While people often think that facial plastic surgery is only performed to reduce the signs of aging, that’s not the case. Some people seek out surgery or cosmetic treatments to increase facial harmony.
If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought that your nose was too big or that your cheeks were too flat, you’ve been concerned about facial harmony. A variety of procedures can adjust the size and shape of certain features, from the cheeks or the chin to the nose, bringing balance to your features.
Cheeks that are sunken or shallow can affect your appearance in two ways. First, not having full cheeks ages you. Second, it can throw off a sense of symmetry. If your cheeks are very flat, other features, such as the nose or chin, can appear more prominent.
There are a few ways to add volume to your cheek area. Fat transfer is a semi-permanent, minimally invasive option. It’s a two-part process that involves extracting fat from one area, then injecting it into the cheeks.
For you to be a good candidate for fat transfer to improve facial harmony, you need to meet a few requirements first. For one thing, you need to have enough unwanted fat in one area, such as your hips, thighs or buttocks, to remove and transfer. The fat is usually removed from the body during a liposuction procedure.
Second, you should be under age 65 and have realistic expectations about the results from the transfer and about the recovery period. It’s likely your body will reabsorb a fair amount of the fat injected, anywhere from 50 to 70 percent, so it’s common for plastic surgeons to overfill the cheeks initially.
That means you’ll have some swelling and your cheeks will appear fuller than expected, at least during the first few weeks of recovery. As your body absorbs some of the fat and begins to heal, you’ll notice that the swelling and puffiness decreases. The results from fat transfer can last for a long time, but it is possible for your body to absorb all of the transferred fat over the years, meaning a second treatment might be needed.
If you are too skinny to have fat transfer or want something more reliable and permanent, it might be worth considering cheek implants to better balance your facial features. Instead of using fat to lift and add volume to your cheeks, a plastic surgeon inserts implants into the area. The incisions for the implants are usually made inside of the mouth, so they aren’t visible.
Implants are made from a variety of materials, from silicone to Gore-Tex, and they vary in size based on the patient. Although the implants can be removed at a later date if you find that you no longer like them, they are usually considered permanent.
The procedure to place the implants in the cheeks is surgery and does require a bit of downtime. Usually, it’s recommended that you take about a week off from work afterwards. During that week, it might be difficult to open your mouth or speak, so it’s best to really take it easy.
Depending on your facial structure and needs, a mid-face lift might be a better option if you want to restore lost volume to the cheek area and to improve the appearance of certain signs of aging. Instead of augmenting the cheeks with fat or implants, the mid-face lift repositions the tissue underneath the cheek area and repositions the skin of the area, creating a more elevated, balanced and youthful appearance.
The cheeks aren’t the only area of the face that affects balance and facial harmony. In some cases, a person’s chin might be weak or small. One way to see if a chin is weak is to place the index finger of one of your hands against your lips, as if you were telling someone to be quiet. If your chin doesn’t touch your finger, that is a sign it is too small in relation to the rest of your facial features.
Similar to a cheek implant, a chin implant increases the size of the chin and can increase its projection. If you currently believe that your nose is too large for your face, a chin implant can help it look smaller and more proportional.
During chin augmentation surgery, the facial plastic surgeon makes an incision inside the mouth or beneath the chin, then slides the implant into place through the incision. Because the incision is in an out of the way place or inside the mouth, any scarring isn’t visible. Recovery after the surgery takes about a week.
Sometimes, the cause of your facial disharmony is as plain as the nose on your face. While there are instances when a person’s nose will look too big because of a too small chin, there are also instances when a person’s nose is large in proportion to the rest of the features or too small in proportion to those features. Some people might have a nose that is slightly crooked or uneven, which creates an unbalanced look. Rhinoplasty can correct a variety of problems with the nose, from being too small or large to being crooked.
If you are concerned that your facial features aren’t in harmony and would like to learn more about what you can do to bring balance to your face, talk to the facial plastic surgeons at the Naderi Center today. Dr. Jessica Kulak is an aging face specialist who specializes in procedures that create a more youthful look. Dr. Shervin Naderi is a facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty.