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Facelift for Cheek Sagging

Posted: 3:01 p.m. Friday, March 6, 2015

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: Infini was recommended to lift and tighten my cheeks. Since I’m having a facelift to lift sagging jowls, won’t surgery also help sagging cheeks?

Answer: Sagging of the cheeks is usually not the same type of aging process as sagging of the jowls. Thus, treatment may not necessarily be the same for sagging of the cheeks and jowls.

The cheeks typically sag because we lose fat over the cheek bones. We also experience bone loss and remodeling of the these bones. Aging results in changes in both shape and volume of the cheek bones, giving a hollow appearance to the mid-face. With these changes, the cheek skin loses its underlying fat and bone support and begins to sag. This, in turn, causes the nasolabial smiles lines to deepen.

While a surgical facelift can improve sagging jowls along your jawline, the cheek tissues contain many nerve branches and important ligaments that are not as easily amenable to surgery as are the jowls. While mid-facelifts were popular in the past, for improving sagging cheeks and nasolabial smile lines, mid-facelifts have gone out of fashion partly due to their relatively short duration and higher risk of nerve injury.

A popular and effective treatment approach in my practice for sagging cheeks and deep smile lines is combining a long term injectable filler with a “laser” that tightens and lifts without risking nerve injury or surgical downtime. I typically use Bellafill® to replace lost cheek volume and may also place a smaller amount to fill deep smile lines. One must not be overly aggressive in filling smile lines to avoid a “monkey” appearance to the central face. Volume restoration combined with Infini® to non-surgically tighten and lift cheek tissues can give safe, natural-looking, effective improvements compared to a facelift. Facelifts are more suited for significant sagging in facial areas that are more amenable to surgery.

A detailed consultation with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon with a thorough knowledge of the intricate facial anatomy and the safest, most effective procedures is the first step.

 

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