Facelift with cheek implants. Is it always necessary to combine the two procedures?
First and foremost, facial aging is not just about the loose skin and deep wrinkles, hence pulling and tightening the skin tissue does not always work as a stand-alone procedure if the goal is to achieve a more youthful and “refreshed” appearance.
Renowned Los Angeles plastic surgeons suggest that a multi-level approach works for many patients desiring to achieve a more youthful countenance. For this reason, facelift with cheek implants (or any other form of “volumizers”) has become a routine procedure.
A standard facelift rejuvenates the lower eyelid, mid face, jaw line, and upper neck by lifting the saggy skin and tightening the facial muscles. If needed, it will also reposition the saggy cheek fat pads, leading to a more angular or heart-shaped face, which is an improvement from its previous boxy appearance.
However, not everyone has sagging cheek fat pads. Naturally thin and “athletic” patients may lack facial fat, which can be compensated by cheek implants, dermal fillers, or structural fat grafting. It is important to note that the ideal volumizer will depend on two key variables: their goals and their underlying anatomies.
While dermal fillers injection could provide the same effects as cheek implants, their results only last four to six months, thereby they require regular touch-ups which in the long run will cost more.
Fat grafting is another alternative to cheek implants, although its results is highly variable because each surgeon has his own preferred technique. But basically this involves collecting donor fat from one area of the body, processing it to remove the biomaterials such as blood, and then re-injecting it into the recipient site.
Simply put, cheek implants are the ideal choice for someone seeking a more predictable and permanent solution for hollowed-looking mid face. Nowadays, most of them are made of solid silicone that can be easily extracted should the patients are not happy with the initial results.
Some patients may avoid or at least postpone facelift by filling in the cheeks with implants, fat graft, or dermal fillers, depending on their ultimate goals and expectations.
By filling in the hollowed cheeks, one of the leading Los Angeles plastic surgeons Dr. Tarick Smiley says it may soften the laugh lines, decrease the downturn of the mouth, minimize the hollowness of the lower eyelid, and provide some “lifting effect.” For this reason, some people choose to have cheek implant surgery and then wait for a few years before they resort to a more extensive procedure usually in the form of facelift, he further explains.
As long as the cheek implants have been properly secured onto the bone, a facelift in the future will not be able disrupt them, he adds.