Tag Archives: Botox

Eye-opening concepts.

It has been said that the eyes are the windows to our souls. Certainly we often remember our friends and love-ones faces with the eyes playing a prominent role in facial identification. Unfortunately the aging process can strike this region relatively early leading to appearances that project fatigue, disinterest, and lack of vitality. Aging will result in skeletal changes around the eye, shrinkage of muscle and fat volume in the temples causing lateral brow descent, thinning and loss of elasticity of the skin of the eyelids, prominence of the fat pads of the upper and lower lids as a result of a weakening of the eye socket surrounding these structures, and in some cases the muscles that control upper eyelid position stretch or change leading to the upper eyelid drooping with respect to the pupil giving a sleepy appearance. All these symptoms of aging can hide the bright and vibrant person inside giving the false impression of a tired worn out individual. Take back the youthful appearance that is hidden under the veil of aging by consulting a board certified plastic surgeon who has expertise in eyelid and brow rejuvenation.

Brow

As with all anatomic areas deformities of the upper third of the face can span a wide range of severities. Many times women in their late thirties and early forties can show signs of early brow descent which can narrow the opening of the eye and brow skin resting on the upper eyelids. Many times in these milder forms of age and gravity related deformities we can correct with muscle balancing procedures utilizing neurotoxins such as Botox to weaken the depressors of the brow and allow unopposed brow elevators to prevail and elevate the resting tone of the brow.

Another targeted area to correct non-surgically, the brow position, is to restore volume to the temple region of the skull. This area in front of and superior to the ear and lateral to the brow represents the temporal fossa. This houses a large flat muscle that helps to elevate the jaw and is surrounded by soft tissue including fat and covered by hair bearing scalp tissue. Bony and muscle remodeling coupled with overlying fat shrinkage can lead to a hollowed out appearance which causes the brow to fall downward making the brow skin begin to cover the upper eyelid skin. Volume restoration can be accomplished with any number of filler agents but I prefer to correct the volume with a guided tissue regeneration product call Sculptra which is a polymer of lactic acid which promotes collagen deposition over time restoring volume and allowing the brow to be supported at a higher level compared to a depleted state.

As the brow tissue descends lower, further concealing the upper eyelid, the options narrow to surgical intervention. I prefer an endoscopic assisted brow lift over an open approach to avoid scars and hairline shifts. Just a few small openings spread out over the hairline allows for the complete release of the forehead and fixation internally to correct brow drooping leading to a pleasing brow position which looks natural without changing the hairline and allowing for improved visualization of the upper eyelid. In most cases the upper eyelid skin will require modification to give a harmonious smooth result. Errors such as trying to remove excess upper eyelid skin which includes excess brow tissue instead of performing a simultaneous brow lift will result in a poor result with very high eyelid crease scaring and the inability to close the eyelids resulting in dry eyes. Expertise in the aesthetic and functional evaluation of the upper third of the face is important.

Upper eyelid

The most common cause of excess upper eyelid skin is the underlying result of periodic eyelid swell causing excess thinning tissue. This can be addressed with conservative blepharoplasty techniques which can include some judicious fat removal. Of course a thorough exam to determine if the resting eyelid position with respect to the pupil is too low because not correcting the drooping of the upper lid will give a less than adequate rejuvenation because the patients eyes will still seem tired due to the lid lag.

Lower eyelid

Common aesthetic problems of the lower eyelid include excess skin, lack of lateral support of the lower eyelid giving a rounded eye appearance and excessive show of the whites of the eye ball, large fat pads with or without loose skin, increased separation of the eyelid cheek junction, and lastly crow’s feet. If skin quality is reasonable without excessive crepey skin and there is increase separation of the eyelid cheek junction then a conservative injection of a hyaluronic acid placed on the cheek bone under the muscle that closes the eyelids can smooth out the tear trough as well as build up the lateral eyesocket boney rim hiding some mild bulging of the lateral lower fat pad of the eyelid. This can create a Photoshop effect smoothing out the eyelid. Another conservative approach to helping the aging lower eyelid is to diminish activity of the lateral muscle that closes the eyelids with neurotoxins which can lead to a reduction in crow’s feet and can slightly help to elevate the lateral third of the brow.

