Recapture The Full, Plump Facial Features Of Youth!
Lipoatrophy, the medical term for facial wasting, refers to the subcutaneous fat loss in the cheeks and temples, resulting in a bony, emaciated, or “sunken” facial appearance. This condition occurs when fat wastes away from the fat pads in the cheeks, the temples, below the cheekbone, and alongside the nose. Lipoatrophy can be part of an overall condition known as Lipodystrophy Syndrome (LDS), which ranges from mild to severe, and can occur synonymously with other symptoms, such as fat loss in the limbs and buttocks, and fat accumulation in the abdomen. Facial wasting is a debilitating condition that can have a negative psychological impact on patients who suffer from it. Facial wasting has many causes, including aging and weight loss and medication effects.
Facial wasting (facial lipoatrophy) is a condition of the face wherein areas of fat are reabsorbed, causing sunken-in cheeks, very prominent cheekbones, loose facial skin, and hollow temples.
Facial wasting has a number of causes, including, but not limited to:
- Long-term use of nucleoside analog anti-HIV drugs (particularly Stavudine and Zidovudine).
- The natural aging process
- Very low BMI or body fat percentage
- Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa
- Elevated triglycerides.
- HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other diseases resulting in extreme weight loss
If you are seeking out a Beverly Hills facial wasting correction procedure, contact us today at (310) 205-9500!
Loss of fat deposits in the face is a natural part of aging. A study published in “Aesthetic Plastic Surgery” documented the natural loss of volume that occurs throughout the aging process, and how this volume loss causes one’s face to appear gaunt and sunken in. Diseases such as cancer and HIV, and the treatments utilized to fight these diseases, can also result in facial wasting. In the past, lipoatrophy was linked to the use of various anti-HIV prescription drugs, including Zerit® (stavudine, d4T), Retrovir® (zidovudine, AZT) and Videx® (didanosine, ddI).
According to the Program for Wellness Restoration, (a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that disseminates information about lipodystrophy) there are four grades of lipoatrophy. Patients with Grade 1 lipoatrophy show minimal signs of facial wasting symptoms and have a relatively normal facial appearance. Grade 2 lipoatrophy involves deeper fat loss in the face, and the early appearance of visible facial muscle, especially around the cheek and mouth area. Patients with Grade 3 lipoatrophy exhibit deeper and wider facial wasting symptoms and the facial musculature is clearly visible. Grade 4 lipoatrophy symptoms are noticeable on the entire surface of the face, and facial muscles protrude prominently from the skin.
Be strong. Be confident. Be the star of your own life.
- ESTEE LAUDER
Best Options for Facial Wasting
Dermal fillers are generally the best course of treatment for patients suffering from facial wasting symptoms. Sculptra, Juvederm, and Radiesse are three of the most frequently utilized dermal fillers that can be used to replace the fat lost during the course of facial wasting and to restore volume to the face. Sculptra causes scar tissue and fat to collect where it has been injected, and Radiesse stimulates the body to produce new collagen while delivering an immediate, natural-looking facial restoration. Every patient’s facial wasting symptoms are unique, and during your consultation, Dr. Gabbay will assess your facial wasting symptoms, and provide a customized course of treatment to resolve the effects of your lipoatrophy.
Your facial wasting correction procedure will be performed on an outpatient basis and is generally a very quick procedure with no downtime required for post-procedure recovery. Some bruising or swelling may occur, but can usually be concealed with the use of cosmetics. If you would like more information about surgery to remedy the effects of facial wasting symptoms, please contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery and we will be happy to answer any and all of your questions, and to schedule an initial, complimentary consultation with Dr. Gabbay.
There are several options for patients looking to address their thinning facial features, including:
- Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Based Fillers: hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers are a popular choice to correct facial wasting because they are minimally invasive and have very few potential complications. Restylane®, Perlane®, and Juvéderm® are among the most frequently utilized HA-based fillers, and their volumizing results can last up to one year. Because it is a naturally occurring substance, hyaluronic acid is gradually broken down by the body over a period of several months. After your dermal filler injection, you may immediately resume your daily activities; however, the treated area may remain slightly red and swollen for 24 hours.
- Sculptra®: in August 2004, the FDA approved Sculptra® (a poly-L lactic acid, formerly known as New-Fill®) for the restoration and/or correction of the signs of facial fat loss due to HIV-related lipoatrophy. Sculptra® injections work by stimulating the body to produce collagen and can be used to increase facial volume in the eye and cheek areas. Sculptra® can cause tenderness, swelling, and bruising at the injection site, which typically subsides within a few days. These injections are generally given over a series of time, allowing for a more gradual shaping of the face. Moderate facial wasting may require 3-5 Sculptra® treatment sessions for optimal results, and patients with a severe level of lipoatrophy may need as many as six Sculptra® treatment sessions, which are typically spaced two weeks apart.
- Radiesse®: Radiesse® is a dermal filler comprised of synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite that has been suspended in a gel carrier, and is FDA approved for use as a treatment for lipoatrophy. Radiesse® will be administered through a series of injections, and it causes the body to produce collagen, which fills in areas of the face that have been impacted by facial wasting.
- Fat Grafting or Lipo Sculpting: fat grafting involves harvesting fat from donor sites (i.e. abdomen, buttocks) and then purifying and injecting this fat into the concave areas of the face to augment facial volume.
- Cheek Augmentation: cheek augmentation with implants can effectively reverse many of the visible effects of facial wasting. Cheek implants come in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes, and can be uniquely customized for each patient.During the cheek implant procedure, Dr. Gabbay will typically make the first incision inside the mouth and cheek, push the muscle and fat away from the bone, and create a pocket to place the new implant into. He will then position the implant on the masseter muscle for support and will secure the implant to the cheekbone. Once the implant is properly placed, an injectable filler may be used to further fill in the area.
Schedule Your Consultation Today!
If you are interested in learning more about facial wasting correction options, please contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery and let us schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Gabbay. During your meeting, Dr. Gabbay will discuss your overall expectations and aesthetic goals, in order to determine whether you are a good candidate for facial wasting correction procedures.
You should come to your consultation prepared to discuss your medical history (including any past surgeries), present medical conditions, allergies, and medications. It is imperative that you are honest and provide complete information, as numerous medical conditions can potentially increase the risks and complications associated with treatment. If Dr. Gabbay feels that you are a good candidate for a facial wasting corrective procedure, he will explain the different techniques, costs and potential side effects before scheduling your procedure. When choosing Dr. Gabbay, you can be assured that you are in the hands of a surgeon who has undergone extensive training and is highly esteemed by his colleagues and patients alike.
Recovering from the Procedure
Depending on the procedure you have for your facial wasting syndrome, recovery can range from a short amount of time with minimal pain (injectables) to a longer recovery after cheek implant surgery. When necessary, Dr. Gabbay will prescribe pain management medications and a prophylactic antibiotic to prevent infection. The recovery time after an injectable procedure ranges from one day to one week, with patients experiencing minimal pain and swelling.
After cheek implant surgery, it is normal to experience some swelling, redness or mild discomfort, and patients will be advised to refrain from any activity that could jar the implants for 2-3 weeks. Although rare, potential complications from facial wasting corrective procedures include infection, bleeding, swelling, and adverse reaction to anesthesia.
To learn more about the Beverly Hills facial wasting correction procedures we offer, call our offices today at (310) 205-9500. Gabbay Plastic Surgery is here to help you reveal your most confident, beautiful self!