Look Your Best For 10 Years Longer With Eyelid Surgery

By Dr. Lawrence Gray

Your eyes are one of your most expressive features. But, sagging skin around the eyes can make you look tired, even angry. My patients want to repair that thin, loose skin around their eyes and to look their best for as long as possible. Blepharoplasty, also known simply as eyelid surgery, reduces under-eye puffiness, removes loose skin, and softens wrinkles, giving you back confidence and extending your youthful look for about 10 years or more.

Sagging eyelids develop as we age. Eyelid surgery removes and tightens this excess eyelid skin for a more alert, youthful appearance. Cosmetic blepharoplasty is a relatively quick and uncomplicated surgery that can be performed under either local or sedation anesthesia.

Bags under the lower eyelids are also a common problem. They are corrected in same way as upper eyelids by removing excess skin and tightening and smoothing the under eye area. Excess fat on the lower eyelids can be removed without using stitches to close the incision so no scars will be visible.

The most common cause of droopy eyelids is normalaging, but there are other causes.
Sun exposure can weaken the elasticity of the skin. One study suggests that sagging eyelids may have a genetic component. Another study suggest that drooping eyelids are most likely to appear in men, people with fair skin, people who smoke and those who are overweight. Light or fair skin color is an additional risk factor. There is thought to be a higher susceptibility to UV-induced damage in lighter skin.

The connective tissue in the skin, including around the eyes, changes due to some or all of these factors. Collagen and elastin fibers are reduced in number and the skin loses its strength and resilience. This process begins at about age 40 or earlier and worsens as you get older. The eyelid skin stretches, muscles weaken and fat pockets become more prominent as they bulge.

Blepharoplasty can be performed on upper eyelids and lower eyelids in separate surgeries or both at the same time. During upper eyelid surgery, an incision is made in the natural fold, in the crease. In lower eyelid surgery an incision is made just beneath the lower lash or just behind the lower eyelid. Incisions are virtually unnoticeable after they have healed. I carefully examine the patients eyelids and make precise markings to designate where excess skin and/ or fat pads need to be removed.

If the patient chooses to have local anesthesia, he or she remains awake during the procedure. The area around the eyes is be numbed. Patients often choose to have eyelid surgery under local anesthesia because it costs less due to the elimination of the need for an anesthesiologist.

If the patient chooses to have Intra-venous (IV) sedation instead, he or she is “asleep” during the procedure and is “woken up” after the procedure is complete. Patients often choose to have IV sedation if they are having a second procedure as well, such as a facelift or breast augmentation.

Smokers are at increased risk of surgical complications because their skin heals more slowly. I advise my patients who smoke to quit smoking for at least several weeks prior to a procedure.

Recovery from eyelid surgery is surprisingly brief. Most patients are up and about sooner than they expect to be. However, I insist that they take 2 or 3 days off to give themselves time to rest and help insure an optimal result. I strongly recommend that they lay down and keep the ice packs on their eyelids as much as possible for 24 to 48 hours. This will help keep the swelling and any possible bruising to a minimum which creates less strain on the stitches and will help them to have a result they will be very happy with. Sutures will be removed about a week after the procedure.

What can you do to prevent sagging eyelids? Maintain a healthy weight. Don’t smoke. Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses and hat with a brim.

The aging process will continue after eyelid surgery, as with any cosmetic procedure. Your improved appearance after your eyelid lift surgery will not last indefinitely. The good news is that depending upon your health and the care you take in protecting yourself from excess sun exposure, a blepharoplasty can last as ten years or longer. My patients tell me they are very happy with their results and enjoy the frequent compliments on how young they look.

New Neograft Permanent Hair Transplantation Procedures

Hair loss can be very damaging to the confidence and self-esteem of both men and women. Many people who have older family members who have suffered hair loss through by genetics or by aging know that we are likely to experience it ourselves.

“Male pattern baldness runs in my family. My father and two brothers lost their hair at an early age. Byabout 50, I had lost half the hair on the top of my head. I get sick to my stomach every morning as I try harder and harder to cover up my thinning areas on my head”, reports a patient.