Surgical interventions of the lower eyelid include judicious removal of the two lower eyelid fat pads through the inside of the lid with transposition of the fat on to the cheek to hide the tear trough, surgically removing excess skin from under the lash line vs skin tightening with a C02 Laser, lateral lid support to the bone enhancements with or without shortening the horizontal length of the lid. These procedures need to be selected based on clinical exam with the goal to provide a youthful eyelid with good support while avoiding excessive hollowing of the lower eyelids and poor lid support leading to rounded eyes and increased exposure of the eyeball.

The upper third of the face contains the aesthetic units of the brow, upper and lower eyelids and are a very unique region of our body for both special senses of vision, and provide our unique individuality of facial appearance. Aging can have a detrimental effect on both the aesthetics and function of this region which can bias people’s opinion of our vitality and mental sharpness. Non-surgical and surgical corrections can be important tools to correct these deformities restoring our appearance and giving back self confidence.

How to be “Sun smart”

I love experiencing the sun and all the activities surrounding its presence such as boating, swimming, hiking, and cycling. My mood is immediately elevated witnessing its warm glow. Yes there are many benefits to the sun’s rays such as stimulating the production of Vitamin D which is essential in calcium and bone metabolism as well as supporting the immune system. It chases away the blues of seasonal affective disorder and is essential for life. However there is a risk benefit ratio to being exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Following is a list of downsides to sun exposure. File May 11, 2 23 07 PM

1. The ultraviolet rays of the sun damages the DNA in our skin cells which can result in malignant transformation of cells such as basal, squamous, or melanoma. The latter can be lethal. Therefore minimizing the harmful UVB rays can reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. Sun screen is not a one -time application for a whole day of exposure. It needs to be repeated at least every two hours or more often depending on water or perspiration which can reduce the effectiveness of the prevention. Sun damage is additive over a life time but taking breaks from the harmful rays can allow the tissue to heal and repair some of the mild DNA damage. Therefore year- long tanning such as tanning beds should be discouraged.
2. Exposure of both UVA and UVB rays will damage the elastin fibers in the skin permanently resulting in loose less compliant skin. This will result in the skin of the face, arms, breast, abdomen, thighs, and knees to hang and appear loose. No exercise will tone the damaged skin. Therefore protect your largest organ system, the skin, by shielding the sun with appropriate hats, clothing, and sun screen.
3. Splotchy color changes to the skin. With increased sun exposure the skin will upregulate melanin production resulting in pigmentation changes that are less than attractive and are extremely difficult to reverse.
4. Thinning of the dermis which can result in the appearance of capillaries giving a red appearance around the nose and cheeks.

Everyone wants to have that sun kissed glow to the skin. I wish I had a dollar for every time a women says tan fat looks better than pale fat. Just remember the list above and understand a large sun exposure that creates a nice tan for around a week or so causes a lifetime of damage that can result in potential skin cancer and many vexing maladies of the skin giving a marked aged appearance over time.
Fortunately if you have experienced the above sun damage we can help. A combination of good home skin care with Skin Medica products, chemical peels to remove damaged skin and remove pigmentation changes, and microneedling which can result in collagen induction and improved dermal thickness and skin tone. More educational BLOGS are available on our website. www.thelucascenter.com

Renew, Refresh, Restore

Spring is here and what a perfect time to refresh your look for graduation, Father’s Day (yes, men do it also!), weddings, or before that fun vacation! It is time to put yourself first, which is hard for so many of us to do. We schedule our physicals and hair appointments. Why not start making appointments to take care of our skin, slow the aging process, and feel more confident? It’s never too early or too late to start. I see patients of all ages, and I will meet with you individually to ensure our goals and expectations are the same. Patients in their early 30’s might want to prevent deeper lines and wrinkles versus the more mature patient that is working to correct volume loss, soften lines, and have a more youthful appearance.

