Oasis Eye Face & Skin is a medical and surgical practice specializing in eyelids and tissues around the eyes, as well as skin rejuvenation. Dr. Vivian Schiedler is an ophthalmologist and oculofacial plastic surgeon, with 16 years of experience. A graduate of Stanford, UCSF, and the internationally recognized Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Dr. Schiedler treats children and adults around the eyes, whether the problem is functional or cosmetic. By carefully listening to her patients, and merging experience with artistry, Dr. Schiedler provides highly customized natural results. Dr. Schiedler focuses on tailored treatments that enrich her patient’s lives by improving their vision, comfort, and appearance.
Congratulations on your 5-year anniversary Dr. Schiedler! What updates do you have for us?
Thank you. It’s been a great 5 years of steady growth since I opened my solo practice with one employee. I now have a wonderful team of five dedicated and caring staff members, and we are grateful to work in the medical field, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. We truly enjoy transforming people’s lives and providing a personalized experience where people feel heard and never rushed. Our motto is to treat everyone as we would want to be treated. And I think that has contributed to our word-of-mouth growth. We have also added some new services to respond to the needs of our patients including skin rejuvenation. That’s when it made sense to add “Face & Skin” to the name of our practice.
Can you please remind our readers what your specialty is?
My field of oculoplastic surgery focuses on the sensitive and unique tissues that surround the eyes. I am a board-certified ophthalmologist with an additional 2 years of plastic surgery fellowship training exclusively dealing with the eyelids, brows, tear drain, eye socket, and upper face. I take care of a lot of insurance-based problems for medical necessity such as skin cancers, watery eyes, dry eyes, and droopy lids or brows that may be blocking vision. But a growing part of my practice are elective procedures to rejuvenate tired and aging eyes, such as lid lifts to brighten the eyes. I also have added chemical peels to restore skin quality and reduce wrinkles.
How has the pandemic affected your practice?
Despite the initial shutdown of March 2020, we are now busier than ever as people have had more downtime to dedicate to their healing from procedures. Physical distancing and mask wearing have come in handy for hiding away the bruises and swelling that accompany the first few days after a procedure. As more people have been working from home, they are also more able to recover from a procedure at home without taking as much time off work.
What are some of the procedures that people are requesting? Has that changed due to the pandemic?
Interestingly there have been a lot of unexpected ramifications of the pandemic. With people adopting Zoom meetings, they have been exposed to a reflection of themselves on the screen that they previously were not used to observing. This has made them more aware of how they appear to other people as they talk, smile, and frown. Some folks notice that their face no longer matches their imagined view of themselves, as their facial expressions transmit a feeling that they do not actually feel. For example, hooded eyelids may look sad or tired, when in fact they feel happy and energetic.
Or droopy brows that look angry or intense with deep grooves between the brows, when in fact they feel relaxed and calm. Lower lid bags and dark circles that make them look exhausted when in fact they feel rested and dynamic. These people have come in to see me wanting to restore a more natural rejuvenated appearance. I use browlifts, eyelid blepharoplasty, chemical peels, fillers, and wrinkle relaxers to bring back a youthful energy to the eyes and face.
Can you explain how these procedures bring about a more youthful appearance?
Blepharoplasty means “eyelid reshaping.” For long lasting results, I do surgery to remove fat and skin if it is excessive. If there are dark hollows under the eyes, I can move some of the bulging fat bags into the hollows and smooth out the contours to reduce the tired dark circles. If the eyelid skin crinkles when smiling, a deep chemical peel significantly helps to tighten and thicken the skin and improve its appearance. For brows that are heavy, sad, or angry looking, I will reshape them to a pleasing arch in women, a flatter contour in men, and lift them off the eyelids to brighten the whole eye area. There are many ways to accomplish a browlift, which is dependent on skin quality, forehead length, and hairline. For people who have thicker skin around the eyes and are mostly hollowing from losing fat pads under the eyes, I use fillers. These are transparent gels that are injected deep under the soft tissues to fill in the hollows and add volume where there is a depression causing a tired dark shadow. For wrinkles that are caused by muscle movement, small injections can be used to relax the muscles and lessen these dynamic wrinkles. If the skin is sun damaged or thinning, a chemical peel can remove dark spots while thickening the skin and lessening the wrinkles that show up around the eyes when smiling.
