Removal of Eyelid Skin Cancer

EYELID CANCER & RECONSTRUCTION Westport, CT

The eyelids get a lot of suns. This makes them susceptible to developing skin cancer. Eyelid skin cancers account for up to 10 percent of all skin cancers. Fortunately, most of them are non-melanoma forms of skin cancer, basal cell, and squamous cell carcinomas.

Dr. Levin works with numerous dermatologists who diagnose the skin cancer and then send the patient to Dr. Leven to remove the tumor and reconstruct the eyelid.

Most common types of eyelid cancer

About 90% of all eyelid cancers are the basal cell skin cancer variety. Basal cell carcinomas, like squamous cell carcinomas, are the result of the amount of sun exposure over time. While not nearly as dangerous as melanoma, basil cell carcinomas still need to be removed as they continue to grow and begin to impact the function of the eyelid.

• Basal cell carcinoma— Under the squamous cells in the lower epidermis are round cells known as basal cells. Overall, around 80% of skin cancers come from this layer in the skin. Basal cell carcinomas usually appear in the lower lid and most often in people with fair skin.

• Squamous cell carcinoma— The top layer of the epidermis consists of mainly squamous cells, and up to one-third of skin cancers form in this part of the skin. Although less common than basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma grows more aggressively and can spread more easily to nearby tissues. Squamous cell carcinomas are rare on the eyelids.

Surgery to remove eyelid cancer

Eyelid skin cancer usually occurs on the lower eyelid, but it can be found elsewhere. If possible, Dr. Levin prefers to use Mohs’ surgery to remove the tumor. This surgical method has the advantage of removing the least amount of tissue, a critical element in an area such as the eyelids.

In Mohs’ surgery, the visible tumor is removed along with a small area around the tumor. Then, with the patient still under anesthesia, the tissue taken is examined under a microscope, with particular attention paid to the margins. If the margins are clear of any cancer cells, the procedure is completed. If additional cancerous cells are found in the margins, additional tissue is removed until the margins are clear.

Mohs’ surgery for eyelid cancer has a very high success rate, with five-year cure rates of up to 99 percent. Plus, it has the advantage of taking only the smallest amount of skin beyond the tumor.

Reconstruction

Reconstruction of the eyelid after removal of the skin cancer can be straightforward or very challenging, depending on the individual situation. Dr. Levin’s options are usually dictated by the size of the tumor is removed. The complexity of the reconstruction is unique to every procedure, but the main goal is to fully restore the function of the eyelid, brow, and corresponding facial tissue and muscle.

If your dermatologist has found a skin cancer on your eyelid, have the doctor refer you to Dr. Levin for the surgery and reconstruction. Her expertise in this area is second to none. Call 203-557-6464 if you have any questions about eyelid cancer, or if you need to make an appointment.

Blepharoplasty Westport, CT

What you need to know about eyelid surgery

Blepharoplasty Westport, CTEyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is performed to remove extra skin and fat deposits in the lower and upper lid. It is more common after the age of 35, but some elect to get the surgery earlier if they have a genetic disposition to drooping eyelids. Here are four factors to consider if you are exploring the idea of getting eyelid surgery.

Eyelid surgery can give you a more youthful appearance

Often, skin bulging or wrinkles on or near the eyelids make a face appear to droop. During eyelid surgery, delicate incisions are made to remove this excess fat and skin. The result is a more youthful and refined appearance.

You need to be healthy to get eyelid surgery

If you are thinking about eyelid surgery, you need to be in general good health to be considered. The healthier you are, complications are less likely, and the healing process will proceed more smoothly. Eyelid surgery can give you a smoother and more energetic appearance. However, consider if your expectations are in line with what the eyelid surgery can realistically deliver. Schedule a consultation with your doctor to discuss your goals and voice your concerns.

You will see results soon

Within two to three weeks after surgery, you will see the dramatic difference that eyelid surgery makes to your look. Patience is important during those first few weeks as the incisions and bruising are allowed to heal.

Eyelid surgery is temporary (for the upper lid)

As we age, so do our eyelids. Even with eyelid surgery, your upper eyelid will eventually develop wrinkles and begin to sag again. This is completely normal and part of the aging process. Fortunately, the effects of eyelid surgery on the upper lid can last up to seven years. In contrast, surgery on the lower lids rarely needs any upkeep. Before your surgery, you will have a consultation with your doctor. During this time, be sure to discuss your goals with your physician. Be mindful of your expectations versus reality and if eyelid surgery is the best option for your needs.

To find out if eyelid surgery is right for your needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Flora Levin. You can reach our office at 203-557-6464.

