The cheek and midfacial area have many options to improve sunken cheeks, wrinkles, and lower eyelid bags. Years ago, plastic surgery was the only option with a cheek lift. Fat was reduced, skin removed, and muscle tightened with incisions hidden around the eyelid and face. Nowadays, non-surgical cheek enhancement with facial fillers is a very popular option to improve the midfacial area.
The main options are the hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero, which provide necessary volume to sunken cheeks and last approximately 6 months to 1 year for many patients. Longer lasting results, however, are achieved with Radiesse and Sculptra, which both stimulate collagen production.
Radiesse is made of calcium microspheres suspended in an aqueous gel carrier. Radiesse must be placed deep in the facial tissue for natural results and to minimize nodules. Results are immediate and last about a year. Sculptra consists of microparticles of poly-L-lactic acid. Similar to Radiesse, Sculptra is placed deep in the cheeks for best results. However, results with Sculptra gradually develop over time, but last up to 2 years in some patients.
What about fat? Fat injections allow the possibility of permanent results that no other office injections can provide. However, there is more bruising and swelling with fat injections for the cheeks and a longer recovery time as compared to the hyaluronic acid fillers, Radiesse, and Sculptra. Being living tissue, there is also some resorption of the fat and some patients may want another fat injection several months after the first treatment to help achieve desired results.
Office facial fillers and fat injection have provided the facial plastic surgeons and dermatologists many options to rejvuenate the cheek and midfacial area, which wasn’t available years ago. Please share your thoughts below.