Tag Archives: ulthera

Observing Surgery: Blepharoplasty

24 Feb

Case Study:

Today I assisted in a blepharoplasty on both the upper and lower lids of a man in his late 50’s. Interesting right? This stuff is not just for women. And before you have any thoughts about it being a gay man you are completely mistaken. This man was a blue-collar, married man.

This patient’s wife, mother, and other relatives had undergone the same procedure. His upper lid was so saggy it impeded his vision tremendously. Genetics plays a large role in how we age, and considering this man had a number of family members who had undergone the procedure, saggy lids clearly ran in his family tree. The women in his family had such great results; the patient was ready to go under the knife. In 3 hours time, he looked about 20 years younger than when he walked in the door, but the most important part for this patient: his vision was improved! He couldn’t believe what a difference it made!


Time:

10:00 am : Patient is given oral sedation and pain medicine. The procedure is done under conscious sedation (patient is awake but comfortable).

11:30 am : Patient has reached adequate level of sedation. Patient is marked on the lids, where the surgeon will be cutting, and local anesthesia is injected into the area.

12:30 pm : The right eye is finished. Top and Bottom lids have been cut and stitched. The patient already states his vision is improved! AND he looks 20 years younger!

1:30 pm : The left eye is finished. Top and Bottom lids have been cut and stitched. The patient is shown his results. The eye is then taped at the sides to kept tension off the sutures.

Stats:

Total time of procedure start to finish: 3 ½ hours

Total time taken off patients face: 20 years

Total cost to patient: $5,250 (Upper only is $3,250 and Lower only is $3,250)

Follow up: The patient will return in 1 week to have the “tension tape” taken off and the non-dissolvable stitches removed (both dissolvable and non-dissolvable are used).

Downtime: About a week of being black and blue, and having the tape on your face. Tape is in though… Tape is the new black! (Just kidding).


(From the ASPS website)

Also known as a “Bleph.” The technical term for eyelid surgery. It improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both by giving a rejuvenated appearance to the surrounding area of the eyes by removing skin and fat. The result gives a more rested and alert appearance.

Almost 200,000 Bleph procedures were performed in 2011, and it remains in the top 5 most popular cosmetic surgery procedures.


Treatable conditions:

  • Upper eyelid surgery can remove excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the upper eyelids.
  • Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision (like in the case study!), can be treated by eyelid lift surgery.
  • Lower eyelid blepharoplasty can remove excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid.
  • Bags under the eyes can be corrected by blepharoplasty.
  • Lower eyelid surgery can correct droopiness of the lower eyelids, showing white below the iris (colored portion of the eye).

Is it right for me?

A blepharoplasty procedure is usually performed on adult men and women who have healthy facial tissue and muscles and have realistic goals for improvement of the upper and/or lower eyelids and surrounding area.

You should undergo blepharoplasty surgery for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.

Good candidates for cosmetic eyelid surgery are:

  • Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for blepharoplasty
  • Individuals without serious eye conditions

You must tell your doctor if you have any of these medical conditions:

  • Eye disease such as glaucoma, dry eye or a detached retina
  • Thyroid disorders such as Graves’ disease and under or overactive thyroid
  • Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders or diabetes

Prevention

If sagging lids run in your family, there are things you can do to prevent going under the knife. Botox is used to lift the lid (but it can only lift so much). Ulthera is also being used as an alternative to surgery. But remember, non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments won’t give you the extent of the result surgery will. If you start doing this alternative procedures at a younger age (say mid 30’s) you are more likely to prevent the need for surgery.

Ulthera – Skin Tightening Ultrasound Therapy

15 Feb

Ugh. Gravity.

As an aesthetic nurse, I have found the most common complaints come from sun damage and gravity. Sun damage you can prevent (like… stay out of the tanning bed, wear sun block, and use retin-a!). But what about gravity?

I don’t think we’ll be living on the moon anytime soon (according to Ken Jennings, the guy who won Jeopardy for 6 months, the moon landing was a hoax, and I believe him… just sayin…). Therefore, we need to know our options.

I’ve done a few posts about fillers (Radiesse and Juvéderm) and I’ve talked a little about bio-enhancing agents (Sculptra). These are minimally invasive procedures that last about a year or two, have little downtime, and are great options for a lot of gravity stricken areas. But… of course, there are other options.

Ultra Sound Therapy

Ulthera. The newest in non-invasive procedures. This technique uses ultrasound (yes, like the kind of technology to see a baby) to deliver low levels of focused energy below the skin. As a response, collagen is stimulated, and a gradual tightening and firming occurs.

Visible effects include a lifting and toning of sagging skin. In FDA clinical trials, 9 out of 10 patients had a noticeable, significant lift of the brow line. See ya lata blepheroplasty (eyelid plastic surgery)! Patients reported firmer better-fitting skin in other areas of the face and neck as well. There is also an invisible result from the treatment with the creation of new collagen, which can help slow the rate of skin aging.

Treatment areas include the upper face, lower face, and neck. That’s right. No more turkey neck! It is pending FDA approval for that saggy arm skin and post-baby tummy skin. SEXY!

Feedback

Does it hurt?

Although I personally have not had an entire treatment done… I have been told it’s not the most pleasant feeling. As the energy is delivered closer to areas of bone (i.e. your forehead)… it gets a lil uncomfortable. You can receive a nerve block in some of the treatment areas (local anesthesia). It feels like burning I’m told. But, my patients claim they would do it again in a heartbeat.

Is it immediate?

There are immediate results, but the collagen stimulus continues for about 90 days.

Is it for you?

Do you have skin that has “relaxed” to the point of looking and feeling less firm? A lowered brow line or sagging skin on the eyelids? Turkey neck? Then it might be a good option for you. If you’re in your late 20’s (*cough* like me), then this might not be an appropriate treatment for you. But I think it’s a great option for older women, especially who hate their necks or who are not interested in Botox (even though Botox is AWESOME).

Before and Afters

These are from the brochure via my phone. Not the best pics… but… I kind of can’t use my actual client’s pictures. Due to HIPAA regulations. Hopefully Alexis from Image will send me her before and after pics soon so I can replace these!

**This picture is showing the skin tightening above the eye area. The pictures to the left side are before treatment and the pictures to the right side are 90 days post treatment. You can see the degree of hooding over the eye has changed drastically. These pictures are good representations of what to expect. They are just bad photography on my behalf! Sorry!!!

Alexis Before and After

Before

Immediately post treatment

24 hours later

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