One area of cosmetic surgery we get a lot of questions at Atlantic Coast Aesthetics about is the range of treatment options to combat the inevitable effects of aging. Some people get terrific results with collagen-stimulating creams, Botox or laser treatments, while others may find they get better outcomes with more direct intervention. Because every patient is unique, what works for one may not be the best option for another. This week, Dr. Pane is looking at the case of a patient who reached out from Twitter. The patient asks, “Would fillers or a facelift fix my sagging and caving cheeks?”
Dr. Pane reviewed the pictures the patient included with their question. She is a slender lady who appears to be in her mid to late forties, judging from the pictures, although she does not state her exact age, and is a former smoker. Dr. Pane says that from the photographs, there isn’t much evidence of the sagging and hollowing she describes. However, patients should keep in mind that pictures are never a substitute for a direct clinical evaluation in realtime, and that still images may conceal as much as they reveal because of lighting, body and head position and other factors. While pictures can help to render a first impression, a personal consultation would be needed to properly evaluate this case.
Bearing in mind that Dr. Pane’s impressions are coming entirely from pictures, in this case, Dr. Pane says he would not likely go straight to the surgical option based on the patient’s age and the overall appearance of the face from the photos. While there is some nascent laxity in the facial skin, it does not appear to be far enough along to warrant the more invasive procedures, such as facelift.
One of the advantages, and drawbacks, of seeking out cosmetic surgery in south Florida is that if a patient does enough consultations with enough cosmetic surgeons, they are likely to be offered anything and everything they could possibly want. This is great because it makes the area a “buyer’s market,” so to speak, but it could be problematic because of how many surgeons subspecialize. Some surgeons prefer fillers, while others lean heavily or even exclusively toward surgery. This “every problem is a nail” approach may not give the best results for a specific patient, meaning everything from unnecessarily invasive treatments to poor results and further treatment later which might not have been required.
In this patient’s case, Dr. Pane feels the patient could achieve optimal results with fillers. One option is commercial fillers, which are relatively noninvasive but do require ongoing maintenance because they wear off over time. As an alternative, if the patient has other areas she’d like to consider a bit of body sculpting on, such as the stomach, hips, thighs or buttocks, a combination liposuction from the target area and fat transfer to the cheeks would give a fuller appearance and more permanent result while reducing or eliminating the need for further maintenance treatments in the future. On the upper end of invasive procedures, a facelift could be considered depending on what the patient’s ultimate goals are, but this option would be best tabled pending a more extensive in-person consult.
Atlantic Coast Aesthetics takes a great deal of pride in making sure all our patients get the treatments which achieve the best balance between long-lasting benefits and avoiding needlessly invasive procedures. Because of this, we make it a point to offer a complete gamut of cosmetic surgery options, as well as staying informed and practiced on the latest advances in cosmetic medicine and surgery. It’s this tailored approach, and the excellent surgeons, clinicians and support staff of ACA, which have helped us build our reputation as one of the premier aesthetic medicine practices in the nation, with a very high patient satisfaction rate and an exceptionally low incidence of complications.
If you have a question relating to any facet of cosmetic surgery, we at ACA are happy to discuss your interests, concerns and needs. Simply call us at (561) 422-4116, email us at http://acplasticsurg.com or follow us through our social media accounts at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Your question might even help us to help others as the focus of an upcoming Ask Dr. Pane segment, where your question is answered live and personally in a Google Hangout by our founder and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Thomas A. Pane. Remember, at ACA we believe the only bad question is the one you don’t ask!