Author: George H. Landis

Will Eyelid Surgery Affect Dry Eyes?

As the often quoted saying goes, “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” Though it may now be a cliché, this saying couldn’t be further from the truth.

Our eyes expose many of our emotions and reveal plenty of information about us to the outside world. Whether we are stressed, tired, fearful, sad, or exhilarated, our eyes clearly demonstrate our emotions.

For some, the eyes can be sources of significant discomfort. Sufferers of the medical condition “dry eyes” can’t produce enough tears to properly lubricate and sustain the eyes, leading to redness, itching, and irritation.

The delicate nature of the thin skin that surrounds our eyes means they are also particularly susceptible to the aging process. Indeed, the eyes are often the first areas of concern for people beginning to show signs of aging. Initially, fine lines and wrinkles emerge (commonly referred to as crow’s feet), followed by puffy sacs under the eyes and droopy upper eyelids.

Eyelid surgery, technically referred to as blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery that addresses these common signs of aging. Blepharoplasty’s rejuvenating nature has a significant impact on the entire face; however, the procedure may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those suffering from dry eyes.

Here, Dr. George H. Landis discusses precisely what is involved in eyelid surgery and why patients suffering from dry eyes may require alternative treatments.

What is Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery is a plastic surgery procedure performed on an outpatient basis.

The procedure can be used to address most aspects of eye-aging:

  • Eliminates puffy bags under the eyelids
  • Removes excess skin in the upper eyelid, causing a droopy appearance to the eye
  • Tightens the skin surrounding the eyes, restoring a youthful countenance to the upper face

The procedure is often performed under local anesthesia. However, this does depend on the extent of the surgery being carried out.

During a blepharoplasty, Dr. Landis will excise excess skin. He can also remove excess fat, or introduce fat cells via fat transfer to add volume and fullness to sagging eyes.

Patients generally require anywhere between seven to ten days to return to normal activities following the surgery, and after fourteen to eighteen days, the eyes should be nearly fully healed.

During recovery from surgery, patients often experience lower tear production and lower blink rates. Both of these factors contribute towards temporary dry eyes, and in patients suffering from chronic dry eyes, eyelid surgery can make the condition worse.

What Are Dry Eyes?

Medically referred to as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, dry eyes occur when either not enough tears are produced to lubricate the eyes properly, or the tears produced evaporate too quickly.

It is a common medical condition in the U.S., with over 3 million cases treated every year. The condition can be temporary or chronic, with different causes requiring different treatments.

Generally affecting older adults, particularly women heading towards menopause, dry eyes are a treatable condition.

What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?

Patients suffering from dry eyes either don’t produce enough tears, or the tears produced don’t perform their lubricating function properly.

  • Not enough tears. Produced by a number of glands in and around the eyelids, tears protect our eyes. These glands tend to produce fewer tears as we age, as a result of medication, medical conditions, or environmental factors. Hormonal changes also reduce tear production, which is why menopausal women frequently experience dry eyes. Dry, windy environmental conditions also increase dry eyes, as tears evaporate at a faster rate in such circumstances.
  • Poor tear quality. Tears have three components: oil, water, and mucus. Each element of the tear serves a different purpose. Oil in tears prevents evaporation of the water, which is responsible for moisturizing and lubricating the surface of the eyeball or cornea. The mucus in tears ensures the solution is spread evenly over the entire cornea surface. When these components of tears do not all function properly, the tears may evaporate too quickly or not spread evenly, thus resulting in dry eye syndrome.

What Can Be Done to Cure Dry Eyes?

For some, dry eye is a chronic condition. Fortunately, there are treatments available to keep comfort levels normal and to ensure vision does not become impaired.

These include over-the-counter eye drops that act as artificial tears, which supplement or encourage tear production to keep the eyes moist and lubricated.

Other cases are treated by blocking the tear ducts, which prevents tears from being drained from the eyes, thus conserving the tears that are produced.

Taking general health supplements, particularly omega-3 fatty acid supplements, can encourage healthy tear production and combat chronic dry eyes.

Patients struggling with dry eyes can also reduce its severity by taking personal care measures in their daily routines. Mainly, hydrating well with eight to ten glasses of water per day, and wearing wraparound sunglasses outdoors will reduce the impact of wind and sun.

