Cheek Reshaping

Q: Dr. Eppley, I came across your RealSelf posts on facial reconstruction surgeries on jaw reshaping and cheek reshaping. I am very much interested in the cheekbone reshaping surgery, however I feel as if I am too close to the age where my skin and tissues just wouldn’t snap back enough. From your website and blog, I understand that the side effects really have to do with anatomy, technique, etc, but are there any extra preventative measures that can be taken during the surgery to secure the tissue to its rightful position at my age?

May I further ask, once someone has had the surgery, how does one know whether any facial changes (sagging) is a result of ageing or a result of the surgery? Is there a clear visual difference between what ageing sagging looks like and sagging deep tissue looks like?

A: Thank you for your inquiry. I would need to see pictures of your face to determine if cheekbone reshaping reduction surgery would be beneficial. At your young age tissue elasticity is not an issue when it comes to the risk of cheek sagging after bone reduction. That is more relevant at ages 40-45 and over, ages when patients rarely have this procedure done. The point being that tissue sagging after this surgery is not caused by lack of tissue elasticity in most cases.

The preventative measure that I do during surgery is to resuspend the cheek soft tissues to the metal hardware used to fix the bone segments. This can temporarily make the cheeks look too high/full but that always goes away as the swelling resolves and the tissue contraction process occurs.

Facial aging is more global and does not just occur in one facial area. Conversely sagging after cheekbone reduction occurs in just one area and looks different.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana