Also known as malar augmentation, cheek augmentation consists of insertion of silicone or polyethylene implants in order to alter facial contour and improve the aesthetics of facial proportions. This can be a permanent alternative to dermal fillers (which are sometimes applied to the cheek area to make cheeks look fuller). The procedure can be performed alone or in combination with other facial cosmetic surgeries, and takes 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
The surgery itself can be performed in one of two ways. Your surgeon may make a small incision where your cheek meets your gums in the back of your mouth, in which case the implants will be placed through the mouth, or an incision is made through the lower eyelid if an eyelid procedure is being done at the same time. A pocket is made for the implant over the cheekbone. Your surgeon will secure the implant within the pocket, affixing it to bone or soft tissue. The final step is to close the incision with sutures.
Who is a candidate?
Candidates for cheek augmentation are physically healthy. They should be realistic about the range of cosmetic outcomes that are made possible by use of cheek implants. They should also consider the range of other cosmetic options available, which are less invasive, such as dermal fillers and Botox.
Patients who choose to have cheek augmentation typically are bothered by their facial proportions, either due to aging or general appearance, and wish to improve their self-image.
Who is not a candidate?
Patients who may have adverse reactions to general or regional anesthesia are not good candidates.
Like other surgeries, a cheek augmentation requires certain general surgery procedures such as preoperative blood testing, medications, and cessation of smoking or use of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
During recovery, bandages or dressings will be applied to the surgical site and will need to be dressed or maintained. Your surgeon will give you any follow-up care or instructions. There may be mild soreness or swelling, but it should not severely affect mouth function. Numbness at the mouth may be present, similar to that from a dental procedure, for incisions made at the mouth.
As with any surgery, there are risks of complications related to infection or adverse reactions to anesthesia. A proper assessment of every patient, along with complete lab work, help to prevent postoperative complications. Scars are imperceptible using the oral approach and almost invisible using the eyelid approach. Cheek augmentation is a relatively low-risk and simple procedure compared to other cosmetic surgeries.
Average US cost