How Does Eyelid Surgery Affect the Eyes?

Immediately following a blepharoplasty, patients generally experience some degree of swelling and bruising. This is typical of any surgery, as swelling is the body’s natural response to trauma to the skin and tissue.

This inflammation around the eyes can interfere with the production and drainage of tears from and around the eyeball, which can lead to either weeping eyes or dry eyes.

In some cases, patients may experience temporary dry eyes as a side-effect from blepharoplasty during the healing process.

One common side effect with eyelid surgery is a lower “blink rate,” which can lead to dry eyes during the recovery period and can exacerbate the condition in people who already suffer from dry eyes.

Lowered Blink Rate

Blinking is an essential biological function. When we blink, our eyelids lubricate our eyeballs with tears. This keeps the eyes moist, removes foreign bodies from the eyes such as dust and small particles, and protects the eyes against the air, wind, and other microbes.

When healing from eyelid surgery, patients may find themselves blinking less, meaning the eyes do not receive as much lubrication as they usually would. For most patients, this is a temporary side effect from the surgery and is remedied with eye drops.

Lower Tear Production

When the tissue surrounding the eyelids are inflamed post-blepharoplasty surgery, the function of the tear glands and ducts responsible for generating tears may become compromised, resulting in fewer tears being produced. Temporary fixes include eyedrops during healing from blepharoplasty, but patients suffering from chronic dry eyes may risk unnecessary further damage to tear ducts.

With this in mind, Dr. Landis recommends that patients experiencing dry eyes strongly consider the potential side-effects associated with blepharoplasty before undergoing the procedure. In some cases, depending on what your optometrist and Dr. Landis recommend, patients may be able to handle dry eyes with medication. However, other patients will be better off looking for alternative solutions to the sigs of aging that emerge around the eyes.

What Are the Alternatives for Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery is an invasive surgical procedure.

While it is highly beneficial to some patients and can provide exceptional results, as we have seen, the procedure is not suitable for everyone.

For those patients suffering from chronic dry eyes, non-surgical intervention is perhaps a better option for countering the sands of time.

In cases such as these, two of the best non-surgical, minimally invasive options available are Botox and dermal fillers.

Botox

Botox is an effective treatment to frown lines, crows’ feet, and other signs of aging surrounding the eyes. It is semi-temporary, with effects that last between three to six months. Treatment sessions can be as short as fifteen minutes with minimal amounts of downtime associated with the treatment.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers provide volume and plumpness to sunken areas around the eyes. Like Botox, the results are not permanent. However, the short treatment times and rapid recovery rates make these treatments ideal for patients concerned about dry eyes being worsened by blepharoplasty.

Eyelid surgery in Plymouth, MN

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can offer profound anti-aging results to the right candidates. In addition to blepharoplasty surgery, there are other fantastic treatment options available. For expert advice and guidance in restoring a youthful appearance to your upper face, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. George Landis’s team at 952 562 5940 or to fill out his online form today and arrange your personal consultation.

How to Keep Breast Lift Scars at a Minimum

Incisions have healed, and you’re enjoying your gorgeous new curves after your breast lift. It’s time for the next step in scar care. Thin, raised lines likely still appear red or pink along the incisions. As your scars heal, they will darken and flatten, which may take several months or even a year before fading. Untreated scars may get more noticeable over time, though. For instance, darker skin risks hyperpigmentation or even increased thickness, becoming hypertrophic scars or keloids. Dr. Landis can offer additional guidance and resources to help you minimize the appearance of scars, however. Be sure to call us if you have questions about your scars.

Begin With Prevention

  • Healing can itch and peel, but if you scratch, exfoliate, or scrub your wounds during the healing process, you can aggravate the scars. 
  • Avoid all heavy lifting for the first six weeks after surgery. 
  • If you smoke, it’s ideal that you quit smoking a month before your surgery, but it’s important to abstain while scars heal also. 
  • Tanning will darken scar tissue, so wear sunscreen even under clothing if you are somewhere sunny with a high UV index.

Tension Is the Leading Cause of Scarring

Precise tension reduction is vital in avoiding scar tissue buildup, and you may still be using silicone sheet bandages to gently hold both sides of your incisions together. Check with Dr. Landis, who may approve using an OTC product, Embrace® Breast Lift Kit, that includes silicone-coated Stress-Shields™ to protect scars, especially during showers and exercise. You could be able to wear these for up to a year. 