tammy

We have many options to offer depending on your specific goals. I can offer nonsurgical aesthetic treatments, starting with a thorough assessment which includes speaking with you about your concerns, a physical assessment of your face explaining changes I observe from the aging process, and completing a Vectra 3D image. The Vectra 3D imaging is a great tool to assess volume loss in the face, asymmetry and skin quality. We then use this baseline evaluation as a comparison tool during treatments. I also take traditional photos before treatments. It can be overwhelming to take in all this information, so I like to discuss options and come up with a treatment plan to best fit the patient’s desires and budget.

One of our most popular treatments is to use a neuromuscular blocking toxin such as Botox or Dysport to treat frown lines in between the eyebrow, crow’s feet that develop at the corner of the eyes, and forehead creases and wrinkles.

Dermal fillers can address volume loss in the face, reduce lines, wrinkles, and creases on aging skin, create fuller lips, and give the face a more youthful appearance.

My goal is to always keep the patient “natural” looking and make subtle changes to the face. There are multiple dermal filler options. Most are made of hyaluronic acid, which is produced by our own bodies. I select the product based on location and desired effect. Examples are Juvederm, Voluma, Restylane, Lyft, and Silk. I love Sculptra which is an injectable poly-L-lactic acid.  It promotes collagen growth, which improves volume loss, creases, and softens lines. It is an excellent choice for volume loss in the temple area. The key is a good facial assessment and working with my patient to decide on the most beneficial products.

Now a word about microneedling – It is an excellent investment in addition to a neurotoxin and dermal filler to address the aging face. A treatment can be done every four to six weeks promoting collagen growth and improving skin elasticity with minimal down time. Microneedling can improve the appearance of fine lines, acne scars, surgical scars, and stretch marks.

At The Lucas Center we have a dynamic team with over 100 years of combined experience in medical and aesthetics. We are privileged to be led by Dr. Jay Lucas, a board-certified plastic surgeon, who provides medical supervision of the aesthetic team. If your needs can’t be met through aesthetic treatments and filler agents, Dr. Lucas will be glad to meet with you through an individualized consultation appointment to discuss surgical treatments.

Do you look in the mirror and notice subtle changes on your face and frown? The aging process can sneak up on us. The Lucas Center can help you feel more confident about your skin and overall appearance. Get summer ready!

Step Ahead with The Lucas Center! Give us a call today at 865-218-6210 to schedule your free consultation with me.

Non-invasive Kybella may improve your neckline

Non-invasive aesthetic procedures have come a long way in the last ten years. The American Society of Plastic Surgery’s yearly statistics continue to demonstrate strong demand for procedures such as neuromodulators (Botox and Dysport), and hyaluronic acid filler agents (Juvederm, Voluma, Restalyn). Recently, non-invasive contouring systems that perform the techniques of cryolipolysis, such as Cool Sculpting and radiofrequency skin-tightening Ultherapy, have emerged in the marketplace. Now Allergan has added Kybella to the mix as a non-invasive injectable material to dissolve fat under the chin.

Before and After

Before and After

The key to success with these treatments is consulting a comprehensive center that offers a full array of non-invasive and surgical options, and will direct you to the ideal treatment modality for your unique circumstances. Just as with any medical and surgical procedure, there are appropriate candidates and patients with contraindications.

The most important step to avoid dissatisfaction is to be evaluated by a physician who is properly trained to perform comprehensive evaluation and care for all patients with a particular aesthetic concern.

Board-certified plastic surgeons have the most comprehensive education and background experience to correctly evaluate your anatomy and determine which treatments will yield the best outcomes. The statement “if all you have is a hammer the whole world is a nail” rings true for medical spas and dermatologist offices which only have one option, such as Cool Sculpting or Kybella. Just because a treatment option is non-invasive does not mean it is inexpensive. If you factor in the cost of multiple treatments, it may be as expensive as surgery and still fall short of expectations.

When is Kybella the right choice?

