your fluid intake and do not just wait for that feeling of thirst to drink up. On the other hand, moisturize the area around your eyes before you tuck yourself to bed. Eye creams actually work better in preventing crow’s feet rather than treating existing wrinkles.

3. Consider non-surgical cosmetic procedures if you already have crow’s feet. Botox and dermal fillers are designed to significantly help erase those lines around the eye area.

Let us help you figure out the best solution for your crow’s feet and other aging concerns. We are located at 209 Hospital Drive, Suite 202, Highlands, NC.  Call us at 828-526-3783 or fill out this contact form to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to your visit!

Non-Cosmetic Eyelid Problems

Medical problems of the eyelids are exceedingly common.  They are exceptionally problematic because they disturb the proper function of the eyelid, which, in turn, can affect our vision, cause dry eye, or cause headache.  They can be divided into those intrinsic to the eyelid and external problems that just happen to occur on or to the eyelid.

Intrinsic eyelid problems may be due to muscle abnormalities of the eyelid or laxness, scar, or malposition of the eyelid itself.

Perhaps the most common problem of the eyelid is droop or ptosis.  This problem can be either extrinsic or intrinsic.  Intrinsic droop of the upper eyelid is secondary to an abnormality of the muscle holding the eyelid up.  This is complicated by the fact that there are actually three muscles that elevate the upper eyelid.  The most common problem occurs when the levator, the voluntary lid elevator, stretches and becomes lax with time.  We see this very commonly in people seeking cosmetic improvement of the eyelids.  This muscle is easily accessed through a regular blepharoplasty incision and requires only a few stitches to imbricate it and elevate the eyelid to a normal position.  Another common cause of droop seen at the time of cosmetic consultation is that from descent of the brow.  Although it is most commonly due to gravitational pull on the brow, which causes the tissue from above the eyelid itself to descend into the eyelid, pushing the eyelid down, it can also occur from weakness of the frontalis muscle, the muscle that elevates the brow.  Usually this is corrected with some type of brow lift procedure which pulls the tissues back into the brow where they belong and out of the eyelid, thus allowing the lid to assume its normal position. With the popularity of Botox®, we also occasionally see ptosis from weakening of the muscle s holding the eyelid up. Fortunately, this will resolve when the Botox® wears off.

The third muscle that controls eyelid position is Muller’s muscle.  This is a muscle that is not voluntarily controlled but controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.  It normally holds the eyelid in the correct position while you are awake, but it allows the eyelid to close when you become sleepy.  Occasionally it also becomes stretched and fails to hold the eyelid in its normal and open position.  When this occurs, this muscle is approached from the inside of the eyelid and shortened by removing a strip of conjunctiva and muscle from the back side of the lid.

Several problems occur to lower lid from either stretch of the lid itself or tightening of one of the layers of the lid or both.  Of these, ectropion, eversion of the lower lid away from the globe, is most common.  Mild forms can cause dry eye.  More advanced forms cause chronic irritation of the lining of the eye and lid, with redness, swelling and occasionally even weeping.  If left untreated, this can even cause blindness.  This condition therefore needs to be treated early by simply taking out the excess lid length, adding skin to replace scar (usually from removal of a skin lesion), or both.

The opposite of an ectropion is an entropion where the lid turns inward.  Frequently the most symptomatic part of this is what is known as trichiasis, or irritation of the eyeball from the eyelashes scraping against the globe or cornea.  This condition is usually from some type of scarring of the internal layers of the eyelid following some type of surgery.   Correction usually involves a graft of some description to release the scar.

Perhaps the most common problem in the eyelids is the presence of either malignant or nonmalignant lesions on the eyelid itself.  Benign lesions generally require no treatment unless they are causing problems with function of the eyelid or are simply cosmetically undesirable.  The one exception is verrucae, better known as warts.  These lesions occur when a virus enters an otherwise benign lesion and begins growing.  This can cause a very large, irritative lesion that can interfere with function of the lid, bleed, or become otherwise problematic.  These are treated essentially like malignant lesions in order to make certain that all of the cells containing the virus are removed.

Premalignant and malignant lesions, however, such as actinic keratoses, basal cell epithelioma and squamous cell carcinoma, all do require treatment to prevent destruction of the eyelid.  These are more easily treated on the loose upper eyelid skin.  On the lower eyelid simple excision can cause ectropion or other functional abnormalities of the eyelid.  Therefore, frequently a skin graft or flap which moves tissue from a looser area into the tighter lid may be necessary in order to prevent problems in lid function.  This is one of the places where Moh’s surgery is exceptionally useful.  Moh’s removes the lesion with exceptionally small margins and then makes certain, by microscopic examination, and further resection if necessary, that the margins are totally free.  This allows removal of as minimal an amount of lid skin as possible.  This procedure is done by a specially trained dermatologic surgeon.  We generally then do the closure to assure that the eyelid continues to function properly.

Lesions near the lid margins are especially problematic because immediately under the skin at the margin is a thick, cartilaginous structure called the tarsus.  Here the skin cannot simply be excised but requires grafting, a flap, or complete transection of the entire lid and tarsus in order to remove the lesion and close the defect.

In summary, there are multiple problems that can occur to the eyelids.  Some of those problems have multiple causes.  Therefore, when evaluating a problem, the underlying cause needs to be determined in order to select the most reasonable method for correcting the problem.