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I am 64 years old and underwent radiation for a 3 mm cancer from calcification...

Q:

I am 64 years old and underwent radiation for a 3 mm cancer from calcification found in my left breast. Prior to and during this time I worked out and ran training for a triathlon. I lost a lot of weight, and now in July, my cheeks on my face have suddenly become large deep wrinkles when I smile. I feel as though I can never smile again because of these wrinkles. I had a beautiful cheeky face before. What can be done to restore them? Would fat injections be the route to follow?

A:

Paradoxically, loss of fat from the face contributes to the appearance of aging despite all of its benefits to health.  You would need to see a plastic surgeon in consultation to determine the best treatment.  Often fat injections are part of the plan but that is just one option.  Keep an open mind regarding your options and keep up the exercise!

Richard A. Baxter, M.D.
Mountlake Terrace, WA

A:

The best way to rejuvenate a man or woman's face when he or she has lost weight and feels that her cheeks are hollow is to undergo treatments with Sculptra®.  This is a polylactic acid compound (similar to the makeup of absorbable suture that is used in routine surgeries). 

Rather than "filling" it actually stimulates generation of your own tissue.  It usually takes several treatments and a few months to get the result that you want, but once you do, it stays for about two years.  It is truly a "liquid face-lift" without surgery.  Other fillers cannot really be used to get fullness back in the cheek hollow area.

Suzanne A. Trott, M.D., F A C S

Suzanne A. Trott, M.D., FACS
Beverly Hills, CA

A:

It is possible that fat transfers or intradermal fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane or Radiesse may benefit you.  There are pros and cons to each option.  Fat transfer viability is variable and you need to have adequate fat to harvest.  Fillers may only last up to one year and will require repeated injections. It is possible you may also benefit from facial plastic surgery.  Find an ASAPS member in your area for a consultation. You may click on this link http://www.surgery.org/consumers/find-a-plastic-surgeon to obtain the name of a surgeon practicing in your area. 

 

A:

You have a few options, surgical and nonsurgical.

Fat transfer is a good option for you but it is a surgical procedure requiring anesthesia and a recovery period.

Sculptra is a synthetic filler which the body converts into your own natural collagen and will last beetween 18 months and 2 years. This can be done in an office setting.

Both procedures may require repeat treatments.

Find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area who offers both to decide which is the best treatment plan for you.

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