With the current status of the injectable form of deoxycholic acid (Kybella) the ideal candidate must have reasonably tight skin with only mild to moderate adipose excess in the submittal and chin neck angle. The patient should not have a significant mandibular jaw discrepancy with the midface or have a particularly steep mandibular plain angle.

When is Kybella the wrong choice?

Any patient with lax skin of the neck or a significant deflation of the neck related to weight loss with demarcated platysmal bands is not a candidate. Taking away fat in this circumstance only worsens the deformity. Any patient with a deep underbite and a small chin with a very oblique chin-neck angle should also avoid Kybella. Deoxycholic acid is mostly created to dissolve fat but does produce some inflammation with the caustic material to encourage collagen production and skin retraction. Skin excess with an oblique chin neck angle and recessed chin will not yield overwhelming positive results.

Instead of Kybella, the better option is placement of a chin implant (genioplasty) with aggressive liposuction to encourage skin retraction. A middle facial third with significant skin excess and deflation combined with loose-hanging skin with platysmal bands is best treated with a corset platysmaplasty in conjunction with a neck/face lift.

Non-invasive aesthetic procedures can be a wonderful adjunct to helping people age gracefully with limited down time. Kybella in the right situation may improve necks and make people happy with the results.

Avoid being pushed into this option without a thorough three-dimensional analysis of your face to determine if it’s right for you. Nothing is more frustrating than spending a great deal of money and not realizing your desired results. Even with surgery, some deformities may not be able to be corrected. Take advice from a board-certified plastic surgeon to maximize your goals and to feel good in your own skin.

Look as good as you feel in 2016

So you work out, eat smartly and watch your calorie consumption but your face looks tired, and you look older than you feel. Trust me, you’re not alone. The good news is something can be done that is predictable and sustainable to make you look and feel better about your face.

The key to success is a thoughtful facial analysis, which evaluates your bone structure, muscle activity, soft tissue volume, skin quality and the position of your forehead, brows, eyelids, cheeks and neck. I approach a patient’s face much like an engineer with a sculptor’s artistic eye. I create a problem set followed by a detailed treatment plan, tailored to each of my patient’s wishes and financial parameters.

Treatment plans often include skin quality improvement with techniques such as serial chemical peels and micro-needling. Please see previous blogs on these therapies on my website. If excessive muscle activity leads to a harsh appearing forehead and brows, muscle modulation with Botox can be an excellent approach.

Looking at the upper third of the face, I evaluate brow position with respect to the bony orbital rim and its relationship with the upper and lower eyelids. On women you want the brow to be above the orbital rim with the outer third being elevated compared to the inner 2/3 of the brow. Heavy hanging brows make the eye aperture appear small and tired.

Another important factor in evaluating the upper eyelids is eyelid ptosis (the muscle mechanism which elevates and maintains resting tone of the upper lids). Eyelid ptosis must be addressed with the blepharoplasty to prevent a tired sleepy appearance despite correcting the fat pads and excess skin.

The lower eyelids must be evaluated carefully in comparison to the bony anatomy surrounding the eye and the supporting structure of the lateral canthus, which anchors the eyelids to the lateral bony orbit. Great care must be taken if you have a prominent eye compared to your cheeks and have deficient lower eyelid vertical skin coverage. Weak lateral canthi can result in disastrous results with excessive eye exposure leading to pain and visual disturbance.

Finally, the lower eyelid cheek junction must be inspected. A large tear trough and bulging fat pads can detract from a youthful appearance. Taking out too much fat can result in a hollow eyelid, which can actually create an even older appearance. Current techniques include judicious removal of some of the fat and then actually transposing the fat pad down onto the cheek mass obscuring the demarcation and giving volume to the cheek and avoiding a hollow look.

The midface is all about volume. As we age, the cheek fat pad shrinks in size leading to the face falling with accentuation of the nasolabial folds. In most cases midface restoration can be corrected with volume-added techniques of either fat or filler agents making tissue repositioning in this area less important. A non-invasive injection of Voluma can be a great treatment option.

