Losing Weight After 40: Face or Fanny?





There is a quote often attributed to French actress Catherine Deneuve, who reportedly said, “After a certain age, you have to choose between your fanny and your face.” Here’s what she meant: Many of the things you do in the name of staying in shape — counting calories, fat grams, logging hours at the gym; begin to do a number on your face as you close in on 40. You start to lose facial volume, which can cause eyes to look slightly sunken, cheeks to hollow out, and skin to lose its firmness and elasticity. Maintaining a low body mass index (BMI) exacerbates the problem because fat is the very thing that helps plump out lines and wrinkles. Dr. John Zannis is a board certified plastic surgeon in New Bern, North Carolina who says that this often repeated adage is no longer true thanks to plastic surgery.

Where on your body you tend to gain the most weight, whether it’s around the middle or more on the hips and thighs, is the result of your genes and particular physiology. However, the more weight you gain, the more you’re going to see it in your face, regardless of whether the rest of you is an apple or pear shape.

“When you lose weight, the face is often the first place that shows it,” says Dr. Zannis. “The fat pads under the eyes go first, and then you see it above the smile and down to the chin, then the cheeks. At the same time, gravity comes into play, and the elastin and collagen fibers that allow skin to stretch and spring back weaken, causing skin to sag.”

Plastic Surgery Solutions with Dermal Fillers Can:

  • Plump thin lips
  • Enhance shallow contours
  • Soften facial creases and wrinkles
  • Improve the appearance of recessed scars
  • Dermal fillers can be very helpful in those with early signs of aging.

Fat Injections

Some patients may want to consider fat injections, which uses fat harvested from the patient’s own body which can then be re-injected to enhance facial fullness, fill creases or build up shallow contours.

How fat injections are administered

Fat injection requires a more extensive procedure than “off-the-shelf” soft tissue fillers. A “donor area” must be determined (such as the abdomen or buttocks) and liposuction is used to extract the fat. The suctioned fat can then be transferred to the face, as a graft. The grafted fat then has to redevelop a blood supply in order to survive.

Areas of the Face Affected by Weight Loss

  • The Eyes- After weight loss the eyes can appear sunken if the cheekbones have hollowed. If this is the case Dr. Zannis recommends injections of Restylane into the tear troughs under the eyes.
  • Nose- Believe it or not, even your nose can appear slimmer after significant weight loss. If this is not a look that is desirable, Dr. Zannis can perform a non-surgical nose job using Juvederm Ultra XC to plump area where volume has been lost.
  • Cheekbones- While many women are happy to have more pronounced cheekbones, for some, the weight loss can take it too far and cause loss of prominence in the cheek area. Although the “chipmunk cheek look” of too much filler is not attractive, there are subtle ways to add volume to the cheeks which include a long-lasting volumizing filler like Juvederm or Voluma.
  • Chin- When some women are carrying around excess weight it can show under the chin. Losing weight can erase a double chin if one is lucky, or it can simply cause loose skin. If that is the case, Dr. Zannis uses a neck lifting procedure.
  • Lips- Restylane Silk, Juvederm, or dermabrasion can be used to sand down and smooth out fine lines
  • Nasolabial Folds- These are the creases that run from the nose down to the lips. With weight loss, the folds lose volume and more pronounced creases can be visible. To plump these lines Dr. Zannis uses injects of Juvederm.

The good news is, that with minimally invasive plastic surgery procedures women can keep both their face and their fanny looking youthful.

Meet Dr. John Zannis – New Bern, NC Plastic Surgeon

Dr. John Zannis is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and studied Human Biology and Studio Art at Stanford University prior to entering Medical School. He obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D.) from the University of Cincinnati College Of Medicine.

After medical school, Dr. Zannis received his formal training in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina under the guidance of world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Louis Argenta. During this time, he performed over 5,000 surgical procedures and covered all aspects of plastic surgery including cosmetic surgery of the face and body, complex reconstructive procedures of face and body, cleft lip and palate surgery, hand surgery, facial and jaw fracture repair, and reconstruction following massive weight loss. He has given numerous national academic presentations and keeps abreast of the latest technologies in Plastic Surgery at symposia across the country.

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