Q: Dr. Eppley, I am considering facial implants to rejuvenate my young but old-looking face. I am 37 years old and underwent gastric bypass surgery two years ago and it seems all the volume in my face went away. I hate the excess skin under and above the eye and the deep grove under the eye. I use to have chubby cheeks that went away after the surgery. I tried Radiesse a year ago that didn’t give me the cheek volume I desired and didn’t address the hollow grove under the eye and my face went back flat in about eight months. I have always hated my nose. I hate that the bridge is flat but have a big round tip and my nostrils are huge. I always wanted a small nose that lined up with my eyebrows .I shaved my eyebrows and draw them on until I find the perfect surgeon for a forehead/brow lift to address the hanging/excess skin. I am aware that some people want a subtle change…not me… I want a drastic change. I lost over 1090 pounds so I feel like a new person but I look like a old person. I have searched high and low for the perfect facial surgeon please let me know if you can help.
A: Facial implants can be beneficial for all three areas that you have mentioned, tear trough, cheeks and the nose. But in applying facial implants to these areas, it is important to realize what they can and can not do. Tear trough implants, which have to be placed through a lower eyelid incision, will help fill in the depressions along the infraorbital rim but they will not get rid of loose skin on the lower eyelids. In many cases skin removal may be simultaneously done but you seem to have little room for loose skin removal even though you are demonstrating the laxity of the skin by pulling on it. Cheek implants, which are placed through the mouth, can be used to build up overall cheek area although your cheeks already seem full. (but then I have no idea what you looked like before your weight loss) Nasal implants are commonly used in rhinoplasty to build up the bridge of the nose. When combined with tip narrowing and elevation and nostril narrowing, significant changes can be achieved in the shape of the nose. Although the thickness of one’s skin will control how much narrowing of the tip can be obtained so one has to be realistic with these type of rhinoplasty outcomes.
Dr. Barry Eppley