Facial Implants for a “Face Lift?” Be Cautious

Chin augmentation on the rise in San Francisco.

Facial implants can be extremely useful for certain patients, but I get a little worried when I see some surgeons pushing implants as “age-reversing,” or even as replacements for San Diego face lift procedures – which they certainly are not. Occasionally, facial implants can alleviate select signs of aging, but this just isn’t what they are designed for and it certainly isn’t a “goal” facial implant surgery patients should expect their procedure to meet.

If you look “old,” it’s probably due to a combination of loose skin, loose muscle, and either loss or migration of the fat pads that normally give the cheeks their high, rounded shape. Sometimes, facial implants can help reverse a little of the sagginess just because they fill out lost volume, but they also create facial reshaping, which a patient looking to correct signs of aging may or may not be concerned about.

Restoring Fullness vs. Restoring a “Youthful” Look

In the context of creating a more youthful appearance, plastic surgery is less about “taking away” problems and more about restoring the features that make you look and feel younger. However, I know we can all think of examples – Priscilla Presley, Mickey Rourke, and Joan Rivers, just to name a few – who got carried away and “restored” a little too much volume, sometimes irreversibly.

If you’re looking for a more youthful appearance through facial plastic surgery in San Diego:

  • Assess all the factors: If you focus on volume loss alone, you can easily overlook other subtle but extremely important changes, for example to tissue quality and texture, which would be much better addressed through laser therapy, or the formation of excess facial fat, which requires liposuction.
  • Avoid being too sure that you know best: Most patients just don’t know which treatment will be right for them. Sometimes, a nonsurgical approach will be appropriate, but it’s not necessarily right for everyone and surgery can create a more lasting improvement.

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