I am interested in facial liposuction to sculpt my lower cheeks. There is very little information available on this procedure, but I understand that in the shorter term, it may actually tighten the skin as the scar tissue contracts during the healing process. I am wondering what the long-term side effects are on skin laxity or the possible ramifications on aging facial tissue. I am 32, Asian/Irish, with pale and delicate skin that is prone to broken /dilated capillaries. Is this procedure generally recommended for someone with thin, delicate skin? What are the possible short-term and long-term side effects of this procedure?
Possible Short-term and Long-term Side Effects of Facial Liposculpture
Doctor Answers 17
This issue of skin tightening after liposuction treatment is something that there is a bit of a buzz about right now. There are several techniques that claim increased skin tightening in addition to fat removal. They include laser liposuction (or liposculpting), ultrasonic liposuction, etc.
The difference is that in addition to removing unwanted fat there is energy delivered to the dermis (the deeper layers of your skin) and the collagen (one of the main structural proteins that makes up your skin) remodels (tightens). There's pretty good evidence that this can make small differences in skin excess.
The key is that the skin tightening will not be as dramatic (and some claim not as long lasting) as more traditional skin tightening procedures (facelift, mini-facelift). At 32 you probably don't have much excess skin though.
I hope this helps!
Liposuction generally is no longer done on the "face"
There once was a time when liposuction was done to the cheeks of patients whose cheeks were chubby. This is no longer done after the experience with these previous patients. Liposuction is generally confined to the jawline and neck and in these regions, works best in younger patients whose skin might shrink better than older patients.
The reason that liposuction didn't work well in the cheeks is anatomical. There isn't much distance between the skin, the fat, the underlying facial muscles, and the nerves that run the muscles. In order not to injure the nerves, liposuction needs to be kept closer to the skin, far away from the nerves. When you liposuction too close to the skin, you will see grooves and ridges that are permanent and impossible to eliminate.
So, liposuction above the jawline isn't a good idea.
Liposuction of the cheeks
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Effects of facial liposculpture
It is difficult to say if this procedure would be right for you without seeing photos but I think it likely would not give you the results you are seeking. Also, I agree with another physician who responded that the tightening effects that you are seeking are variable. Yes, it does happen but not in every casae and possibly not to the extent that you are seeking.
Facial Sculpting and Liposuction
Liposuction in the cheeks is by no means a standard procedure as it has been in the past. I sometimes combine liposuction with facelifts for gentle contouring. There are other ways to change the width of your face and a consultation in your case is really crucial to understanding your face and making recommendations. I would definitely explore other options before settling with facial liposuction as a stand alone procedure. Good luck!
Caution in performing facial liposuciton
Generally speaking excess fat is not a hallmark of aging, rather the loss and absence of fat is more typical of aging. Therefore we tend to prefer to reposition or add fat to the aging face. The short term and long term effects relate to the agressiveness of the treatment. But other than conservative liposuction of the jowls as an adjunct to a face lift, very little fat is removed. Commonly we add more fat.
Liposculpture of the face has special risks of aging
As humans age our faces narrow and become longer and cheeks thin and droop. People with narrow faces and sunken cheeks frequently are judged to be ill or old. Liposculpture of the face may initially look good but cause faster aging subsequently. As with any advice there are plenty of exceptions for whom liposculpture may be appropriate such as in treating jowls.
Facial Liposculpture for the Cheeks
The use of facial Liposculpture is valuable if done selectively.
Liposuction of the face can be problematic if overdone or applied inappropriately.
The "tightening effect" to which you refer is more theoretical than proven. The value and longevity of using laser in combination with facial Liposculpture is subject to disagreement by experts in the field.
To help you decide what's best for you, consult with well trained, well reputed and experienced board certified plastic surgeons.
It would depend on your anatomy. If you have good elasticity going in, it will likely remain, but based on what you are saying, you will likely have some excessive bruising. I personally dont believe lipo adversely affects skin laxity. I also dont believe that fillers lift anything, but instead radially expand to create the illusion of lifting.
Think twice prior to surgical facial liposculpture
Tumescent liposuction remains the gold standard to remove excess fat deposit anywhere on the body. However, there is a nontrivial risk of nerve damage associated with facial liposuction. I would recommend Sculptra to bring about a lift around facial fat pads or work with an experienced plastic surgeon to reposition the fat pads.