How Facial Fillers can improve Plastic Surgery results

David Mabrie, MD
Article by
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sometimes, it's not the "obvious" trouble spots that need the most attention. Most of my patients come to me because they have a few noticeable problems like "under-eye bags," "parentheses," or "crow's feet" that they're hoping a specialist can correct. Many times, though, these areas need only minimal help, and I will get much more dramatic results by focusing on restoring volume to the upper face at the same time.

Focusing on Results
Years ago, facial plastic surgeons designed their procedures to "remove" problems like crow's feet. Today, though, better-trained surgeons focus much more on the "big picture" of a patient's face, with the goal of creating harmony and balance between the features and restoring the characteristics of youthful tissues and facial structures.

For me, this means that along with tightening up the surface tissues, I'll often spend some time and attention using injectable fillers or (in a few cases) facial implants to recreate the rounder upper-facial contour that older people lose as their facial fat starts to droop. Here's why:

• Symmetry - For many patients, aging doesn't happen exactly the same on both sides of the face, even if your facial structures themselves are perfectly balanced. Often, facial asymmetry happens partly because the malar (cheek) fat pads don't fall at the same rate on both sides of the face. Surface and muscular adjustments can help with this problem, but injectable fillers can often help create much more even results.

• Restoration - Sometimes, minor facial sagginess at the jaw line results from loose fat, but in more cases the skin simply falls because there's no tissue volume to hold it. Adding upper-facial volume can reverse this problem without the need for additional surgery.

• Tissue quality - For thinner patients especially, certain facial surgeries risk creating a gaunt, pulled look if the patient has lost a lot of fat from their cheek area. Restoring upper-facial fullness at the same time can smooth out wrinkles, but also help the patient look much healthier.

• Emphasis - Much of facial aesthetics is about placing emphasis on the patient's most attractive features. Creating a fuller contour in the upper face can not only de-emphasize lower-facial sagginess, but also highlight the eyes much more effectively than surgery alone would.