Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Facial Wasting

What is Facial Wasting?
Facial wasting is one symptom of a syndrome called lipoatrophy, which describes the loss of the soft layer of fat that sits just beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat). When a person has lipoatrophy, it is most noticeable in the legs, buttocks, arms and face. There is no single identified cause for lipoatrophy. The evidence collected so far shows that both HIV itself and the drugs used to treat it can lead to this kind of fat loss. Fat loss from the face is one of the components of lipodystrophy, the name used to describe a syndrome of body fat changes that are seen in people taking anti-HIV drugs. Facial wasting is marked by:

- Loss of underlying fat and support to the face, especially along and under the cheekbones
- Malnourished appearance or emaciated appearance
- Sunken temples
- Loose hanging skin especially in the middle part of the face
- Deep laugh lines on either side of a raised prominent fold
- Sunken cheek pads
- Noticeable and prominent outlines to the facial muscles and bones

What are My Facial Wasting Treatment Options? Click here to review detailed information regarding facial wasting treatments

Facial Implants
Fat Grafting
Perlane (cosmetic facial filler)
Radiesse (formerly knows as Radiance, cosmetic facial filler))
Restalyne (cosmetic facial filler)
SCULPTRA™ (also known in Europe as New-Fill)

What are the Causes of Facial Wasting?
It’s not known exactly what causes facial wasting in people who take anti-HIV drugs. At first it was thought that protease inhibitors were the cause of facial wasting, but now many doctors believe that it is caused by nucleoside analogues, particularly d4T and to a lesser extent AZT. Because of the link with d4T many HIV associations no longer recommend the use of d4T if there are other treatment options available.

Other factors have also been suggested as a possible cause of fat wasting from the face. These include severe immune system damage before anti-HIV treatments were started, low body weight, age over 50 years, and being male.

Where Will my Facial Wasting Treatment Take Place?
Your facial wasting treatment is a relatively simple nonsurgical procedure. It can be  performed in Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Douglas M. Senderoff, MD's beautiful, modern Westchester or Manhattan, New York offices. Dr. Senderoff has successfully treated hundreds of facial wasting patients.

What's the recovery time?
Treatment with facial fillers can be performed quickly and easily.  Patients are able to leave the office immediately after the procedure. Some swelling, bruising, or discoloration may be evident at the injection site.

In What Parts of the Face Does Facial Wasting Occur?
Fat wastes away from the fat pad in the cheek, below the cheekbone and beside the nose. This can make a person look very hollow-cheeked, gaunt, or ill. Fat is also often lost from the small fat deposits in the temples.
What Will I Look Like After Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Douglas M. Senderoff, MD Treats My Facial Wasting?
Your appearance after facial wasting treatments depends on several factors including:

- the type of filler used
- the amount of filler used
- the frequency of filler used
- the severity of the underlying facial wasting
- texture and quality of the skin
- laxity of the skin

The goal in treating facial wasting is to restore facial volume to the pre-wasted appearance and to eliminate the stigmata of HIV infection.  Dr. Senderoff strives to produce results that are both natural and pleasing.
If you have any additional questions about facial wasting please feel free to contact Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Douglas M. Senderoff, MD at his Manhattan or Westchester, New York office.