Botox Basics: 4 things you should consider before you get Botox

Botox Westport, CTEvery year, millions of Americans benefit from Botox treatments. Botox can temporarily remove fine wrinkles and deep creases, provide a smooth and even look. Here are four factors to consider as you contemplate getting Botox.

  1. Botox has side effects, but they are minimal: The most common side effect you will experience after a Botox treatment is bruising. Bruising is a normal and expected part of Botox and will disappear within a few weeks. Headaches are rare but sometimes happen, lasting 24-48 hours after the procedure. 1% of patients develop a drooping eyelid, but this will dissipate within a couple of weeks.
  2. Be mindful of your medications: During your Botox consultation, your doctor will discuss how to prepare for your treatment, and what substances to avoid will likely be part of that conversation. Certain medications alike aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory medications can thin the blood, causing bruising. Be sure to stop taking these medications two weeks before you go in for your Botox treatment. Also, tell your doctor if you are on any herbal supplements as well. Vitamin E, fish oil, and gingko can also cause the blood to thin. Last of all, avoid alcohol one week before your treatment.
  3. Get Botox from a board certified physician: Botox “parties” and spas are trendy, but not the place for Botox injections. Dr. Flora Levin is a board certified Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon and specializes specifically in cosmetic eyelid surgery and non-surgical facial rejuvenation. Board certification is proof of your doctor’s outstanding knowledge and expertise in a particular medical specialty. With an area as visible and delicate as your face, be sure you choose the best to get the results you want. You can find out if your doctor is board certified by looking at their bio or contact page on their website. If you can’t find it there, call into the office and ask.
  4. Botox injections last 3-4 months: Botox treatments are temporary. Using a fine needle, Botox is injected into the muscles to block nerve signals. This creates a relaxed and smoother look. Within three months post treatment, you may notice the reappearance of some wrinkles. As you regularly get Botox, the muscles are trained to relax more, and the treatments may last longer.

Let us know if you have any additional questions about how Botox works. Call Dr. Flora Levin today at 203-557-6464. We look forward to helping you reach your facial cosmetic goals.

EYELID REJUVENATION Westport, CT

Undereye Bags: Let’s Unpack this Problem

EYELID REJUVENATION Westport, CT As aesthetic medicine has evolved, we have become increasingly aware of the nuanced problems that men and women face as they age. If we look at statistics and market research, we realize that, of all the changes that affect a person’s facial aesthetic, it is the eyes that stand out the most. This makes perfect sense because we tend to look one another in the eyes when we communicate and because our appearance does a lot of our communicating for us. Knowing this, we place a lot of value on what our appearance might be saying.

Undereye puffiness may give others the impression that you’re fatigued or older than you feel, but in reality, this cosmetic issue is related to the very structure of the mid-face. One of the most common reasons for the development of undereye bags is the loss of mid-face volume. When fatty tissue diminishes across the upper cheeks, the fat pads beneath the skin of the lower eyes appear more prominent. A second factor in the formation of undereye bags is the natural weakening of the orbital septum, the membrane that normally prevents fat pads from bulging. Whether alone or in combination, these two factors in undereye bag aging can be mitigated with proper care.

Two Pathways to Outstanding Results

There are two common methods of treating undereye bags: injection of dermal fillers and lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and each has been successful in achieving patients’ desired outcomes.

Dermal Fillers

A large percentage of cosmetic patients prefer to first take a non-surgical approach to the correction of undereye bags and other signs of aging. Dermal fillers have made it possible to significantly reduce the appearance of undereye bags with no down time and none of the risks of surgery. Products such as those in the Juvéderm or Restylane families are formulated with organic substances that the body naturally metabolizes over time. When introduced to the tissue where the upper cheek meets the undereye skin, a filler smooths the transition between the two areas, which rejuvenates the eye.

Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty

The value of eye rejuvenating surgery may be realized after one or two non-surgical treatments as it is more long-lasting with more definitive results. Surgery can address the bags but trimming and re-positioning the excess fat that is bulging toward the surface as well as the crepey eyelid skin to tighten it. The transconjunctival approach (inside of the eyelid) to access the lower eyelid fat is the safest way to avoid undesirable results or complications. Surgery can be combined with laser skin resurfacing to further tighten the lower eyelid skin and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Board certified oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Flora Levin specializes exclusively in cosmetic eyelid surgery and non-surgical facial rejuvenation. To discuss potential treatment options for undereye puffiness, call our Westport, CT office at 203-557-6464.

Laser Skin Resurfacing Westport, CT

Know Your Lasers (Your Skin Will Thank You)

Laser Skin Resurfacing Westport, CT Most of us have a history of at least some bad behavior when it comes to the sun, and we’ve got the skin damage to prove it: brown spots, uneven texture, and wrinkles. But there’s a bright side to this story, and it comes in the form of laser skin resurfacing.

Using light energy to treat sun damaged skin

The light energy of lasers can be used to resurface the skin, and treatments can do a lot to make up for a time in the sun without sunscreen. And there are many different types of lasers and procedure options, depending on your skin, the area you want to treat and your goals. So here’s a brief look at the main categories of lasers – and then our favorite laser for treating sun damage:

Ablative or non-ablative? Here’s what you need to know

Non-ablative laser 

  • Treats the skin on a more superficial level
  • Doesn’t remove skin.

Ablative laser 

  • Penetrates deeper into the skin
  • Removes a thin layer of skin surface

Discover The Pearl

This is a new FDA-approved, state-of-the-art laser used for treating skin problems caused by sun damage, as well as uneven texture, discoloration, spots, enlarged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles—regardless of the cause. The Pearl’s advanced technology can provide cosmetic benefits in only one to two treatments, restoring your skin with minimal downtime. During a 15-minute procedure, pulses of laser light and heat are delivered to help reduce and even eliminate signs of sun damage and aging, along with stimulating your collagen growth. The technology is also available in two additional forms:

  1. The Pearl Fractional

It can be used on the entire face and is especially effective in the eye and mouth areas. Many patients notice improvements after only one treatment. Over time, continued effects include increased volume and firmness.  

  1. The Pearl Fusion

Using two lasers, the treatment addresses surface problems (brown spots) as well as deeper issues (creases). The approach can result in immediate improvements and increased firmness over time.

Learn more about The Pearl and what it can do for you
Call for your Pearl treatment today: 203-557-6464

 

 

What’s really causing your upper eyelids to droop?

Ptosis upper eyelid droopingA natural sign or aging is often sagging upper eyelids. It happens to everyone to one degree or another and can be even more pronounced if droopy eyelids show up earlier in life because they run in your family.

Sun damage and smoking can also contribute to skin that ages prematurely, especially around the eyes where it’s thinner and more delicate. But there’s another condition that can cause your upper eyelids to droop. And to treat the condition properly, it must be diagnosed correctly.

Ptosis causes upper eyelid drooping

Stretching or weakness of the levator muscle responsible for raising your eyelid is a reason your eyelids may be drooping. Ptosis can also be the result of damage to the nerves that control the muscle, as well as:

  • Aging
  • Congenital condition
  • Injury
  • Disease

When it comes to treating droopy eyelids, it’s important to identify the correct cause to help ensure you achieve the proper treatment and the most desirable outcome.

Ptosis can affect one or both eyelids

Just as with typical eyelid sagging, ptosis doesn’t always affect both eyelids equally. However, it shouldn’t be confused with the excess eyelid skin or fat that is the cause of most eyelid drooping. While some patients with ptosis also have excess eyelid skin and fat, an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, isn’t the only treatment needed to achieve the best aesthetic results for ptosis.

Specific surgical techniques are used to correct ptosis

Most of the methods involve tightening the levator muscle that lifts the eyelid. This can be accomplished through:

  • An incision in the crease of the eyelid
  • An incision on the inside of the eyelid

The surgical approach we use is based on your individual exams, testing, and needs. Many patients combine their ptosis surgery with an eyelid lift.

If drooping eyelids obscure your vision

We can work with you to photographically document your condition, along with providing visual field test results to illustrate that your eyelid surgery may be functionally or medically necessary. That means the procedure is often covered by many insurance plans.

Call for an eyelid consultation appointment today: 203-557-6464

 

What are your eyes saying about you?

If your eyes are saying you’re tired, sad or even that you’re older than you are, that can be cause for frequent frustration. Droopy, saggy skin and puffiness, along with dark circles, could all be sending the wrong message about your age, mood, and health. There are steps you can take, however, to correct the story by correcting your appearance.

What can you do at home?

  • Quality sleep

At least seven hours for adults

  • Proper hydration

Drink plenty of water, especially when it’s hot or if you exercise or work outdoors. Plus, use moisturizing eye cream daily.

  • Allergy management

If your eye puffiness and bags show up the same time as allergy season, talk to your doctor about medications that can help. Avoid pollen, plus dust or whatever substances are your triggers.

  • Quick fixes

Damp, cold compresses can help temporarily relieve puffiness and bags

  • Bad habits

Eliminating environmental and lifestyle factors, such as sun, alcohol, and smoking, can help reduce dark circles, puffiness, saggy skin and other signs of aging.

