The gradual development of facial wrinkles, whether fine surface lines or deeper creases or folds, is the classic early sign of accumulated skin damage and inevitable aging. Premature aging and wrinkling of the skin may be accelerated by excessive exposure to the sun and other elements, overactive facial expression muscles, the frequent use of tobacco products, poor nutrition, or skin disorders. Fine surface wrinkles that progress to deeper creases, deepening facial expression due to repeated skin fading, and deep folds which develop with one's maturity are obvious changes which may combine to portray a less desirable appearance.
Persistent facial lines, especially those involved in negative emotional expressions, may mistakenly portray to others, the look of worry, anger, anxiety, disgust or sadness, despite one's own positive internal feelings. Regardless of the cause of facial creases or folds, safe and successful treatments for reduction or elimination of these problems are now available with the help of a Facial Plastic Surgeon. Injecting or implanting substances which either temporarily weaken the muscles or act as skin volume fillers serve to soften or eliminate the appearance of wrinkles and produce a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance.
Treatments for facial wrinkles are usually performed in the office setting which is convenient, private, and safe for persons who desire therapy. Your health, in conjunction with the appropriate therapy to achieve your goals, is given full consideration by your Facial Plastic Surgeon prior to any decision to undertake specific treatment. However, very few individual health problems would limit the use of these therapies due to their minimally-invasive methods of application. Your concerns and any medical requirements for each facial wrinkle therapy will be part of the consultation with your surgeon.
The Injectable collagen is an animal protein filler material formulated for safe use in nearly all areas of the face, including the lips and crow's feet. Fine wrinkles are filled in by the material to reduce their visibility. Other prominent facial creases and folds around the forehead, cheeks and chin can be treated as well with this material. Initial collagen allergy testing must be performed, and repeated treatments every 2-4 months are typically needed to sustain the desired result. The treatments are easily performed in the office and usually have minimal side effects.
Human collagen matrix, is an implant used for the reconstruction of soft tissue defects. It may be threaded beneath the deep creases of the brow or cheek folds or placed within the upper and lower lips, to flatten and reduce wrinkle visibility. Typically this material maintains the majority of its volume correction similar to injectable collagen.
Another type of implant is a nonresorbable synthetic polymer material, ePTFE which may likewise be used in the forehead, cheek folds, and lips to produce volume enhancement and effacement of deep facial creases. This material does not incorporate into surrounding tissue, but it does not lose volume either. It provides more lasting change and may be placed during an office procedure using local anesthetic and small incisions with a relatively short recovery period.
Fat grafting creates a natural augmentation for the face, especially for the lips and mouth region. Fat is usually harvested from the abdomen and about one third of the volume remains after the treatment. Fat grafting can be repeated for additional fullness.
The choice of a type of therapy depends on the location and extent of the wrinkles, the desired duration of the effects, and the tolerance for potential side effects. All of these treatments provide additional and complimentary aesthetic benefits when combined with another facial rejuvenation procedure such as facelift, browlift, blepharoplasty or skin resurfacing.
Filler implant insertions typically take up to an hour to perform in the office, depending upon the number and extent of treatment locations. Several sutures are used to close the insertion site. More swelling redness, and discomfort may accompany these procedures, which require the use of a local anesthetic. Local application of cold compresses may feel comforting. Most early swelling subsides within a day or two, though minor swelling and irritation may last for several weeks during the implant healing phase. Your activity level and medication for pain after the procedure are dependent upon your doctor's recommendations.
Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is purely for cosmetic reasons. Surgery to correct or improve facial scars or contour deformities resulting from injury may be covered. It is the patient's responsibility to check with the insurance carrier for information on the degree of coverage.© Copyright 2000 American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
|Copyright © 2001-2008 - Deborah Watson, M.D.|