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Silicone implants for Cheek Augmentation

Cheek implant surgery was the most popular method to lift and fill the cheeks, before the popularity of nonsurgical treatments of facial filler injections. The general decrease in cheek implant surgery globally is primarily due to the growth of office treatments. Despite dropping in popularity, silicone cheek implants remain an excellent method for permanent cheek augmentation.

Why consider cheek augmentation?

Full cheeks and high cheek bones are a universal sign of vibrant youthfulness for both women and men throughout the world. The natural aging process and sun damage gradually result in flatter cheeks and decreased facial volume. This flattening of the cheeks is due to a combination of factors, including facial fat and bone loss. Aging is not merely from gravity and falling tissue.

Approximate region of cheek (malar) augmentation plastic surgery. Cheek implants can vary on factors such as size, shape, and position.

Some patients are born with relatively flat upper cheeks, not to be confused with mid facial fullness and relatively excess buccal fat, which we discuss in other blog posts. Similar to young patients with lower eye bags or dark circles, these patients consider  plastic surgery at a much earlier age to help enhance their appearance. A weak chin or double chin may also present in these young patients.

What are the available options to enhance the cheeks?

The menu of plastic surgery options continue to grow. The best plastic surgery offices typically provide a variety of treatments. Briefly, cheek enhancement options include:

  • facial fillers – Voluma®, Perlane®, Juvederm®, Restylane®, Sculptra®, Radiesse®
  • fat transfer
  • silicone cheek implant
  • 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, may be the first choice by patients for several reasons. First, many cheek implant patients have already had filler injections over the years and are seeking a more permanent solution. Patients may be unable or prefer not to come to the plastic surgeon’s office periodically for injections and would rather have just one procedure.

Before and after cheek augmentation with silicone implant by Dr. Chaboki.

Another distinct advantage of cheek surgery is that solid implants provide better 3D structure to the cheek area than soft tissue fillers. All facial fillers are soft gels, and these injectable fillers simply cannot provide the same cheek support as compared to a solid implant. Plastic surgeons want to add volume, but also want facial tissue to be naturally supported.

Similar to other implants in plastic surgery, cheek implants may vary on factors such as size, shape, and position. Plastic surgeons primarily use silicone for implants, and can help patients choose a cheek implant during the consultation.

Cheek implant surgery typically takes less than an hour via incisions inside the mouth, so there aren’t external scars. Cheek surgery may be performed in isolation or combined with other cosmetic surgery as appropriate. Downtime is typically minimal.

Have you considered plastic surgery to enhance the cheeks? Read more about cheek augmentation on our blog. Share your questions below.

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.