When is it time to consult with your trusted doctor?

Unhappy with drooping skin and wrinkles around the eyes, many patients come to us for Botox, fillers and laser and chemical treatments, which can all offer improvements. And there’s a surgical solution.

Learn about blepharoplasty

Eyelid surgery can provide a more youthful appearance to upper and lower eyelids. The procedure can be performed to:

  • Remove excess skin around the eyes (for some, this impairs vision)
  • Remove eye bags
  • Reduce wrinkles
  • Reduce the appearance of dark circles

Blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper or lower eyelids, or both, depending on your specific goals and needs. Within about two weeks, most patients return to their normal activities looking refreshed and more youthful.

Your eyes can tell a new story about you

What is the best way to decide if blepharoplasty, or an eyelid lift, is the right procedure for you? Start by scheduling a consultation appointment. Call 203-557-6464 today. Dr. Levin can answer your questions about surgical and non-surgical options for improving the appearance of the skin around your eyes.

 

 

Think You Know All About Botox Injections? Better Think Again

These days, many people today are turning to Botox injections to treat their fine lines and wrinkles. While these injections have been around for quite some time, there are a few things that people still don’t know about them. Botox is commonly used for combatting lines and wrinkles, but did you know it can also be used to stop excessive sweating and even curb migraines?!

Here are a couple myths about Botox that have been around for quite some time.

Myths Surrounding Botox Injections

  • You are better off waiting until you have many fine lines and wrinkles before getting injections. Many people believe that they shouldn’t get any injections until long after the lines and wrinkles have taken over. By taking control and remaining one step ahead of your wrinkles, you can prevent your skin from showing the signs of aging before its time. Allowing the wrinkles to set in could require a different service altogether to combat deep creases and grooves.
  • Age doesn’t matter when it comes to injections. While someone who is in their 60s can benefit immensely from these botox injections, that isn’t necessarily the same for someone who isn’t even 20 yet. If you are only 18 and noticed a few lines around your eyes, you might want to wait until you are in your 20s before seeking treatment. At only 18 years of age, your body is still growing and changing. You want to make sure it is done and you know the wrinkles and lines aren’t going away before attempting to treat them.

Ready to discuss Botox treatment?
If you are ready to explore Botox and some of the other facial treatments that are available to help you love the way you look, contact Dr. Flora Levin at 203.557.6464 to schedule your consultation today.

Botox for Wrinkles, Mind & Soul

botox westport ctFor most people, Botox means smoothing forehead wrinkles and looking younger. While this is true and Botox is the most common cosmetic procedure performed in the U.S., there are benefits that are more than skin deep. Medical applications of Botox include treatment and prevention of migraine headaches, neck muscle spasms and excessive sweating, among others.

 

However, its other benefit may have meaningful effects on the wellbeing. Minute amount of Botulinum toxin injected into specific muscles help relax the muscle and smooth the overlying skin wrinkles. Without repeated movements, new wrinkles don’t form and existent ones improve. Yoga instructors routinely focus on relaxing the forehead and eye muscles as a means to relieving tension. One of my patients who has been receiving Botox to treat wrinkles noticed that when the habitual habit of frowning was gone, she felt more serene and didn’t have to remind herself to consciously try to relax those muscles. This concept of facial feedback hypothesis (facial movement influencing emotional experience) dates back to Charles Darwin and its connection to Botox has been studied in patients with depression. One such study in Journal of Dermatology in 2006 reported remission of depression in 9 out of 10 patients treated with Botox injections into the forehead and eyebrow muscles that create expressions of sadness, anger, and fear [reference].

 

In addition to internal benefits, it may also have a positive influence on interpersonal relationships. A common complain of patients seeking Botox treatment is that they look angry. Without the deep crevices between the eyebrows, spouses, children or co-workers may perceive you as more friendly, open and approachable and respond to you accordingly. A sad or discontent appearance may be improved by precise placement of Botox into muscles that pull the corners of the mouth downward, resulting in a friendlier and happier appearance. Botox may help people notice how differently they relate to others, potentially leading to self-awareness and behavior changes that last longer than the Botox itself.

 

The argument that when you can’t express the emotion, you feel it less can also be made to argue that Botox dampens a person’s ability to feel joy and surprise or make them appear cold or insensitive. This is where the artistry of the injector is more important than the technical skill. A conservative and thoughtful approach delivered by a physician knowledgeable and experience with this seemingly simple procedure can result in an excellent result, both inside and out.