Cheek implants used to be the only method to lift and fill the cheeks, before the tremendous popularity of nonsurgical facial filler injections. The general decrease in cheek implant surgery globally is primarily due to the growth of these office treatments, especially by non-plastic surgeon. Despite being less commonly performed as previously, silicone cheek implants remain an excellent method for permanent cheek augmentation for many reasons.
Why consider cheek augmentation?
High cheek bones are a universal sign of vibrant youthfulness for women and men throughout the world. Natural aging gradually results in volume loss of the face, especially the cheeks for some. Flatter cheeks from age is due factors such as facial fat and bone loss. Facial aging is not merely from gravity and falling tissue.
Flat cheeks also occurs at young age from facial development. Some patients are born with relatively flat upper cheeks. These young patients may also have lower eye bags or dark circles. A weak chin or double chin is also a common finding in this group. Dr. Chaboki frequently sculpts the face in these young individuals who want to improve their appearance.
What are cheek enhancement options?
Options in plastic surgery continue to grow globally. The top plastic surgery offices often provide both nonsurgical and surgical treatments. Some cheek enhancement options to consider include:
- facial fillers injections – Lyft®, Perlane®, Juvederm®, Restylane®, Voluma®, Sculptra®, Radiesse®
- fat transfer injections
- silicone cheek implant surgery
- cheek lift, or mid face lift
Speaking with a facial plastic surgeon who performs a variety of both surgical and nonsurgical cheek procedures can help one determine the most appropriate option for them.
Why consider cheek implant surgery?
Cheek implant surgery, also known as malar or submalar augmentation, is a consideration by patients for several reasons. First, many cheek implant patients may have “filler fatigue” after having filler injections over the years. These patients are seeking a more permanent solution for cheek enhancement.
Other patients may simply be unable or prefer not to come to the plastic surgeon’s office periodically for injections. This group likes the convenience of having just one procedure.
One distinct advantage of cheek surgery is 3D structure. Since implants are solid, they naturally are able to provide better 3D support to the cheek tissue as compared to facial fillers. Keep in mind that facial fillers are soft gels and simply cannot provide the same cheek support vs. a solid implant. Plastic surgeons not only want to add volume, but also want natural shape and supported facial tissue. Patients who are “over filled” with filler injections may have an undesirable doughy look without definition.
Cheek implant surgery
Cheek implants primarily vary based on material, size, shape, and position. Plastic surgeons typically use silicone for implants. The main implant positions are malar, submalar, or combined implants in regard to position, which correlates to the desired area of the cheeks being augmented.
The video above shows a cheek implant with its relative position on the face. Cheek implants are placed ontop of the bone. Actual silicone implants are clear, while these blue cheek implants are used as models in surgical planning with patients in the office. Dr. Chaboki also uses computer imaging to simulate possible outcomes with plastic surgery.
Cheek implant surgery is an outpatient procedure that typically takes less than an hour. Small incisions inside the mouth to avoid external scars. Results will vary based on many factors, including specific size, shape, and position of the implant. In addition, a patient’s facial anatomy will also determine final result.
Although swelling is more as compared to fillers, the downtime is typically minimal with cheek implants. Patient often report just mild discomfort and return to work after a few days.
Cheek implant may be performed alone or combined with other cosmetic surgery as appropriate.
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