More Than Treats The Eye

Ophthalmology practice offers array of anti-aging procedures.

When Alexandra Kostick, MD, began her residency some 25 years ago, a neurotoxic protein called botulinum toxin was being used by ophthalmologists primarily as a treatment for eyelid and hemifacial spasms, which are spasms on one side of the face. By the time Dr. Kostick completed her residency, botulinum toxin, sold as BOTOX®, was also being used in a completely different way.

Dr. Kostick has been administering BOTOX Cosmetic treatments since they were first approved by the FDA in 2002.

Dr. Kostick has been administering BOTOX Cosmetic treatments since they were first approved by the FDA in 2002.

“There was an ophthalmologist up in Canada who was treating these hemifacial spasms with BOTOX, and his patients started coming back to him saying, Can you do this on the other side of my face because all the lines and wrinkles on the side you treated for the spasms have disappeared?” Dr. Kostick remembers. That’s how BOTOX took off as a cosmetic treatment.

“Ophthalmologists were using it to treat spasms and strabismus, a muscle disorder that causes the eyes to be crossed or look in different directions, and during my residency, I became very familiar with it. I had three years of training with medical BOTOX, so it became natural for me to add BOTOX Cosmetic to my offerings once it became a cosmetic treatment.”

Since then, the menu of cosmetic services offered by Dr. Kostick at her Palm Coast practice, Atlantic Eye Center, has grown considerably. She also provides a full range of eye care treatments, including cataract surgery, eyelid surgery and procedures for dry eye disease.

Her aesthetic offerings include treatments for the lips, eyelashes and brown spots. At the core, however, are BOTOX Cosmetic, dermal fillers and facial peels — in-office treatments designed to provide a more youthful appearance. All three are administered by Dr. Kostick.

“I’m the one who has the medical degree, the one who has been trained on these treatments, so this is not something I designate to my staff,” Dr. Kostick confirms. “That sets me apart from a lot of other practices.”

BOTOX Cosmetic 

Dr. Kostick has been administering BOTOX Cosmetic treatments since they were approved for aesthetic use by the FDA in 2002. 

“BOTOX was the first cosmetic treatment I offered my patients,” Dr. Kostick explains. “It’s a very safe treatment that is used primarily for the upper third of the face, and we use it to turn back the hands of time without doing any surgery.

“It helps to improve crow’s feet, which are those lines we get on the side of our eyes, as well as the lines in between the eyebrows and on the forehead. It’s a muscle relaxant that is injected right into the muscle.

“We’ve all earned our lines and gained them over the years. BOTOX relaxes the muscles, which in turn relaxes the skin over it, which gives a nice smoothing appearance. BOTOX alone can take years off your facial expression.”

Increase Volume 

Like BOTOX Cosmetic, the dermal fillers offered by Dr. Kostick are FDA-approved. She specializes in JUVÉDERM® and the Restylane® line and notes that these treatments are designed to enhance the appearance of the lower two-thirds of the face.

It is in those areas that the face naturally loses subcutaneous fat. This fat loss is part of the natural aging process, and it creates hollow areas and wrinkles. The loss of fat also causes the skin to stretch, which can add to the loss of facial volume.

“As we age, our cheeks tend to flatten and drop, so we’ve got fillers specifically to enhance volume in the cheeks and lift that area,” she explains. “We can also treat the nasolabial folds, which are the lines between our nose and the corner of our mouth. 

“In addition, we have treatments for marionette lines, which are those frown lines that develop below the lower lip and go down into the jaw area. Another thing people like to do is get their lips plumped. That’s become very popular. 

“Some people actually want their lips to be bigger, so for that we inject the filler into the lip. Other people don’t really want their lips to be bigger, but they do want to get rid of those nasty lines that form around the lips, and we can do that as well.”

Reduce Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Just as she does with BOTOX and dermal fillers, Dr. Kostick performs all chemical peels at her practice. The peels use a chemical solution designed to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage.

“Chemical peels are applied topically on the area we’re treating, be it the face, the neck, the arms or hands,” Dr. Kostick explains. “It’s a noninvasive treatment that’s great for refreshing the skin and erasing some of those fine lines and brown spots that we get.

“Patients getting the peel go home with the peel on and then wash it off after four hours. We give them a kit with some creams to use as part of the aftercare, and we just ask that they stay out of the sun for a couple of weeks because the peel makes the skin very sensitive.”

Dr. Kostick has been treating disorders of the eye and providing aesthetic treatments for more than two decades at her practice, where she also creates a family-like atmosphere and is proud to be treating her patients’ parents, spouses, children and grandchildren.

“Our patients become part of our extended family,” Dr. Kostick asserts. “We strive to make them comfortable by creating a very caring environment. They know they are going to be treated with a personal touch whenever they come here.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. js
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