Sagging Cheeks

As we age, our cheeks become more droopy. We used to believe this was simply due to the effect of gravity, causing the tissues to fall.

We know have a much more sophisticated understanding of facial ageing however and realise that loss of volume from the cheeks is the main contributor to ageing in the cheek. When we are young we have a plentiful supply of fat in the face. This keeps the skin looking firm and taught and the contours of the face looking youthful.

As we age, we lose fat and so the appearance of redundant – or excess – skin develops. In addition to this, there are changes that occur at the bony level whereby the facial skeleton loses bone. This contributes to the loss of volume, as well as reduces the structural support for the soft tissues of the cheek. The mainstay of treating sagging cheeks has therefore moved away from ‘lifting’ to ‘filling’.

Although the idea of filling can seem quite scary at first – we have all seen celebrities with over-filled cheeks, and it doesn’t look nice – the effects of well carried out cheek filler can be extremely effective at rejuvenating the face. The key in augmenting the cheeks is to focus on simply restoring what has been lost, and do not try to create something that never existed in the first place. So long as you stick within this remit, you should achieve a very natural and effective result.

Non-surgical treatments for sagging cheeks include:

Cheek Filler Injections

Cheek fillers are the quickest, easiest, cheapest and usually most effective way of rejuvenating sagging cheeks. It is also one of the safest procedures available, since the filler can be dissolved if a rare complication develops or if the patient changes their mind. As a result, this is the most popular treatment.alone.

Thread Lift

A thread lift uses barbed stitches under the skin to lift the skin. It does not replace any of the lost volume, so it is normally also combined with filler injections. Although threads have become very popular again in recent years, the effects can be limited and patient selection is absolutely key. The thread lift is better suited to younger women, in their late 30s or early 40s.

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Surgical treatments for crow’s feet include:

Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery can reduce the amount of skin surrounding the eyelids, which can in turn reduce the appearance of Crow’s feet. Although eyelid surgery is excellent for removing bags and loose skin, the effect on Crow’s feet is usually more limited.

Facelift Surgery

Facelift surgery is most effective at reducing loose skin on the lower face and neck. It has a more limited impact on the cheek area.

Cheek Implants

Cheek implants are the traditional way of restoring volume in the mid face. They are usually inserted under general anaesthetic. An incision is made inside the mouth, creating access to the cheek bones. Then a solid implant, usually made of silicone, is inserted on top of the bone. The swelling following this procedure can be very pronounced, and can take a few months to settle down completely. The benefit of the implant is that it lasts a long time, although usually needs to be replaced at some point in the future as the face ages but the implant remains the same. Traditional surgical cheek implants have fallen out of favour in recent years since injectable technology has improved.

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