As we age, two things happen in our faces. We lose elasticity in our skin and we also lose volume in our face. Those chubby cheeks that grandma used to pinch are now sagging areas on our face. So what can we do to restore a more youthful look to our face?
First, we can restore the lost volume. This can be done using injectable fillers or fat taken from elsewhere in the body. Fillers work well, however, they are short term solutions as they break down and absorb over time. Also, in order to gain significant volume expansion in the face, several syringes of filler may be required. This may run into quite a bit of money. For patients with early volume loss, fillers may be a very good way to go. For patients with more significant volume loss, fat transferred from other areas of the body may be a good alternative. Most patients are happy to donate their fat. “Take all you want!” is what I usually hear from my patients. The nice thing is that there is usually plenty of fat available.
If a patient has a lot of volume loss combined with laxity of the skin of the face, then tightening of the skin with a facelift would be a better option. This could be done in conjunction with the addition of fat as a filler. Minor skin tightening can be done under local anesthesia in an office setting. More extensive tightening is usually done under general anesthesia in an outpatient surgery center.
Replenishing lost volume and tightening loose skin – those are the goals for restoring a youthful look to the face!