One of the fastest-growing cosmetic and aesthetically enhancing techniques offered today is facial contouring. It can be achieved both surgically and non-surgically, or through a combination of both.
Individuals can enhance desirable facial features and correct the undesirable ones, as well as reduce visible signs of aging. The natural course of aging causes our collagen production to slow down considerably, and our skin loses elasticity creating wrinkles and sagging. Much to our dismay, this happens to be more noticeable in our faces, and if you are like the majority of the population, you want to delay the signs of aging as long as possible. The good news is that with the advancements in technology and cosmetic procedures, there are several amazing solutions available to help us restore and maintain a more youthful appearance.
Augmentation & Reduction Procedures to Improve Facial Contours
There are several facial contouring procedures, techniques, and treatments that can be strategically performed on the face to correct imperfections or enhance certain features.
The procedures or treatments chosen for each patient will be determined by their desired results, attainable aftercare, and budget. This plan can be created during a consultation with your cosmetic surgeon.
An individual’s facial features can be redefined significantly through the use of facial implants, and are often chosen when a patient desires permanent facial contouring.
Implants can create contouring, lifting, and redefinition of the cheeks, nose, chin, lips, jawline, and eyebrows. Facial implants can reduce sagging skin, tighten and tone the skin, and add volume to areas of the face leaving it smoother and more refreshed.
Fat transfer (or grafting) is sometimes used in facial contouring to enhance the face by treating expression lines, skin creases, or to add volume to the cheeks, or to build up areas of very thin skin like the tear trough area.
The procedure involves extracting fat cells from the individual’s thighs, buttocks or belly and putting it through a special process that purifies the liquified fat to then be strategically injected into the face.
This procedure can also be taken a step further extracting only stem cells that can be injected into the face to naturally produce a more youthful appearance.
Liposuction can be performed on certain areas of the face, such as the chin or the buccal area to strategically remove excess fat cells from targeted areas creating enhanced definition and improved facial contours.
Where Can Facial Contouring Be Done?
Dermal fillers containing hyaluronic acid naturally produced within the body for hydration purposes, can be injected into the lips to add volume and shape. This is the perfect procedure for patients with thin, shapeless lips, who need a bit of volume to create a mouth that is proportionate to the face.
Chin contouring can be done permanently through implants and has gained popularity among male patients, who are looking for that strong masculine jawline. Dermal fillers can also be used to “square off” the chin to give a man a stronger jawline or for women; they can add just the right amount of volume to the chin to round it out and make it appear softer and more feminine.
Cheek augmentation procedures have seen many changes over the past decade as new procedures and techniques have developed. Although chin implants are still available to contour cheeks, many cosmetic surgeons prefer dermal fillers or fat transfer procedures to add volume or reshape patients’ cheeks.
Otoplasty Surgery (Ear Enhancement)
If an individual’s ears protrude from their head, it can make their entire face appear off-balance or asymmetrical. During otoplasty (ear surgery) the ears can be reshaped and pinned back so they do not stick out from the head creating a more balanced, proportionate, and natural look.
Neck and Brow Lift
For many, especially women, the neck and brows reflect the signs of aging before other areas, including fine lines & wrinkles, sagging skin, and deep brow lines. Fortunately, there are non-surgical and surgical procedures to treat these problems including, derma fillers, radiofrequency treatments (RF), microneedling, and surgical neck and brow lifts.
Cosmetic Technologies For Facial Contouring
Radiofrequency Therapy (RF)
Cosmetic procedures like FaceTite™ and AccuTite™ harness radiofrequency, turning electrical energy into heat that helps tighten skin and melt fat. The process results in the body’s response of producing new collagen in the treated areas bringing smoother, tighter, and plumper skin.
Video: Facial Contouring with FaceTite™
There are many ways that RF can be administered, some are minimally invasive like AccuTite, and non-invasive like microneedling or Morpheus8. Some procedures have very little downtime, and others can take a few days/weeks for redness and swelling to subside.
Without a doubt, dermal fillers are the most popular choice for all who desire a non-surgical and non-invasive option for facial contouring. Fillers offer immediate results with virtually no downtime, and there are several to choose from.
Fillers are available in different thicknesses and particle sizes, so there is an appropriate filler to address each area of the face. Wrinkles, creases, folds, and indentions can all be smoothed out and corrected through injectable fillers.
Adding filler to the cheekbones, for instance, gives them more volume and lift creating a more contoured facial shape. With dermal fillers, it is possible to create an oval face or a heart-shaped face by defining the jawline, to invert downturned lips, to correct imperfections in the nose, or to fix other facial asymmetries.
Dermal fillers are great because they provide immediate results, have virtually no downtime but they are not permanent and require maintenance.
Video: Filling Cheeks with Juvederm® Dermal Fillers
Types of Fillers
There are both natural fillers and synthetic fillers on the market today. Hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm® work by absorbing water to create fullness and volume. These fillers are available in different consistencies so the cosmetic surgeon has ultimate control when performing facial contouring.
Thicker fillers are used in areas of the face that require structure or support like the cheeks, chin or jawline, and thinner fillers are used for lines around the mouth, nose, or to enhance the lips. Because hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body, there is very little risk, and the procedure can be reversed with no issues.
Some other fillers available work through the long-term production of collagen and are successful in creating volume in the face; however, they are more expensive, work gradually, and can take up to 6 months to see final results. There are also artificially created fillers made from synthetic poly-L-lactic acid that can last up to 2 years but these fillers can become lumpy and can not be reversed.
When we laugh or frown, or perform other involuntary but repetitive muscle-driven motions, it can cause fine lines and wrinkles to form. Botox injections are used to paralyze these muscles to stop the movements, thereby reducing the wrinkles and lines that form.
Botox can also be used to make a square-shaped jaw more rounded and can reduce wrinkling in the chin area and narrow out the jawline. With repeated Botox injections, the muscle will begin to atrophy and shrink creating dramatic jawline changes. Botox does not usually have associated downtime but like dermal fillers, it is not permanent and requires ongoing maintenance.
Kybella can be used to help contour around and under your chin to provide definition and a contoured separation. Kybella is an injection that melts fat cells with deoxycholic acid and has been FDA approved to use for the chin. Liposuction would provide more dramatic results but Kybella may be all some patients need to obtain their desired look.
Kybella normally requires multiple treatments but the results are permanent when they are completed. The downside is that the injections can be painful for some patients, and the swelling lasts a few weeks. The patient may have to wear a compression garment for some time to help keep swelling down similarly to the aftercare for liposuction.
If you are interested in enhancing your facial features or reducing visible signs of aging, facial contouring may be the perfect solution for you. Set up a consultation today and get all your facial contouring questions answered.
At SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics, Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple-board certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer many non-surgical and surgical options for facial contouring for men and women in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Buckhead, and the surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia.