The aging process causes changes in a person’s skin—cheekbones can thin out, while fat gathers along the jawline and neck, creating a heavier profile that might not be as aesthetically appealing compared to more youthful facial structures.
“Until recently, dissatisfied individuals had two basic options: resign themselves to feeling older and perhaps less confident, or undergo a major cosmetic surgery that created dramatic but sometimes unnatural-looking results,” said Dr. Eugene Nowak, founder of Nowak Aesthetics.
At first, bovine-sourced collagen seemed like a preferable option. Doctors injected collagen into the skin, helping to plump up wrinkles and skin folds. However, collagen can be reabsorbed into the skin within a couple of months, and some people were allergic.
“Today’s patients have another option: liquid fillers such as Radiesse, Juvederm, Belotero, and Voluma (the latest filler approved) that last much longer than collagen injections, making them much more cost effective, and are less risky and have lower recovery times compared to traditional facelifts,” explained Dr. Nowak . “They also create more natural-looking results.”
“A liquid facelift is a procedure to create some of the lifting effects without a surgical procedure,” Dr. Nowak continued. “We’re using filler products to replace the volume that’s been lost, trying to reestablish a youthful proportion.”
Dr. Nowak starts with an individual consultation to develop a customized plan for employing various fillers; for example, some products might be used for areas that require a “deeper boost,” while thinner products might be used for more superficial lines.
To begin, Dr. Nowak carefully cleans the area to be treated, marking injection sites for precise application. Newer filler products have local anesthetic included in the product, or it can be added at treatment time. Most patients are comfortable with just applying an ice pack, but in sensitive areas numbing injections can make the process more comfortable.
“Then it’s just a matter of injecting the filler and replacing the volume,” Dr. Nowak said. “We’ll do one side of the face and then hand them a mirror. It’s really pretty dramatic when they take that first look. We like to take lots of good ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures, because once both sides are treated we have to look at that original picture. Some of the most amazing pictures are of patients that said there was no difference, but were amazed at the difference once they saw their before and after pictures.”
“Swelling, bruising and tenderness are possible side effects, although most people don’t experience them,” continued Dr. Nowak.
“Depending on the fillers used, results can last between six months and two years,” explained Dr. Nowak. Taking good care of the skin—including avoiding excessive sun exposure and wearing sunscreen—can help maintain results. And can be combined with non surgical skin tightening treatments to help achieve a better and longer lasting result.
“Most people are pretty amazed that this can be done non-surgically,” said Dr. Nowak. “People will say, ‘My co-workers can’t figure it out. They ask me, ‘Did I change my hair? Did I change my makeup?’ People feel more confident.”
On March 4, Dr. Nowak will host an informal informational session, “Restore the Look of Youth with a Liquid Facelift,” for interested individuals. Call (619) 651-9646 to register or to set up a private consultation and evaluation.