How can people recover faster?
Speeding up recovery is important to a lot of people since so many of us are busy with work, family, or travel. Eating a healthy diet with adequate vitamin C helps produce collagen for healing. Not smoking is very important since it interferes with good blood flow to healing tissues. To keep swelling and bruising to a minimum, we now have the Lid Lift Goggle. A colleague of mine designed these goggles to gently compress the eyelids while healing, preventing most swelling and bruising. It looks like a ski mask with foam inside. It is worn after surgery for most of the day for the first 2 days, and at night for 7 nights. I have noticed that patients who use this option generally speed up their healing time by half. Some have not even developed any bruises at all. Topical arnica applied to bruises under the eyes can also help clear them up. For people whose bruises tend to linger, I offer intense pulsed light, or IPL. It is a quick treatment using a small clear crystal applied directly on the bruises, and a very bright flash of light, which clears up the bruises very fast.
What else does intense pulsed light (IPL) do?
I use IPL to improve tired gritty scratchy dry eyes. By applying intense pulsed light directly on the eyelid skin, it reduces inflammation of the oil glands that are needed to keep our eyes moist and comfortable. More than half of the patients I see have significantly clogged and inflamed oil glands with symptoms of dry eyes. Their eyes feel burny, itchy, gritty, sandy, and tired. Screen time aggravates these symptoms too. When I see that the oil glands are unhealthy and not responding to other treatments, I offer IPL as a way to improve the health of the eyelids at a cellular level.
IPL also helps painful red styes disappear faster, and it kills Demodex mites which are known to damage oil glands and lashes.
IPL has been used for more than 25 years as a way of restoring beautiful skin. It is also called a photofacial. It reduces brown spots, blood vessels, fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and bruises. A single treatment can really brighten your face. By getting rid of surface and deeper pigment, a natural healthy glow bounces back out of the skin. This is because more light bounces back off the skin instead of getting absorbed by dark pigment. A photofacial also builds collagen at a cellular level via photobiomodulation. This means that bright light in certain wavelengths turns on the genes in aging skin cells that make them act more youthful and produce collagen and elastin. This was proven many years ago by Dr. Patrick Bitter Jr., with tissue samples at Stanford University’s Department of Dermatology.
After treatment, skin from 70 year olds behaved more like 20 year old skin in this gene expression study, showing how collagen, elastin, and other proteins are stimulated by light. Another wonderful benefit of this treatment is that it has the lowest downtime of all skin rejuvenation procedures and does not require any numbing. It is non-invasive and does not involve injections. Rosacea patients get a wonderful reduction in the redness of their face. And sun damaged brown spots lift out nicely within one week. Most patients notice a significant improvement in their skin within the first week to first month.
To support this ongoing cellular turnover and help enhance beautiful skin, we now offer Oasis Skin. This is our new medical grade skincare product line that is freshly compounded by a pharmacy whose CEO is a chemist and understands every ingredient in depth. The goal is to use highly effective yet gentle medical grade products appropriate for your skin type to help restore barrier function, reduce inflammation, reduce wrinkles and age spots, and improve texture. All while keeping the routine simple and easy. Our SPF Rain or Shine is a best seller because even though it contains 14% zinc, it feels velvety smooth, has no smell, c
ontains strong antioxidants, helps fine lines, and makes your skin appear even toned with a tint that looks and feels great. We also have a great Brighten Up Peel which reduces sun damage and brown spots, and improves color, tone, and texture. It comes with a 30 day supply of at home products to ensure excellent results. If you’ve never done anything for your skin, winter is the easiest time to do it!
When we interact with and talk to other people, we really focus on their eyes. Because the eyes convey a lot of unspoken communication, it is important that they represent how we feel. And while you mi
ght feel great, as you age, your droopy brows, baggy eyes and droopy eyelids may mis
takenly convey a different message of fatigue, anger, sadness, disinterest, or sleepiness. If you feel your lids are blocking vision, or don’t reflect how you feel inside, or if you want to improve your skin, please call us to see how Dr. Schiedler can help!