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209 Hospital Dr #202
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.

What to Expect After Your Brow Lift

Brow lift surgery, often called a forehead lift, is a common outpatient procedure that can have a profoundly positive effect on the face. This technique focuses on raising the eyebrows to a symmetrical, youthful position and arch over the eyes. By lifting the tissue on the upper region of the face, the procedure corrects problems such as heavy upper eyelids, deep wrinkles on the forehead, prominent creases at the outer edges of the eyes, and a generally tired or angry-looking expression.

Knowing that a brow lift can refresh your appearance is one thing. Knowing that you feel ready to undergo this procedure is something else entirely. What stops many people from taking the next step toward greater satisfaction with their appearance is thinking that modern brow lifts are like the old ones with long incisions and a long recovery. Here, we discuss what you might expect after having a brow lift performed in our Highlands, NC office.

Brow Lift Recovery Timeline

Days 1-3

Previous brow lifts were under anesthesia. Dr. Buchanan’s techniques have been refined such that he performs this procedure with local anesthesia alone. Patients are completely comfortable. The first few days after a brow lift, patients can expect to feel slight soreness that is usually managed with only Tylenol. The incisions may also itch for a few days up to two weeks. Sleeping with the head elevated for a few days helps minimize swelling and speeds recovery.There are usually no bandages. You can resume showering with coolish water or bathing immediately, with care.

Days 4-10

Bruising occurs only from the eyes down and is easily covered with camouflage make-up. By the end of the first week, a great deal of improvement in bruising and swelling usually occurs. Stitches are removed at 4-7 days.  You can return to work and other light activities by day 4-5.

Weeks 2-3

As swelling subsides and tissue settles, the brows may look slightly exaggerated in terms of their height on the forehead. Over the next few weeks, the tissue will loosen slightly and the brows will drop into their intended position over the eyes. With the decrease in swelling and bruising and almost complete healing of incisions comes the freedom to return to normal activities, including strenuous exercise.

Weeks 4 to 6

This is the home stretch of recovery when the final cosmetic results become fully visible.

A brow lift can do a lot for the face. See what this procedure can do for you. Call (828) 526-3783 to schedule a visit with our friendly team.

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.

How Fat can Rejuvenate Your Face

 Fat Injection Highlands, NCHistorically, facial rejuvenation has required surgical lifting techniques. While procedures such as blepharoplasty eyelid rejuvenation continue to be popular, fewer people are undergoing full facelift procedures these days. Instead, they are choosing minimally invasive procedures that achieve subtle but beautiful results. Fat grafting is a prime example. We are pleased to offer this service in our Highlands office to help our patients feel better about their appearance as they age. Here, we discuss the various ways in which fat can be used to refresh the face.

What is Fat Grafting?

To understand how fat grafting can benefit your appearance, it helps to know the details of this process. It is the most natural and long lasting way to restore the fat that is lost over time and is responsible for much of the signs of aging. This cosmetic procedure may be performed in the office using local anesthesia to numb the area of the body from which fat will be harvested and the area where it will be injected. Depending on the amount of fat we need and the amount of body fat present, we may select the neck, abdomen, or thighs as a donor site. After the area has been numbed, a minor liposuction procedure is performed to obtain the necessary amount needed for injection. The tissue that is aspirated is processed to separate out the fat and stem cells from other tissue and blood. The prepared cells are then placed in a syringe and meticulously injected into the face to achieve the desired amount of contouring or wrinkle reduction.

Fat can rejuvenate the face by enhancing the following areas:

Cheeks

Rounded cheeks with higher cheekbones are an indicator of youthful beauty. With age, the bony structure may degrade. This exacerbates the natural loss of fat resulting flattening of the contours of the mid-face. The insertion of living fat cells across the mid-face restores height, projection, and triangularity to make the mid-face appear younger.

Forehead and Temples

Men and women over the age of 40 may struggle to pinpoint where their cosmetic frustration originates. This can be particularly relevant to the upper face, where the temples can hollow over time and the brow may drop below the bony ridge orbital rim ridge on which it once sat. Fat cells can be injected directly at the temple area to restore fullness to the outer area of the eyes. Injections can also be administered across the brow line to lift the brow without surgery.

Under Eyes

Non-surgical eyelid rejuvenation removing the hollows under the eyes has become one of the most common areas treated with a filler and can achieve outstanding results. Fat injections can achieve the same results but they last longer. Typically, fat is introduced to the area below the eye, not into the eyelid itself, unless absolutely necessary. When inserted into the tear trough it decreases the appearance of under-eye puffiness, and when into hollows it decreases dark circles.

Are You a Candidate?

Most healthy adults who do not have severe gravitational problems are good candidates for facial rejuvenation with fat injections. To learn more about this simple, in office procedure, schedule a consultation at our Highlands office by calling (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.

Forehead Lift VS. Botox®: How to Decide Which One is Right For You

Forehead Lift Highlands, NCAs a patient, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to look at all of the cosmetic procedures that are available to you. However, here at the Center For Plastic Surgery, we make it our goal to make sure that all of our patients feel confident and informed each and every time they are seen. Two procedures that some of our patients have a hard time choosing between are either a forehead lift or Botox. So, what are the differences and how can you decide which one is right for you?

Botox

If you suffer from fine lines and wrinkles across your forehead and around your eyes— welcome to the aging club. Botox can correct these and also elevate the brow as long as the tissues can be held up against gravity. Because of this, Botox has remained one of the most popular non-invasive procedures amongst patients desiring to rejuvenate the brow and peri-orbital area because it is fast, safe, and frequently very effective. Also, because it’s non-invasive, you don’t have to worry about recovery time. The major drawback is that it only lasts an average of 3-6 months and there are some patients that are just not candidates.

Forehead Lift

If you are looking for something that’s a little more permanent than Botox, then a surgical procedure like a forehead lift may be right for you. It is also indicated if the brow is so lax that the forehead muscles cannot elevate it once the muscles pulling it down are eliminated.

When it really comes to choosing between something non-invasive like Botox and something surgical like a forehead lift, it comes down to the type of procedure you want and the results you desire. During your initial consultation, we will help determine which one of these procedures (or even another procedure) is going to give you the best results possible to meet your needs.

Are you ready to learn more about these and other procedures? Schedule your consultation at our Highlands office today by calling (828) 526-3783.

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