The lower facial third and neck are evaluated with regard to the jaw line, chin neck angle, and the draping of the soft tissues including the skin and neck muscles. Younger people with good skin quality may well be treated with liposuction alone to achieve a pleasing neck line. If the lower jaw is small with respect to the rest of the face, a chin implant or chin repositioning may help your neck appearance, in addition to liposuction to improve results and create harmony with the lower facial third compared to the rest of the face.

Older skin, with bands of the platysma muscle showing through, is less compliant and is best treated with a neck lift procedure. This surgery includes fat equilibration, neck muscle tightening and soft tissue repositioning and stabilization around the ears.

Facial rejuvenation is not painful, although swelling and bruising will occur. After the dust settles, results can be natural and youthful in appearance with long-lasting results that will boost your confidence beyond any wardrobe or hair makeover.

Look as good as you feel in 2016. Happy New Year!

Why are Plastic Surgeons uniquely qualified to perform facial analysis and rejuvenation

Board certified plastic surgeons have a very diverse training experience because we do not own a particular body part such as an Orthopedic or an ENT surgeon and we must be prepared to reconstruct or rejuvenate all parts of the body when the demand arises. Those who felt the calling to become plastic surgeons out of medical school realized their gifts and talents that could be offered to patients pertain to their unique skills of three dimensional thinking and artistic perspective to be able to see the problem and formulate a solution no matter how complicated the deformity exists.

I am troubled by the notion that patients think that facial filler agents, neurotoxins, LASERS, non-invasive contouring machines and other technologies or even surgery will work the exact same way no matter who is providing the services. I feel that Madison Avenue and corporate greed is mostly to blame because all aesthetic companies want to sell the product and place it in as many provider hands as possible to deliver their product to the masses. Many products can provide safe, and reproducible results in the right hands but in the untrained provider can result in injuries, poor outcomes and unhappy patients. None of these products are dirt cheap so why go to a clinician who is unable to critically analyze the face or body because of the lack of years of extended training. Remember if you can’t see the problem correctly then you can’t formulate a proper solution. My analogy for this situation is you can give a novice and a true artist the exact same canvas, paint and palate and ask each to create their masterpiece I hazard to guess there will be a distinct difference in outcome and quality. Why risk your face and body or your wallet to chance go to a true trained professional in aesthetic procedures. All providers are not created equal. Plastic surgeon have a unique training and perspective which I can assure you results in better outcomes.

As an example of why I feel uniquely qualified to analyze faces and what can be provided to achieve your aesthetic goals look to my experience as a craniofacial plastic surgeon who spent years mastering the art and science of the rehabilitation of the child with cleft lip and palate. It requires great understanding of the biology of the facial structures of bone, teeth, muscle, skin, fat, and cartilage and how growth and wound healing affects theses structure over time. Typically the child undergoes a lip and initial nose repair at three months of age with or without pre-surgical orthopedic repositioning of the bony segments. Followed by cleft palate repair at age six months to reposition the muscles that move the palate and close the hole between the nose and mouth. The third surgery to repair the cleft of the bone which house the teeth utilizing bone from the hip is performed somewhere around five to six years of age. After a period of six months then the cleft nasal repair is performed to balance the nasal tip with cartilage taken from the back of an ear. Additional surgeries may be required to improve speech function or revise the lip scar. We work closely with ENT’s, speech therapist, orthodontist and pediatric dentist to achieve excellent results.

These principles have been engrained in me and I can apply this knowledge to improving your aging face both non-surgically as well as surgical repositioning of aging soft tissues, changing the shape of your nose, lips and other structures. Please see below pictures of representative cases of cleft lip and palate surgery I have performed over the years. If you have any questions and if you would like a consultation we me and my staff please contact me via our website.

