What is a Cheek Augmentation?
A cheek augmentation can be completed in several different ways. The goal of this procedure is to rejuvenate the midfacial area by increasing the 3D contour, anterior projection, and volume of the cheeks.
Am I a good candidate for Cheek Augmentation?
The facial changes that occur with aging can be described as volume loss, downward migration and shrinkage, or atrophy, of the fat pads in our cheeks that create the plump “apples” of our cheeks. The loss of cheek volume is usually also accompanied with the development of thin and dry skin due to loss of elasticity and the highly organizational pattern of collagen and elastic fibers. This creates dark discolorations and unsightly folds under the eyes, often referred to as “eye bags”.
The aforementioned changes create saggy and deflated skin. The side profile of the face also flattens due to decreased projection of the cheeks. If you are experiencing these changes and would like to intervene, a cheek augmentation procedure may be right for you.
Young individuals may also benefit from a cheek augmentation procedure. This can be performed to improve symmetry, correct congenital or acquired deformities, or enhance facial beauty.
Increased anterior cheek projection is associated with beauty and youth. Interestingly, the fat pads in this region, the anterior malar fat pads, are estrogen responsive and increase in volume in the presence of increased estrogen concentrations.
Temporary fillers such as hyaluronic acid-based fillers can be used. Permanent fillers such as autologous fat may also be used as filler material.
Implants are typically composed of synthetic materials such as silicone or gore-tex. Your plastic surgeon will customize a treatment plan depending on your aesthetic goals and existing facial anatomy.
- Mild to moderate pain is expected. Pain is well controlled with over the counter and prescription medications.
- Swelling is expected and worst 72 hours after the surgery. Cold compress for the first 72 hours followed by warm compresses for the next 1.5 weeks. Degree of swelling becomes socially acceptable 1.5-2 weeks later.
- Liquid diet for the first week. Advance to a soft diet the second week. And, then transition to normal diet. But avoid hard foods such as almonds for at least 3 months.
- Swelling will improve considerably at 3 months. Final results can be appreciated at 6 months.
- If you surgeon opts to use non-dissolvable sutures, they will be removed in clinic 5-7 days later.
- All incisions are made within the mouth (intraorally), specific instructions regarding oral hygiene will be provided.
Possible Risks with a Cheek Augmentation
- Possible complications associated with facial implants may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- As with any operation, an infection can occur. If this happens, the patient is given antibiotics to clear up the infection. If the infection does not resolve, then the implant may have to be temporarily removed and replaced at a later time.
- A facial implant could move slightly out of alignment, with a second operation becoming necessary to reposition it in its proper place.