When you see bulges on your face that are always there, it is usually a sign of age or weakening of the orbital septum. The orbital septum is a delicate layer that attaches the lower eyelid to your lower eye bone. When it contracts, it causes the eyelid to pull down: sometimes severely in ectropion, which is an eversion of the lower eyelid. Mild ectropion is just an alteration in the shape of the eye but more severe cases lead to lateral orbital dystopia. Plastic Surgeons have learned the hard way that complications can result from manipulation of the orbital septum. Cheek lifts have evolved so that they are now accomplished at a more superficial, suborbicularis level. Rather than touching the orbital septum deeper down, if any modification of the fat is necessary the orbital septum can be completely avoided. Another big advance is to use minimal incisions, which are very short and on the side of the eye. Cheek lifts should be a subtle operation because if they are performed radically and large lifts are attempted through lower eyelid incisions, the risk is high that the eyes will distort in shape. Recently, the tendency has been toward more minimally invasive procedures, anchoring the muscle to the periosteum of the upper eyelid.
The superficial Cheek Lift is a cosmetic operation that smoothes and rejuvenates your lower eye area, cheeks, and smile lines. People like to call it the “Mini-Cheek Lift” because of the dramatic difference in appearance it makes and the quick recovery time. It is a technique that makes the midface and cheek area look younger and more rested. It does not involve any implants, but elevates the patient’s own cheek fat to create the illusion of cheekbones.
Dr. Moelleken was not happy with the way people looked after they had their eyes done (with or without the use of a laser) and after conventional facelift surgery. When people have their eyes worked on, surgeons often just remove fat from below the eyes and take away a small amount of skin in an attempt to tighten the lower eyelid skin. This leaves the eyes hollow and too wide-open, resembling a “deer in the headlights” look. Patients who are considering having their lower eyes corrected are candidates for this procedure and often men and women in their late 30’s start to notice areas that bother them. Likewise, when a facelift is performed and the pull is just to the side, while the midface has been aging at the same rate, a “hanging curtain” or “windswept” look can result.
Dr. Moelleken’s procedure involves a small incision under each eye, the cheek pad is lifted, and the eye muscle is tightened and anchored in a totally new technique and placement. It is a drastically less invasive procedure than a typical eye and mid facelift surgery, which usually involve stripping off the membrane of the bone (subperiosteal dissection.) This innovation greatly reduces cost, anesthesia time, recovery time, and pain. The Cheek Lift operation involves also tightening the droopy lower eye muscle as well, giving support and structure to the lower eyelid and midface area. The Cheek Lift prevents this by rejuvenating the lower eye and midface area rather than just the side of the face. It gives a more natural, youthful appearance to the lower eyes than with conventional eye and face surgery.
Dr. Moelleken has performed hundreds of Cheek Lift operations and he does all of his own work with no assistants. The results of Dr. Moelleken’s surgeries have been published in the most prestigious, peer-reviewed plastic surgery journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery where he reports a large series of patients who have successfully had this surgery. He has performed more Cheek Lifts than any other published surgeon in the world. Dr. Moelleken is an Attending Surgeon and Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at UCLA with a CV of over 100 publications, abstracts, and national and international presentations. Dr. Moelleken volunteers at UCLA and the affiliated West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital, performing charity surgeries on veterans, and is a Clinical Associate Professor at UCLA educating plastic surgery residents. Dr. Moelleken is the recipient of the 2009 Annual UCLA Faculty Teaching Award. To learn more details about this innovative technique, call today and let us set up a consultation with Dr. Moelleken and he will help you regain the youthful appearance you have been dreaming of.
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