Liquid Face Lifts using Facial Fillers

Back to all posts June 19, 2018

Liquid Face Lifts in New York, NY

Liquid Face Lifts with Perlane, Juvederm, Restylane and Radiesse

Advances in modern medicine allow us to look forward to a greater longevity, and it is a natural extension that technology can now help us look as good as we feel. Although I am a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, new technologies and products are available today that provide an alternative to the knife, or at least help us bridge the gap between now and when we are ready to have surgery.

According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’s 2006 Statistics, the number of women undergoing non-surgical cosmetic procedures is up 69% in women and 91% in men since 2000. It seems that today no matter what magazine you pick up, radio show you listen to, or television show you watch, there is regular discussion about the newest and greatest injectable treatments that, over a few minutes, can help rejuvenate the face. What is interesting is not only the types of products available, but how they are being used differently to help lift the face and rejuvenate our appearance.

The two major groups of injectable treatments are fillers, that can fill lines, folds and add volume to a deflating face, and Botox that paralyzes certain muscles in the face helping wrinkles smooth.

Years past the only filler available to us was collagen injection (Zyderm and Zyplast). It came from cows, so it required skin testing to make sure you had no allergy, and the results were short lived, sometimes only 2 to 3 months.

Today there are many more fillers available with better safety and staying power. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar based gel that is injected regularly for folds and wrinkles, comes from a non animal source (it is engineered), and lasts on average 6 months. The two most popular forms available are Restylane™ and Juvederm™. I have been using both in my practice with great results; the difference is that the Juvederm™ is a more stable product that lasts longer, and also is slightly easier to sculpt for the doctor (this means less lumpiness after the treatment). This is the result of it having more crosslinked hyaluronic acid. Perlane is another highly cross linked form og Hyaluronic Acid that was recently FDA approved.

Radiesse™ is another option. It is made up the same mineral substance as our bones (hydroxyapetite) and because of its durable nature lasts longer, sometimes up to 1 year. It is used in the deepest of the facial folds due to its harder nature but cannot be injected in the superficial dermis of the skin as it has a white color and shows through.

Botox is different than fillers as it paralyzes muscles that fold the skin when we animate our face. This can help with crows feet, vertical lines in the forehead (the ones between the eyebrows I call the elevens), and horizontal forehead lines.

The liquid facelift is the result of using these fillers and Botox in an ingenious new way to lift the face. As we age the face loses volume, and droops, almost like a deflated balloon. Instead of surgery to lift the facial tissues, restoring the volume of the face with these fillers supports the face. Where as we used to just inject these fillers into lines and wrinkles like spackle, now we place them differently. For example, injecting a filler like Juvederm™ underneath a droopy eyebrow will support and elevate it. This also works well when injecting the material underneath eyelid bags, making their appearance flatten, or beneath the corner of the mouth/jowl when it sags. Adding volume back to a deflated and droopy cheek will help elevate it, and camouflage the nasolabial folds and marionette lines.

An important part of the liquid facelift is using the properties of Botox simultaneously with fillers. The best analogy to understand how Botox lifts the face is to think of there being a tug-of-war acting on all points of the face, there are muscles that pull things down and muscles that pull things up. If you block the muscles that pull things down, the muscles that pull things up win, elevating that facial structure. An example of this is the Botox browlift, where by blocking the muscles that pull the brow down the brows and eyes open up, a non-surgical browlift. Botox can also be used to relax the muscles of the neck and improve vertical neck bands and sagging.

When fillers and Botox are used in the appropriate combination, the result can approach surgical treatments. The resultant rejuvenated eyelid, brow, cheek and neck appearance is the liquid facelift. The obvious drawback is these treatments need to be repeated twice a year for maintenance. It is, however, a great alternative for those who either do not have the time for recovery, or are not psychologically prepared for surgery. What’s even better it can be done on your lunch hour!

Posted by Dr Jacono at 3:26 PM

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