Facial Implants or Lipofilling: Which is Right for You?
The aging process takes its toll on our skin. In addition to the appearance of facial wrinkles, loss of volume in the midface around the cheekbones can also make you look older than you feel. There are options for treating volume loss, including synthetic implants and facial fat grafting or lipofilling. How do you know which procedure will work the best for you?
About Facial Implants
Synthetic implants can be used in both the cheek and chin areas to provide fullness and definition to the facial profile. These implants are typically crafted of biocompatible materials like Gore-Tex or silicone, which will hold their shape over many, many years. Implants also come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, allowing us to customize the look to complement the patient’s facial contour and other features.
Facial implants are placed during a surgical procedure that may be performed under local or general anesthesia. Incisions are typically placed inside the mouth to eliminate visible postoperative scarring. Most patients take at least one week off of work after this procedure, and the majority will see swelling and bruising subside almost completely within two weeks.
Lipofilling is a two-step procedure that begins with the removal of fat from one area of the body using a liposuction technique. Common treatment areas include the abdomen, back, hips, thighs and buttocks. After the fat is removed, it is harvested and prepared for injection into the second treatment site.
Injections of fat are performed in the areas of the face in need of augmentation in a similar fashion to dermal fillers. The difference is that fat grafting yields permanent results for most patients. However, it is likely that some of the injected fat will be reabsorbed by the body, necessitating a follow-up procedure within a few months to a year to achieve full results.
Making the Choice
Both lipofilling and facial implants can provide excellent results for the right patient, particularly when the procedure is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon. Lipofilling may be the procedure of choice for patients that want the double benefit of body sculpting and facial contouring. The results of lipofilling tend to be softer and more subtle, although they can also be more unpredictable.
Facial implants are a better option for patients that do not have excess fat for liposuction. They may also be preferred in patients that lack definition in their cheeks due to anatomical defects. Facial implants are nearly always recommended for chin augmentation, due to their superior results. Implants offer more predictable results, but the dramatic difference in appearance may not be satisfying to some patients.
Dr. Stephen Small is experienced in both facial implants and lipofilling and will help you determine which procedure will offer you the best possible results. To learn more about your options in facial contouring, contact Ocean Plastic Surgery at 732-930-2488 to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Small today.