Is There A Surgery To Improve The Appearance Of Facial Lipoatrophy?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a condition known as facial lipoatrophy. From what I have read it is type III or IV based on how my face looks. I am 24  years old and have had this look since I was a teenager. It makes me look older than I really am and I am concerned if I look this way now what I will look like in 10 or 20 years. I have high cheekbones but they are very skeletal-looking with indentations beneath them with loose skin sitting atop them. What type of surgery will make my face look more normal?

A:  The look of facial lipoatrophy is easily identifiable with loss of some or nearly all subcutaneous and buccal fat over the central portion of the face. Surgery must incorporate both hard and soft tissue augmentation since the problem extends over both bone-supported and non-bone supported facial areas. One successful treatment strategy is a combination of submalar implants to fill out the upper submalar triangle and fat injections for the lower submalar triangle and the sides of the face. Temporal implants can also be used for the always present temporal hollowing which is often overlooked in the treatment of facial lipoatrophy.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana