There are plenty of minimally invasive and non-invasive options available to reverse the signs of facial aging. Deciding which treatment will give you the best bang for your buck can be a little overwhelming. Atlanta-based board certified plastic surgeon Dr. James Namnoum provides us with his preferred one-two punch to counter aging: a combination of fat transfer and the Halo laser.
Understanding Facial Aging
Facial aging takes place on two levels: the skin and the deeper tissues. In order to rejuvenate the face, both levels need to be addressed.
The main enemy to skin damage is sun exposure. “Photoaging is the number one thing that reduces the quality of the skin,” explains Namnoum. As the quality of the skin declines, it loses its springy nature and tautness. Fine wrinkles, called animation lines, begin to appear around the mouth and the eyes. The brow begins to descend and brown and red spots appear on previously even skin tone.
“You can think of all those things as sort of the paint on the house – the superficial things. Those can be treated with lasers,” says Namnoum. His laser of choice to address aging in the skin is Halo by Sciton. “Halo is a phenomenal laser. We can treat heavy pores, fine lines and pigmentary changes. The recovery is minimal but the effect is optimal.”
Facial aging also involves the loss of volume in the deeper layers of the face. “Women, particularly, stop looking soft,” explains Namnoum. “Fat in the face is all about softness. Beautiful lips are soft and full.”
As youthful cheeks begin to deflate and descend, the fat around the eyes also dissipates. “We start to see skeletonization of the temple region, hollowing of the eyes, sharpness of the orbit,” adds Namnoum. He recommends fat transfer rather than fillers as the best option to restore softness to the face. “For someone who needs a little tiny touch of something, fillers are great, but if you’re talking about the kind of wholesale volumization of the face, fat is a much better choice.” Unlike fillers which will only last a year or two, your own fat will continue to live and provide fullness for much longer – some of it permanently.
Namnoum and his patients select a site where the fat will be harvested from. Under local anesthesia in his office, he then removes the fat with liposuction. Depending on the volume needed for the face, he will harvest between 30 to 100 CC’s of fat. The fat is then processed and injected into the face. He injects the brow area, the tear troughs below the eyes, the cheek pads and also along the jawline.
“What ends up happening is an incredible transformation. Softening all the edges, creating that kind of beauty which is associated with youth but which is lost as we start to enter into middle age,” says Namnoum.