CONFUSED? Botox, Dermal Fillers, Fat Injections, or Facelift.

Botox, Fillers, or Facelift

Confused? You’re not alone, most patients are confused as to what would be the best approach to facial rejuvenation for them. Of course, Botox, fillers, and Kybella are somewhat cheaper and don’t require a surgical procedure. Facial fat grafting can be a more long term solution and the stem cells within the fat injections can help rejuvenate the skin’s appearance. And, of course, the age old question, how old must I be to need a facelift?

Let’s start with the injectables. Injectables are an excellent option for patients who do not have excessive skin in the jowls and neck regions. If used appropriately, meaning if not used in excess (overfilling of cheeks) by an experienced injector with an “eye” for the human form. Although the sites for injection that are approved by the FDA are limited, in clinical practice the spectrum of injection can be widened to many face and neck regions, most importantly, only in the hands of an experienced injector.

Injectables are a great place to start especially for younger woman who are just entering the facial rejuvenation realm. Volume can be added to upper face to enhance features and botulinum toxin can rid forehead and eyelid wrinkles, and in the hands of more experienced injectors other regions specific to a patients needs may be considered.

Kybella (deoxycholic acid) is an excellent solution for patients who have excess fat in the upper neck below the chin. However, it usually requires several treatments and is associated with several weeks of neck swelling (so-called, “bullfrog neck”). Kybella is a great option for patients who do not have excess hanging neck skin, have good neck skin tone, or just a fat pad in the upper neck either developed or familial. And, most importantly it can obviate the need for a neck liposuction procedure in patients who do not require other open cosmetic surgical procedures.

Fat grafting to the facebreasts, and buttocks is the “cutting-edge” of body reshaping and rejuvenation. The promise of fat grafting is the cellular elements that can rejuvenate skin and other surrounding tissues. Currently, the downside is it usually requires a more invasive procedure because of the need to harvest the fat. In addition, fat can not be stored. So, fat once removed by liposuction, must be immediately injected. Often, facial fat grafting does require a very short procedure with anesthesia for optimal comfort but the results can be long lasting and the benefits to skin rejuvenation are just not seen with fillers. Whenever Dr. K liposuctions fat from a patient from any region of the body, like the abdomen or thighs, Dr. K’s pioneering approach will offer patients the option to process the fat and inject the fat into their face or breast or buttock. Fat grafting of the face does not require a large amount of fat to achieve an excellent result, which makes it a very fast and expedient procedure and for a quick recovery.

So, fat grafting, like fillers will not correct excess hanging skin in the jowls and neck, but it can offer a long term solution to restore volume, shape, and tone back to a patients skin. Patients of all ages benefit from facial fat grafting because of the stem cells rejuvenating properties on the appearance of the skin.

Although there is so much focus on minimally invasive facial rejuvenation, in patients who have excess skin in the face with jowling and hanging neck skin who also would benefit from eyelid surgery, there is no better solution than an expertly performed face lift.

Face lifting procedures are state-of-the-art and when combined with facial fat grafting can decrease facial age appearance by 20 years. Dr. K’s leading -edge approach uses deep plane techniques along with extensive fat grafting which in combination results in the most incredible outcomes that are long lasting.

Deciding on face lifting compared to injectables or face fat grafting alone is not really only an age-dependent decision. Facial appearance is based on genetics, environmental exposure factors, and differences in aging. Certainly, it would be extremely infrequent for a 30 year old to undergo a facelift, but some patients in their 40’s are good candidates for a well-performed face lift, tailored to their specific needs. This point should be emphasized for all patients undergoing any type of cosmetic surgery.

IN SUMMARY, whenever considering any of the above options for facial rejuvenation, choose your surgeon wisely! Check board certification and experience. Understand board certified facial plastic surgeons are an ENT doctors and that a board certified cosmetic surgeons are dermatologists. Plastic surgeons are certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS. Check surgeons board certifications, they are available at all board websites. Dr. K, located in Houston, TX, is double-board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Surgery, meaning he trained for 5-years as a general surgeon and then 3-years as a plastic surgeon, and then did an additional 1-year plastic fellowship for additional expertise. This is not to say that all above surgeons may not be well-qualified to perform your surgery, but it may depend on which procedure you are selecting. Don’t make choices with your body based on price or some photographs that can be deceptive. Do your homework and you are sure to truly enjoy the results of your new facial appearance!

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