When most people think about improving their appearance, one of the very first things that come to mind is losing weight. This is hardly surprising since, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in 2013–2014, more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are considered to be overweight or obese. However, when it comes to fighting many of the classic signs of facial aging, slimming down can actually be counterproductive. Sometimes, cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that can actually increase or redistribute facial fat volume can be some of the best ways to achieve a more youthful look.
As people grow older, the natural fat deposits that give the face its soft and rounded appearance in youth slowly begin to break down, either sliding to lower regions of the face or disappearing altogether. This means that the skin that is left behind starts to sag and droop, and is the primary reason why many older patients complain of double chins, sagging jowls, or a generally gaunt and hollow appearance. In the early stages, this gradual loss of facial fat volume can be addressed using injectable facial fillers, like Juvéderm® or Restylane®, which use hyaluronic acid, a substance that exists naturally in young, healthy skin, to replace the lost volume and give the facial features additional plumpness and fullness for anywhere from 6 to 18 months, depending on the brand of filler used.
In cases where the loss of facial volume is more pronounced, a surgical approach may be required to achieve optimal results. Typically, this can be accomplished through a technique called fat transfer, in which actual fat that has been removed, via liposuction, from another area of the patient’s body, is purified and injected into areas that are in need of additional enhancement. Fat transfer is often an important component of a facelift or mini-facelift procedure, which is specifically designed to remove excess, sagging skin while lifting and tightening the underlying facial muscles and tissues. When used together, the effects of fat transfer with a facelift or mini-facelift can typically last for several years, or even decades, depending on the individual patient and various environmental factors, and non-surgical maintenance procedures, like laser skin resurfacing, facial fillers, and Botox® injectable cosmetic treatments can even be used to further prolong the results.
Finding an effective treatment for facial aging can often require a thorough understanding of both facial anatomy and the latest cosmetic plastic surgery techniques, which is why we recommend coming in to see one of our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons for a full consultation. They can carefully examine your individual needs and determine an approach that is right for you. If you would like to learn more about any of the various plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation procedures that we perform, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. at one of our Atlanta, Alpharetta or Cumming offices to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.