Injectable Silicone for Facial Enhancement of the Cheek
Many patients inquire about non-absorbable options for treating unwanted hollowing and volume deficiency of the face. These are patients that have tried temporary injectable fillers, such as Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane and Radiesse, but are unhappy with having to get repeated treatments every year. One alternative is to use liquid silicone injections to achieve a more long-lasting cosmetic enhancement. Silicone injections are considered off-label when used for this type of purpose. They are FDA approved for injection elsewhere in the face, but like Botox and hyaluronic acid fillers, silicone is used off-label (meaning off the FDA label) in other areas for cosmetic treatment of unwanted soft tissue depressions and hollowing. This includes undesirable shadowing around the lower eyelid-cheek junction and loss of facial volume in the mid-cheek region. The patient example below highlights the typical candidate for silicone injection.
Micro Injection of Silicone
This male patient from San Diego felt as if his cheeks were becoming too hollowed and thinned. On examination, he definitely demonstrated evidence of soft tissue atrophy (shrinkage) particularly through the cheek to lower eyelid region. We discussed the various options available to him. Ultimately, he chose to have micro silicone injections to help him achieve a more sustained, long-term cosmetic enhancement. By ‘micro’ what is implied is that the silicone is placed with much smaller volumes of injection distributed over a wide area. This in contrast to injecting the same amount of total volume into one or two confined areas. By distributing the silicone injections over a broader region, the body has greater opportunity to surround the micro droplets of silicone with collagen tissue. Thus, there is a more dramatic, smoother collagen response that translates into an improved cosmetic result with less chance of complications. Following a series of silicone injections spaced apart 6-8 weeks each, the body’s own collagen elicits a controlled response to fill out the treated areas. As you can see in his before and after photos, there has been a notable volume enhancement through the cheek and lower eyelid region that gives him a ‘fuller’ look to his face. And what he sees in terms of a clinical response is there for the long run as silicone injections result in a more permanent outcome.