Age three months prior to first surgery
Cleft 1

Age Eight after four surgeries
Cleft 2

Age three months
Cleft 3

Age Eight after three surgeries
Cleft 4

Age three months
Cleft 5

Four months after presurgical repositioning of upper jaw and bilateral lip repair
Cleft 6

Botox creates a paradigm shift for facial aging

Botox has certainly become part of our lexicon since the new millennium. When I was in medical school at Penn in the early 1990s, botulinum toxin was only something to be memorized in pathophysiology class as the virulence factor for the Clostridium bacterium that caused botulism. Later on, in residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, it was used in the treatment of involuntary muscle contractions and eyelid spasms. At the beginning of my plastic surgery fellowship in 1998, Botox was just beginning to be explored as a novel approach to facial wrinkles. The literature and the applications were still in the infancy when I started practice in 2001.

Fast-forwarding to the present, what would women and yes, men, do without this little protein for facial rejuvenation and the prevention of early aging? What started out as a means to control our “elevens” or “mommy frowns” has now blossomed into a method to actually sculpt the face by applying the knowledge of muscle anatomy to deploy Botox in the right areas to balance opposing muscles of the forehead, mouth, jaw and neck, creating pleasing facial postures.

Having been part of the rise and current use of Botox, I can testify that using this neuromuscular-blocking agent can improve your current appearance with regular use and also prevent or postpone the aging process of your face. Today many clients, particularly women, look at it as yet another maintenance activity like getting your hair and nails done.

Botox can be used to selectively weaken the central brow area to reduce horizontal lines in the forehead. It can also be used on the circular superficial muscle surrounding the eyelids to minimize lateral fine lines around the eyes. Applied properly, Botox can preferentially reduce the lateral eyebrow depressor muscles to allow unopposed lift of the lateral brow by the forehead muscle, weakening the fine lines around the mouth, correcting asymmetries of the mouth, and reducing the banding appearance of a thin neck.

While the results are limited to around three months without reapplication, nothing else can achieve these desired effects as well as prevent the future etching of these lines deeper into your skin.

However, when something becomes commonplace, people begin to feel comfortable with the product to the point that they may oversimplify the treatment process. This comfort level can lead to the misconception that anyone can deliver Botox safely and reliably. For optimal safety and efficacy, Botox should only be purchased from Allergan, the owner and developer of the product. The company will only ship to licensed physician offices.

Some people try to purchase Botox online from out of the country in order to save money, which may or may not be safe or effective. The FDA recently reported that fraudulent Botox packaging was being sold on the Internet. There have been deaths or seriously neurologically impaired events when patients got a different kind of botulinum toxin which was a much stronger concentration and resulted in overdoses.

It’s my professional opinion that no one should receive Botox from an establishment that does not have a medical director who is intricately involved in the day-to-day practice of the office and has a firm command of the anatomy of the face and neck. I am baffled by the concept that dentists are now offering this service to patients as well. Having graduated magna cum laude from dental school prior to going on to medical school, I can emphatically state that dentists are not qualified to participate in these services. Botox is not inexpensive — why purchase it somewhere that might result in substandard results, not to mention nerve damage or death? The quality of the result is directly related to the skill level and knowledge of anatomy of the injector. Be good consumers and check the credentials of your provider. Caveat emptor.

Botox – A Sneaky-Smart Way to Tease ‘Father Time’

When considering injectable options, one of the first that comes to mind is Botox. It’s been around since 1990 and has only grown in popularity. From Real Housewives to neighborhood soccer moms, it’s probably the most acceptable and talked about procedure. In fact, “Botox banter” has become the vernacular in the office break room and is no longer a beauty secret whispered between gal pals.

So, why all the buzz about Botox?

  • Botox is an injection that helps eliminate the appearance of wrinkles by blocking the chemical that triggers muscle responses.
  • It’s a quick procedure that can be done on your lunch hour.
  • It helps smooth or “iron out” the vertical frown lines between eyebrows, the furrows in crow’s feet, and gives you a more youthful appearance.
  • It can help slim the face when injected around the jaw.
  • Botox’s effects last around 3 to 4 months, with easy upkeep based on your personal doctor’s recommendations.

Call us to learn more or schedule a consultation today at 865-218-6210.