Removal of silicone cheek implants and replacement with fat transfer.

I am considering removing cheek implants that I've had for 16 years. I feel the cheek implants are too big for my face and produce an unnatural look. I would also like to restore some of the lost volume with fat transfer instead. I have two questions: 1. Is it possible that I will have significant cheek sagging requiring a cheek lift? 2. Can the fat transfer be done during the same time the cheek implants are removed?

Doctor Answers 1

Removal of silicone cheek implants and replacement with fat transfer.

 Hi, non smiling photos of your face from the front and side would help with the evaluation. I have performed many facial shaping procedures using dermal fillers, facial implants (cheek, chin), liposuction and/or facelifts for over 30 years. Following the beauty principles outlined in my book on face and body beauty, women look the most feminine, youthful and attractive with heart shaped faces. Heart shaped faces have cheeks that are full and round in the front. Cheek augmentation with a dermal filler or using cheek implants for a permanent enhancement will create full, round cheeks that will feminize the entire face. Conversely, men men look chiseled and handsome with angularity in the cheeks, chin and mandibular angles.

 Think of facial beauty as something that "must" address all layers of the face including the skeletal structure of the cheeks and chin, the overlying SMAS muscle, amount and position of subcutaneous fat and finally the degree of skin laxity. It's an "urban myth" that pulling tissues over flat cheeks and a weak chin can create a beautifully feminine or handsome face. Similarly, dermal fillers or facial implants alone can't lift and remove excess skin from the face and neck. Natural looking beauty is created by the aesthetic vision of what tissue layers need to be adjusted by what technique and amount.

Fat transfer (fat injections), despite the recent popularity is far less reliable at providing an accurate and consistent volume which is paramount when shaping the cheeks, chin and jaw line.  For that reason, I don't use fat to shape the face.  If the current cheek implants are silastic (not medpore) these can easily be removed through a small incision on the inside of the mouth and replaced with cheek implants that produce an more aesthetic, soft and feminine face.  Some form of a facelift might be suggested based upon the presence of "jowls" as discussed below.

  Hi, I have performed facelifts for over 30 years and have performed many minimally, invasive type facelifts.  Following the beauty principles outlined in my book on face and body beauty, women look the most feminine, youthful and attractive with heart shaped faces.  Heart shaped faces have cheeks that are full and round in the front.  Cheek augmentation with a dermal filler or using cheek implants for a permanent enhancement will create full, round cheeks that will feminize the entire face.

If the chin is weak, this creates an imbalance making the nose appear larger, the mid face top heavy and the lower face look short that de-emphasizes the lips and allows early formation of a double chin.  Chin augmentation using a chin implant will add projection to the chin creating harmony and balance to the lower face.   I have found that placement of a silastic chin implant, through a small curved incision under the chin (also allows excess skin removal) to be very safe, quick and highly effective.

 If you have "jowls” these are sagging facial tissues and an indication for some form of a SMAS facelift.  The underlying SMAS layer, of the face, must be dissected, lifted, trimmed and re-sutured (not merely folded or suspended with threads or sutures that will not last).  The excess skin is then removed and the facelift incisions closed.

My most popular facelift is the minimally invasive, short incision facelift that has all the benefits of more invasive facelifts (traditional, mid-face, deep plane, cheek lift and subperiosteal facelifts) but with these added benefits:

  • very small incisions and no incisions extend or are placed within the hair.
  • minimal tissue dissection = less bruising and swelling = rapid recovery ( several days instead of weeks or months with the more invasive type facelifts mentioned)
  • can be performed in 90 minutes or less, with or without general anesthesia
  • no incisions within the hair = no hair loss
  • excess fat can be removed
  • excess skin removed
  • cheeks, chin and jaw line can be augmented with dermal fillers (I prefer Restylane Lyft) or facial implants
  • most patients fly back home to parts all over the world in as little as 3 days post-op

I combine facial shaping with every facelift procedure.  When jowls are present, these should be done in concert and not alone or separately in order to create a naturally, more attractive face.

Hope this helps.



Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
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