You can begin using the various solutions weeks after your sutures have come out, but you can begin as late as six months after the procedure. Delaying will reduce their effectiveness, however. 

For the first few months, wear a support bra, but not an underwire bra. Ask Dr. Landis for recommendations.

Massage

Scar massage is another helpful remedy. Gently massage your scars horizontally and vertically in circular motions. This technique helps flatten the scars and decrease over-sensitivity and inflammation. Additionally, massage increases blood flow and stimulates the growth of collagen fibers that help heal and smooth your skin.

Two weeks after your surgery, begin massaging your scars for 10 minutes at a time. Repeat several times each day until the scars flatten and fade. Be sure to follow instructions and to remove the shields slowly and gently. 

During your massage, you can use OTC gels and creams. 

  • Dr. Landis may advise an anti-bacterial cream to keep the incision area clean and fight infection soon after your procedure. 
  • Scar gels are silicone-based and may help keep your scar hydrated. You might wish to use these gels for several weeks after your wounds have healed to soften and flatten the scars. Keeping the scars dry without becoming dried out can reduce their size and color. Many consider silicone-based gels to be the best treatment for minimizing scars. 
  • Many scar-softening creams are available, though they haven’t been clinically tested or proven to be more effective than basic body creams. Scar-softening cream does help keep the area flexible and hydrated. Use it only as Dr. Landis recommends after the wound has fully healed.

Other Options Are Available for Scar Minimization

Some women tire of using OTC remedies and discontinue their use, only to discover the scars may become more visible again. More aggressive professional solutions are available.

Fractionated lasers can produce satisfactory results. If your incision has completely healed, laser therapy can help. It reaches into the top layers of your skin (epidermis) as well as the inner (dermis) layers in order to reduce variations in pigmentation. This process may require treatments every other month for a year or even longer.

Professional scar removal treatments can involve skin grafts from elsewhere on your body. Punch grafting, as it’s called, can leave additional scars, however. 

Other professional aesthetic options include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and bleaching serums.

Dr. Landis is available to answer all your questions about breast lift scar minimization

Under-Eye Bags: 2020’s Best Surgical and Nonsurgical Treatments

Just as we wish to face a new day well-rested, we want to tackle a new year looking and feeling our best. Coming into the start of 2020, we struggle to shake off holiday stress and get the new, refreshed look we’d like. 

Baggy eyes are a tell-tale sign of long, sleepless nights and the stress that often shows up during the holiday season. For some of us, puffy eyes can also be due to aging, lifestyle, allergies, sun exposure, and even genetics. 

Whatever the cause of your puffy eyes, here we offer the best surgical and nonsurgical treatments available in 2020 to help you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the new year. Some are super simple; others are more surprising. But one thing is for sure – they work.

Non-surgical Treatments for Puffy Eyes

1) Drink Water

Chronic dehydration leads to the body restricting blood flow to certain parts of the body. This can cause a sunken or gaunt-looking area around the eyes and creates under-eye bags. The recommended amount of fluid intake each day is 13 cups of water a day for men and 9 cups a day for women. Drinking at least this much water each day will help you to maintain healthy hydration levels and address those dark circles.

2) Use Cold Compresses

Loose muscles and tissues can cause puffy eyes. This is because the fat that usually encapsulates the eyes slips into the upper cheek, creating the look of “bags” under the eyes. Cold compresses help to firm up the area and keeps everything in place. Simply place a cold compress wrapped in a cloth on each eye for three minutes each morning and night to restore a more rested look.

3) Use Tea Bags

Loss of skin elasticity creates pockets under the eyes where fluid can pool. This is why applying caffeine-rich tea bags to the area helps with baggy eyes – antioxidants and caffeine encourage blood flow to the skin, have anti-inflammatory effects, and promote collagen production, all of which help to keep the skin under the eyes firm and healthy. 

After soaking tea bags in hot water (English tea works, but green tea is better), allow them to cool in the fridge for five minutes before leaving them on your (closed) eyes for fifteen-twenty minutes. You should begin to notice results after two weeks of consistent treatment.

