Rethinking Facial Implants

When considering a cheek augmentation, consider truly what would benefit you most.  In many young individuals with weak bone structure, a cheek implant made of silicone or other material can be an ideal choice since it is reversible, easily inserted and can provide a better, more attractive structure to the face.  However, cheek implants today are becoming much more rare because they do not help in the process of rejuvenation but in many cases can hurt the situation.

When the aging process begins to manifest in one’s early to mid thirties, there is an ongoing flattening effect to the cheek area that may prompt someone to desire a cheek enhancement to replace the lost volume.  However, if one truly looks carefully you will see that the cheekbone becomes progressively more exposed.  Adding a cheek implant over this exposed bone will only worsen the degree of bone exposure and thereby age the face more.

This woman had undergone a brow lift, cosmetic eyelid surgery, and cheek implants — which had taken her identity completely away and not rejuvenated her at all. She underwent corrective surgery by having her cheek implants removed and facial fat transfer to blend the enlarged cheek structures back into the face.

Facial aging is a process of loss of both soft tissue and hard tissue.  However, there is a greater percentage of fat to bone loss with aging, especially aging that occurs in the 30s to 60s.  With better dental hygiene, there is a significantly less bone loss with aging than what occurred over a hundred years ago.  Therefore, the mantra “like replaces like” is a good one.  Instead of placing bony implants that worsen bone exposure and the transitions of the face, i.e., the shadows on the face, replacing the lost fat with fat can make the most sense.

Fat transfer is a process of removing fat from the belly and thighs and putting it back into areas of the face that have lost fat.  With proper technique, one can achieve a permanent, natural result that replaces the lost fat from aging.  In the past, the technique was plagued with problems of shortened longevity, lumpiness, or overfilled appearances.  In a skilled surgeon’s hands, the results can be artistically created so that the face appears balanced and natural appearing.  Facial fat transfer in the right candidate can be the most powerful way to restore lost facial volume from aging.  Patients must however have a relatively stable weight and be at least in the mid 30s or beyond to be eligible for this procedure.  When choosing your surgeon, find someone with considerable experience in this procedure that is both technically proficient but also matches your artistic sensibility, as both are equally important when addressing a face for facial aging.

Click to learn more about Dr Lam’s fat grafting procedures, including photos, videos, forums and FAQs or call 972.312.8188 to schedule a consultation .