This is a great post showing exactly why Sculptra is one of our favorite non-surgical treatments for facial volumizing and contouring.
We had a younger female patient from San Diego who came to the office looking for facial rejuvenation. Dr. Hilinski and his med spa staff noted the major issue she had was premature loss of facial volume.
This is actually quite common and more related to genetic predisposition than anything else. As we say in the cosmetic world, volume is a sign of youth. So when a patient presents with a relative lack of volume in the face, we interpret this appearance as looking more aged than desired.
Lack of Facial Volume
So what is lacking in volume? This mostly has to do with subcutaneous fat and soft tissue that normally resides under the skin throughout the face. If you are congenitally predisposed, this fat will shrink down in size leading to the appearance of being volume deficient. Some doctors will refer to this process as atrophy – a term that implies the tissue has gotten smaller. In this instance, we are specifically referring to the fatty layer of the face. From a cosmetic standpoint, this is seen as flattening across certain areas of the face. Ideally, one would prefer to have a slight convex surface contour instead of flattening. That is because a convex surface on the face reflects light much more readily, which is often perceived as more cosmetically pleasing.
This volume issue is particularly relevant when it comes to the mid face region. In many patients, like the one shown here, this volume loss is especially pronounced in region between the lower eyelid and the upper lip. Although some people refer to this whole region as the cheek, it encompasses more than that and is more appropriately referenced as the mid face.
Using the patient example shown above, the adjacent photo diagram points out the specific regions where she was seen as having more marked facial volume deficiency (red outlined zones). This is what we are talking about when we say the mid face. If you look back at her photo above, this is, indeed, the most concentrated area where she has lost fat volume in the face. And the clinical manifestation of this fat atrophy is flattening with poor light reflexes. We interpret this as simply being more aged.
Sculptra for Flattened Cheeks
So what can you do for flattened cheeks and facial volume loss like this patient? The general answer is use of injectable fillers to plump out the face and help restore proper volume. Injectable fillers are incredibly popular because they can be done in the office setting and have essentially no downtime associated with them. This general category of injectable fillers for plumping of the face includes Restylane, Juvederm, Bellafill, Radiesse and Sculptra. These are, by far, the most popular non-surgical options to restore volume.
Out of these, Sculptra is becoming increasingly popular around San Diego for flattened cheeks for a number of reasons. This includes the fact that Sculptra lasts much longer than Restylane, Juvederm and Radiesse. Whereas those injectable fillers will give patients results for about 1 year, Sculptra can last upwards of twice that long in most patients. This translates into you having less treatments over time in order to sustain the aesthetic improvements you see. Although Sculptra does cost more than Restylane and Juvederm, for instance, the economics of it still pencil out in the long run.
Sculptra Cheek Example
So what does Sculptra cheek enhancement look like? Here you go! When you look at her before and after Sculptra treatment, you get that gestalt impression that she just looks better. You can’t really pinpoint right off the bat what is different about her, but you know you prefer her look in the after photo. And that is precisely the goal of doing Sculptra cheek enhancement – you want it to look as natural as it can be without obvious signs of having had any cosmetic treatment done. Knowing what we know about her, though, you are already aware that we were targeting her flattened cheeks. So as you look through her mid face region, you can readily appreciate how she now has improved facial volume from the plumping effects of Sculptra. The cheek contour looks better because there is more convexity to the surface of her face, which allows light to reflex off in a more dramatic fashion. We interpret this as a more beautiful and aesthetically pleasing look. When you begin to turn her head to the 45 degree angle view, you can see this cheek transformation is more easily. Her mid face now has more volume and fullness – giving her an overall much more youthful appearance. Not so bad for an office-based treatment that takes 15-20 minutes with essentially no real downtime – and provides you with a 2 year result!