“No matter how many times my wife tells me I am handsome and she loves me, for me it is just more than that. It bothers me. I wish it didn’t”, reports another.

Going bald affects 40 million men and 21 million women. Two-thirds of men have some degree of perceptible hair loss by age 35.By age 50, it rises to 75% who have substantial hair loss. Women can also have hair loss ranging from small areas to more widespread areas.

The bottom line, is that there is no cure for hair loss. Drugs are currently available which arrest hair loss for a number of years but unfortunately do not reverse hair loss.

One choice is to accept your hair loss. Thanks to new technology and advances in hair restoration science, there is a now a second choice. Dr. Lawrence Gray and Dr. Mark Ballentyne of Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center have added the advanced Neograft Hair Restoration System to the cosmetic enhancements available to their patients.

This hair restoration treatment restores full, thick hair with less downtime than conventional strip methods. Patients can enjoy impressive cosmetic results without obvious scarring.

For years, going under the knife, “plugs”, and toupees were the most popular hair restoration methods. The older method used a scalpel and involved removing a large strip of skin from back and hair leaving noticeable scar.

“Neograft is a procedure that’s performed under local anesthesia. It uses a follicular unit extraction device, or F.U.E., which collects donor follicles from an area of thick hair growth, most often the back of the head, and then transplants them to an area where hair is balding now but originally grew. This extraction device uses controlled pneumatic pressure to gently remove the follicles one at a time.The F.U.E. method keeps each follicle in tact and improves patient comfort”, Dr. Mark Ballentyne reports.

“Performed under local anesthesia, Neograft enables us to harvest follicles quickly and with accuracy”, states Dr. Lawrence Gray, Medical Director at Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center. “The Neograft hand piece allows us to gently remove individual follicles without cutting the skin or leaving a long scar as you will see with the more traditional methods of hair transplantation.Once hair grows back no one will know you had a hair transplant procedure.”

A small section can be treated in one sitting or large areas can be transplanted in one session reducing the need for additional procedures and the overall cost of restoring one’s hair. Neograft provides fast recovery time with patients able to return to work the next day. Patients walk out on their own just a few hours later.

One of the main benefits of follicular unit extraction, aside from the undetectability of the donor area is how fast the patient heals. Because there is no scalpel and no stiches you can heal in just five days.

Another significant benefit is that hair follicles spend less time outside of the body, increasing the viability of the hairs and the likelihood of success. The implanted hair follicles then produce normal growth several months after the procedure. Full growth usually takes about one year, but some patients see some growth in just a few months.

Dr. Gray or Dr. Ballentyne consult with the patient first to determine if the patient is an appropriate candidate. The best candidates are those who have on-going, predictable hair loss due to genetics. Patients also need to have good coverage at the donor site. A patient may not be suitable if their hair loss pattern is not yet established, meaning it would be too soon for a transplant. Men in their mid-thirties and older, when the hair loss pattern is established are more suitable than those in their 20s.

Patients should understand first that Neograft is not able to restore hair to the original fullness they had 10 to 20 years ago, but it can give the patient significant improvement. Neograft-transplanted follicles continue to grow normally. Secondly, patients need to understand that the Neograft procedure does not prevent future loss. Some patients choose to undergo a further treatment in the future while some patients are able to maintain their results with hair restoration products such as Rogaine or light therapy.

“We have seen remarkable results with the Neograft system”, says Dr. Mark Ballentyne. “Patients love the results and that it doesn’t leave a scar. Even men and women who want to wear their hair short can without worrying about visible scarring.”

Younger Looking Skin and Hair With NeoLTS Light Therapy

by Rachael Minnihan, Licensed Aesthetician

Rachael Minnihan, Licensed Aesthetician

The men and women who come to see me are concerned with aging skin. They are very unhappy with fine lines, pigmentation or age spots, and wrinkles that have accumulated to their face, neck and upper chest. This occurs, of course, with normal aging and excess sun exposure. A great many also mention that they are seeing thinning hair.

