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Cheek Enhancement: Fillers, Implants, or Lift?

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The cheek and midfacial area have the benefit of many treatment options to improve appearance. However, with this large variety comes confusion as to what approach is the best for cheek rejuvenation.Cheek enhancement procedures generally fall into 3 broad categories: fillers, implants, and lift. Cosmetic cheek treatment with fillers, by far, are the most common option. This popularity is due to the relatively low-short-term cost, quick recovery, and low risk. Additionally, more cosmetic specialists and dermatologists may perform filler treatment, while a cheek implant or a cheek lift is performed only by plastic surgeons or facial plastic surgeons.

A non-surgical lift with facial fillers for the cheek include Radiesse and Sculptra, or the hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero. Each of these cosmetic treatments has its own advantages and disadvantages. Every plastic surgeon and dermatologist will have his/her own preference. Office cheek injections take a few minutes to perform and require a short downtime. Fat injections are also commonly used to enhance the cheeks regardless of age.

Cheek implants are a great permanent option to enhance the cheeks. Many cheek implants patients have tried fillers in the past and are looking for a more permanent solution. Patients may no longer need cheek injections after receiving an implant. Cheek implants are made of silicone and provide better 3D structure to the midfacial area as compared to soft-tissue fillers.

A cheek lift or midface lift is the last general option to enhance the cheeks. Skin, fat, and/or muscle is lifted either via small incision in the lower eyelid or the side of the head. Results are permanent, similar to other facial cosmetic surgery. Downtime is about 1-2 weeks for many patients. Cheek lift is more commonly combined with other facial surgery, such as a face lift, brow lift, or eyelid surgery.

Which cheek enhancement is best? Each patient is unique. Plastic surgeons will tailor the cosmetic treatment based on the patient’s anatomy, degree of facial aging, and personal aspirations. After a comprehensive evaluation, a plastic surgeon can help you choose the best option appropriate for you. Please share your thoughts below.

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.