4) Take Antihistamines

Allergic reactions to dust, pollen, fur, and other irritants cause the body to ‘flush’ itself. This results in watery and puffy eyes. If you have a known allergy, first try to avoid that irritant; however, if this isn’t practical, take an antihistamine such as Benadryl or Claritin to suppress your body’s reaction to the allergen.

Remember that soaps, makeup, and creams may also cause allergic reactions, so be mindful of the products you use on your skin.

5) Remove Makeup at Night

Keeping makeup on for too long exposes your skin to unnecessary irritation and even the potential of infection. If mascara runs in the night, it will surely result in red, irritated eyes in the morning. 

It’s a simple step to take, but washing your face with a non-alcoholic cleanser before bedtime will give you a fresh start in the morning with bright, alert eyes.

Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

For some of us, particularly those who smoke or drink alcohol regularly, the eyes can make us look much older than we would like. Smoking denies the body vitamin C, which is essential to produce collagen and keep healthy skin. Excessive alcohol consumption keeps the body dehydrated, and in some cases, home remedies like those listed above are insufficient. Others may avoid smoking and alcohol consumption but still suffer from bags under the eyes due to a genetic predisposition. Sometimes, surgical intervention may be necessary to address this unsightly feature and restore a youthful, refreshed look.

Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, is the surgical removal of excess skin and fat tissue around the eyes that cause a swollen, baggy appearance. When performed by a trained and experienced surgeon, the procedure is safe, and patients report high levels of satisfaction. 

Next Steps

Your eyes are critical facial features, and you want to trust them to only the most skilled and experienced surgeon. George H. Landis, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon with outstanding experience, standards of professionalism, and patient reviews. He has been named as one of America’s top plastic surgeons and has been praised for his excellent communication with patients and office environment. To schedule a consultation or discuss solving your under-eye bags with one of the best in the business, call 052 562 5940 or fill out this online form.

How Diet Impacts Male Breasts

A condition called gynecomastia – colloquially known as “man boobs” – is common, but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing when you struggle with it. Some estimates suggest as many as 50 to 60% of men develop excess breast tissue at least once in their lives. Often, this phenomenon begins during puberty and goes away on its own, but it can also occur later in life due to weight gain, the hormonal changes associated with aging, various health conditions, and the use of specific medications such as steroids.

The food you eat plays a role in nearly every aspect of your physical and mental health, so it should be no surprise that gynecomastia can occur because of the dietary choices you make. Today, let’s look at some of the unexpected ways the foods you put on your plate could end up affecting the appearance of your chest.

Dietary Don’ts and Do’s

What are some ways your diet may be influencing the development of your breast tissue, and are there any foods you can eat that will make male breasts smaller? You may be surprised to find out that the foods you eat can have an impact on your hormone levels, and your sex hormones, such as estrogen, specifically. Estrogen stimulates the development of breast tissue, so you will want to minimize dietary sources of estrogen. Read on for advice about what this means for your food choices.

1. Avoid: Fatty Foods

Eating too much junk food and empty calories can contribute to a host of health problems like obesity, which can also raise estrogen levels and increase breast size. Instead of driving through for a greasy, fatty fast-food dinner, prepare something fresh at home.

2. Watch for: Sneaky Chemicals

There’s evidence that some pesticides and other chemicals, such as phthalates, can mimic the effects of estrogen. Nine of the 10 most common pesticides are known hormonal disruptors. Conventionally-grown fruits with edible skins, such as strawberries, apples, and pears, have the highest levels of estrogen-imitating pesticides. You can still enjoy these nutritious fruits if you choose organic, instead of those farmed with traditional methods.

Phthalates, which are a plastic softener used in packaging, are also estrogen-mimicking chemicals. The most common phthalate, BPA, is often a component of can liners and water bottles. To steer clear of these, look for products labeled “BPA-free.”

3. Eat Less: Soy

Soybeans are a source of plant estrogens, also known as phytoestrogens. Sources of soy include tofu, edamame, and many vegetarian and vegan alternatives to meat. Soy is in many products that you wouldn’t expect, so it is a good idea to begin reading the ingredient list on food labels if you don’t already.

4. Try More: Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Gynecomastia may cause your breast tissue to feel swollen and tender. Specific foods have anti-inflammatory properties, although there is limited scientific research on the effects of these anti-inflammatory foods on gynecomastia, in particular. Anti-inflammatory foods include fish, such as salmon and tuna, and antioxidant-rich foods such as leafy greens, sweet potatoes, berries, citrus fruits, and legumes.

