Carolina Facial Plastic Surgery

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Xanthelasma Treatment and Excision

Xanthelasmas are a rare and relatively uncommon eye condition. Xanthelasmas are yellowish growths that can cause bumps or lumps in the eyelid. For this reason, patients in the Charlotte area may seek treatments to remove these lesions.

What are Xanthelasmas?

Xanthelasmas are collections of cholesterol and fat underneath the skin in the upper and lower eyelid region. They begin as small, round yellowish bumps that can slowly grow over time. If they remain untreated, they may grow enlarge to create significant aesthetic concerns for patients.  Xanthelasmas are not harmful or painful.

Causes

Xanthelasmas can be caused by an underlying metabolic disorder such as high cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes, or other disease processes. They may be present independent of any of these above mentioned disorders. Since Xanthelasmas are associated with other metabolic diseases, any patient with new onset the condition around the eyes should be evaluated by their primary care doctor to ensure good health.

Do Xanthelasmas grow over time?

While no one can predict the future, it is possible for Xanthelasmas to slowly grow over time. Commonly, however, they do not enlarge as the patient ages.

Are You at Risk for Xanthelasmas?

While Xanthelasmas are rare in the general population, they tend to form in patients with Asian or Mediterranean descent.

Treatment Options

All treatment options for Xanthelasmas are similar because they involve the removal of the Xanthelasma. At Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte, Dr. Kulbersh recommends surgical excision for this condition.  There are no topical treatments or skin creams available to treat Xanthelasmas.

To learn more, please visit WebMD.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does a Surgical Excision of a Xanthelasma Entail at Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte?

Dr. Kulbersh performs surgical excision of a Xanthelasma as an in-office procedure. Typically, patients will take a couple of medications one hour before the procedure, which helps them to relax. Once they arrive to the office, Dr. Kulbersh will draw on the eyelids the exact location of the Xanthelasmas and show patients where the incisions will be made. Each Xanthelasma will be injected with a numbing medication. This will create a slight sting, but it will last only a brief moment. The eye region will be sterilized with Betadine and the surgical procedure will commence.

During the procedure, the patient may feel pulling, but will not feel any discomfort. After the removal of the Xanthelasmas, fine plastic surgery stitches will be placed to close the wound.  The procedure will take anywhere between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours depending on the number and size of the Xanthelasmas.

What can I expect during the recovery process?

After the procedure, patients may have slight swelling and possible bruising. If they take the medication to help them relax, they may feel a little tired or woozy for a few hours. After the medication wears off, patients will feel good. Pain from this procedure is quite minimal as patients might require Tylenol for pain control. The stitches will stay in for one week and during that time; patients should refrain from strenuous physical activity. Patients are free to go back to work the next day after the procedure.  If patients feel self-conscious about the stitches around the eyes, they may choose to wear sunglasses to cover them.

After one week, the stitches will be removed and the incisions will likely be slightly red and a little bumpy. Incisions will look much better after two weeks, and they will continue to heal for an entire year after the surgery. Typically, the incision area becomes a fine line and barely visible.  Patients can use makeup on the incisions approximately one week after surgery.

Do Xanthelasmas come back after surgery?

One of the risks of Xanthelasmas surgery is that they may come back after a surgical excision. During surgery, Dr. Kulbersh will meticulously excise the entire Xanthelasma in order to decrease the risk of the recurrence of the lesion.

Is it better to get the Xanthelasmas excised when they are small or large?

Dr. Kulbersh strongly recommends excision of Xanthelasmas when they are small for the following reasons:

  • Decreased chance of reoccurrence
  • Smaller incisions
  • Smaller scars
  • Easier to remove
  • Decreased risk of changing the shape of the eyelid

How do I learn more about Xanthelasma treatment in Charlotte?

If you would like to learn more about excision of Xanthelasmas in Charlotte, please schedule a consult with double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Next, learn about blepharoplasty.

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