Plastic Surgery 101

Want a thinner face? Try fillers instead of liposuction

Dr. Carlos Wolf injects Michelle Setnick with a facial filler called Restylane in this photo, dated Nov. 17, 2008.
Dr. Carlos Wolf injects Michelle Setnick with a facial filler called Restylane in this photo, dated Nov. 17, 2008. Miami Herald File Photo

Q. I went to a doctor who told me that because I have a fat face he wants to do liposuction on my face and make it thinner. Do you think this is a good idea?

A.

I am not a big fan of purely liposuctioning the face without doing a facelift. I am assuming that you are young person between 20 and 40 and therefore this is not your case. I often get patients who come to see me because they feel their faces are a bit wider than they would like them to be. They often ask to have liposuction and remove the fat pad from from the mid-face. This is an operation that can be done very simply through an intra oral incision and it makes the face appear thinner. While this can be done, and often is done for men who want to look more masculine, I do not recommend this surgery.

I spend a significant amount of time during the week filling patient's deflated faces with fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm and Radiesse. I use fillers and their own fat to do this. What this tells me is that the long-term results for patients who have fat pad removal and liposuction of the face is not good. Patients will have a significant expense as they age and will need fat grafting and injectables in the future.

The concept of beauty and youth has changed over the past 20 years. Young people have rounded full faces; that is why the injectable facial market has skyrocketed over the past 10 years. Neck liposuction should not be confused with facial liposuction as it is a great operation for the appropriate patient.

Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email your questions to him at Cwolf@miamiplasticsurgery.com.

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