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Non-surgical treatment for sagging cheeks

Posted: 1:58 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

By Anita Mandal, M.D.

Question: My cheeks are sagging, making my nasolabial smile lines deeper. I don’t want a facelift and am wondering if lasers like Ulthera® or Infini™ will give me a cheek lift?

Answer: Cheek sagging is different from sagging skin in the neck and jowl areas. Sagging in the cheeks is more commonly due to loss of bone and fat of the cheekbones. This results in loss of support of the overlying skin which begins to sag, making the smile lines appear deeper and the cheeks appear hollow.
Unfortunately, a traditional facelift does not restore volume loss in the mid-face, thus, it often fails to improve cheek sagging. With more aggressive facelifts, there are important nerves in the cheek areas which are at risk of damage with surgery.
Infini or Ultherapy®, both of which are collagen stimulators of deeper soft tissues, can give lifting and tightening of cheek tissues without the risks associated with surgery. However, these devices don’t really restore lost volume which is often the source of the problem.
Volume restoration of the cheek area is most effectively achieved with injectable fillers. These fillers can be temporary or long term. Long term fillers such as Bellafill®, while more costly upfront, are more cost-effective compared to most temporary fillers. Bellafill® can last much longer than temporary fillers, thus lowering one’s maintenance costs.
Sagging of the various parts of the face are due to different causes and thus require different treatments. Careful consultation with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who is knowledgeable about the various facial aging processes, surgical anatomy and non-surgical options is the first step.

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