5. Add to Your Shopping Cart: Nutrient-dense foods

Being significantly overweight is a potential cause of gynecomastia. Making smarter food choices can help you lose weight, including your unwanted breast tissue. To cut your calorie intake and reach your goal weight, incorporate more nutrient-rich foods into your diet and get rid of processed foods. Smart choices include fresh produce, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean sources of protein. At mealtimes, make sure your plate is at least half vegetables and fruits.

The Effects of Gynecomastia

Men living with gynecomastia often experience a reduced quality of life. Though some experience occasional discomfort or embarrassment, others can develop a full-blown social anxiety disorder. Feeling bad about your body isn’t good for anyone, and it can be surprising how much of an impact this can have on multiple areas of your life.

In cases where gynecomastia is the result of excess glandular tissue, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to diminish the size of your breasts. That’s why you have no reason whatsoever to feel ashamed if you are thinking about a surgical approach to attain a more masculine-looking chest.

How to Improve Your Chest Contours With Gynecomastia Surgery in Plymouth, MN

If you are in good overall health, are at or near your target body weight, and have adequate skin elasticity, you might be an excellent candidate for gynecomastia surgery with Dr. George Landis.

Male breast reduction surgery can improve your self-confidence and make you more comfortable with the appearance of your chest by reducing unwanted fat and breast tissue with a variety of techniques. Dr. Landis has 25 years of experience performing gynecomastia surgery, and he will create a customized surgical plan that meets your needs.

Your satisfaction with your gynecomastia results starts with a confidential consultation to discuss your concerns and evaluate your degree of excess skin and fatty tissue. To schedule this in-person meeting, contact us today.

When Is An Eyelid Lift Medically Necessary?

Blepharoplasty (frequently referred to as an eyelid lift) is a popular procedure to resolve drooping upper or lower eyelids. While the procedure is designed to restore a youthful appearance, there are also potential medical benefits to improve vision and eye function.  

The problem of drooping upper eyelids may occur for several different reasons, which may require different treatments. The most common issues are the downward displacement of the eyelid margin (blepharoptosis) and excess eyelid skin (dermatochalasis).

Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the lower or upper eyelids. A common question board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Landis, hears regularly: when is eyelid surgery medically necessary?

Medical Reasons for Upper Eyelids Drooping

The most critical factor in determining the medical necessity of blepharoplasty is what the patient is experiencing. Typically, the patient will know their eyelids are causing problems with vision when they are prevented from doing activities like driving and reading or experiencing headaches or eye strain.

In addition to these lifestyle issues, there are objective findings that your surgeon will discover through physical exam and studies,  like visual field testing, photographs, and eyelid measurements. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, indicators for medical need for an eyelid lift include:

  • The patient notices functional impairment
  • The distance between the center of the pupil and the edge of the eyelid (margin reflex distance) is less than 2mm
  • Superior visual field loss 
  • Impaired reading or other near-sighted activities
  • Eye discomfort or strain
  • Chin-up head tilt
  • Optical interference because of hooded upper eyelids

Keep in mind – these are not rules but suggested guidelines. The determination for a functional diagnosis for surgery is necessary for the patient’s insurance coverage. Each health care company has its own guidelines, which may be different than these indicators. A consultation with Dr. Landis can help you to determine whether you may qualify for medical blepharoplasty.

Cosmetic Improvement

Blepharoplasty not only corrects eyelids from drooping over your eyes and impairing your vision but has the added benefit of making you look more alert and younger. One of the problems with aging eyelids is that when they become hooded, puffy, and hide your eyes, they can give you the appearance of being tired and worn. After an eyelid lift, patients are excited to look younger and more focused. It can affect not only their appearance but how others see them at home and on the job.

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you feel your upper eyelids are causing significant cosmetic issues or functional problems, you may be a suitable candidate for blepharoplasty. Come in for a professional assessment to explore your options.

Start the Process

If you are struggling with impaired vision because your upper eyelids droop down over your eyes and you would like to know more about your options to correct the problem and improve your lifestyle, Dr. Landis can help. He along with his dedicated team of health care professionals help patients in the Minneapolis area get the care they deserve. 

Contact us today or call (952) 562-5940 to schedule a consultation

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