I often recommend patients start a medical level skin care program, sometimes combined with a series of chemical peels if they want a quick start to improving the appearance of their skin. Recently the Skin Wellness Center acquired the NeoLTS Light Therapy System. NeoLTS is FDA cleared and clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin and hair. I now recommend that patient start on a medical level skin care system combined with a series of NeoLTS treatments for a rapid improvement to the condition and appearance of their skin and hair. We have long known that people feel better with warm sunlight. Now, lights are now used to heal and repair skin and hair. NeoLTS improves skin tone, texture and overall clarity and has shown to increase hair thickness where here has been loss.

NeoLTS light system is the process if exposing the skin to three wavelengths (colors) of light to help the body (cells) combat signs of aging and heal faster. The three wavelengths are the blue light wavelength which treats mild to moderate acne, the red light wavelength which targets inflammation and the near infrared wavelength which stimulates the production of your skin’s natural collagen and elastin and tissue production. These three wavelengths can be combined to treat specific skin or hair conditions.

NeoLTS treatments reduce pigmentation, soften fine lines anywhere on the face, stimulate collagen production, and reduce inflammation (redness and swelling). Treatments also helps with any swelling or bruising after dermal injections. One patient has noticed a reduction of fine lines on her upper lip after just four treatments. This patient commented that she found the treatments relaxing and that it felt like sunbathing with out the damage. I can see that her skin has more color and is more even toned. (She can tend to be sallow.) The patient is thrilled about the additional benefit of improvement for her areas of thinning hair near the sides of her forehead. The results are long term with a simple maintenance plan. There’s no down time, no discomfort and no side effects.

I suggest that patients start on medical level skin care and a series for NeoLTS treatments or the patient can simply choose to start with the light treatments. We offer a NeoLTS package of two Neolight treatments per week for 4 weeks. Treatments are about 30 minutes each. The cost is only $300 for 8 treatments. Separately, treatments would cost $400. We are very excited about the results we have seen with the NeoLTS Light therapy system.

Number of Women Choosing Breast Liftsup by 70%

Dr. Lawrence N. Gray
Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

The number of women choosing breast lifts has increased by 70% since the year 2000, according to new statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS. Although breast implants remain the most popular cosmetic surgery for women, breast lifts are growing at twice the rate of breast augmentation surgeries. In 2000, less than 53,000 breast lifts were performed by ASPS member surgeons. In 2013,the number of breast lift surgeries performed grew to more than 90,000. In 2013, more than 290,000 breast augmentation surgeries were performed by ASPS members, up 23% from 2000.

Breast lift surgery, ormastopexy, elevates the breasts by removing excess skin and by tightening surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. A woman?s breasts often change over time. They can lose their firmness and youthful appearance and the areola can become enlarged with age.These breast changes and loss of skin elasticity are most often from pregnancy and breastfeeding, weight gain or loss, aging, and hereditary factors, such as skin elasticity or amount of breast tissue. A breast lift can correct this giving a woman a younger look by lifting the breast to the position they were in when she was in her teens and twenties.

The surprising growth rate of breast lifts surgeries is due to a number of factors. Plastic surgery has become much more familiar to us all. People are aware that it can help them feel better about how they look and are much more comfortable with the concept of making physical improvements. The increasing use of 3D imagers can show patients that implants alone may not correct sagging or nipple position. If the patient has sagging, the 3D imager will demonstrate how the nipple will still be low or point downward even with implants if a breast lift is needed. Another possible reason for the increase are more choices for types of breast lifts, which can result in smaller scars than in past years. As smaller incision techniques become popular, plastic surgeons are able to offer alternatives less scarring, making a breast lift much more appealing.

“Here at Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Brannon Claytor and I performed a combined total of 52 breast lift surgeries in 2013, up from 40 the year before,” commented Dr. Gray. “More women are coming to us who’ve had children, whose breast volume is decreased and who are experiencing sagging. We are also seeing increasing numbers of older patients who often have more skin laxity. A breast lift is good for patients of all ages who have sagging breasts. Often, women will have a breast lift at the same time as an augmentation procedure. I find that women who do both procedures together are usually between the ages of 35 and 60. The imager helps patients visualize that an implant alone will not achieve the look they want and they will need to have a lift to improve nipple position.”

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