What Plastic Surgery Do You Recommend For My Facial Lipoatrophy?

Q: Hello, I have severe facial wasting. I am not an HIV patient, I had a normal plump face as a young child and by about the third grade my cheeks had completely sunken in and has given me a much older and skull-like appearance. I am only eighteen years old. I would like to have a procedure to correct this done this summer before I begin college in the fall. I would like to know if you handle this sort of procedure and what you would suggest to be done. I have attached some pictures with this e-mail inquiry.

A: Thank you for your inquiry and sending your pictures. You have a classic case of facial lipatrophy, type IV (type V is more consistent with HIV related facial lipoatrophy) Your history is classic for it as most patients convert from the plump face of childhood to a thinner more gaunt facial look during grade or intermediate school. Of the augmentation methods for treatment (implants and fat injections), I think you need a combination approach. I would place submalar cheek implants that specifically builds up the area right under the cheekbone known as the buccal area. This implant is placed through the mouth under the upper lip. Then I would do fat injections with Acell collagen particles to the area below the implants out into the side of the face and down to opposite the corners of the mouth. The goal is to add some fullness to the sides of your face and help reduce your more skeletonized appearance.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana