I am a 22 year old female and when I was a month old a steroid cream was applied to my cheeks to treat a skin infection. After a couple of years, when I was three years old my cheeks started to sink in and ever since then my cheeks has been completely hollowed in.I am considering facial reconctructive surgery and I would like to know what options I have available. I am also open to any other type of treatment that can help me looking normal again.
Am I a Candidate Reconstructive Surgery for Deep Hollowness in the Cheeks?
Doctor Answers 3
Thank you for the question. It is a bit difficult to assess your face and tissues with a limited photo, so you would benefit from being seen by a plastic surgeon. Having said that, for facial contour improvement, I think fat grafting is probably the best option. It is a surgical procedure and obviously has risks associated with it, but it gives long lasting results with your own tissue. Sculptra would not give adequate volume to correct the amount that you seem to need in your photo, in my experience.
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Fat injections or fillers are ideal
After looking at your pictures one can see that you have very nice high cheekbones and a strong jaw but there is a lot of volume loss in the submalar or cheek region. I wonder if you exercise a lot or are a long distance runner because individuals, especially women, who participate in endurance sports lose a lot of their facial fat. In order to correct this there are a variety of fillers, specifically Sculptra, which can be used to create long lasting fullness in this region. Fat transfer is another great option here since you lack volume in the lower third of your face. There are lots of options and consultation with a board certified surgeon will undoubtedly help elucidate the many procedures available to you. Good luck!
Both Sculptra and fat transfer can volumize hollowed facial areas
I agree with Dr. Zuliani that these are the best options. Given the fact that Sculptra can be performed in the office with topical anesthesia and much smaller risk of lumps, bumps or nodules, I prefer to use Sculptra. Fat transfer is very safe but it is a surgical procedure, the downtime is significant in terms of swelling and the risk of temporary (or rarely permanent) contour deformities is high. Sculptra should last two years and the results are gradual. Fat transfer has an immediate effect with significant swelling but about half of the fat will remain long term. You would definitely benefit from an in person consultation and I'd recommend seeing a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience with both Sculptra and fat transfer. Best of luck!
Stephen Weber MD, FACS