Cheek augmentation using cheek implants is an option for those who want to replace facial fullness lost through aging, or for those who simply want more prominent cheekbones. The ideal candidate is old enough that the head and skull are no longer growing (maturation is usually reached by late adolescence), is in good overall health, does not smoke, and has realistic surgical goals.
There are three general types of cheek implants: malar, submalar and malar/submalar combination. Malar implants are placed directly over the cheekbones, increasing their projection. Submalar implants are placed midface, just below the cheekbones, to add fullness to a face that is sunken or gaunt. Malar/submalar-combination implants augment both the cheekbones and the midface. Although cheek implants are most often made from solid silicone, high-density porous polyethylene and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene are also used.
Cheek Implants Procedure
During the cheek implant procedure, for each cheek, a small incision is made inside the mouth, near the gumline, or inside the lower eyelid; it is through this incision that the implant is inserted. A pocket is created before the implant is placed; the implant is then secured by attaching it to bone or soft tissue, and the incision is closed with sutures.
Augmentation with cheek implants is performed, using local anesthesia, in a surgeon's office or outpatient surgery center, and usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.
Recovery and Results From Cheek Implants
After augmentation with cheek implants, there is soreness, swelling and numbness at the incision site and in the cheeks; they are managed with over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication. Keeping the head elevated to minimize swelling is recommended. Patients usually return to work within a week, with 6 weeks usually required for complete recovery.
The results of cheek implant surgery are immediately apparent. Implants provide long-lasting results from a single procedure, unlike facial fillers, which must be continually repeated to maintain results. There is no visible scarring from incisions placed in the mouth, and only minimal scarring from incisions placed in the lower eyelids.
Risks of Cheek Implants
In addition to the risks associated with any surgery, those related to augmentation with cheek implants include the following:
- Loss of sensation
- Implant rejection
- Implant shifting
In addition, as with breast implants, scar capsules can form around cheek implants. Unlike those that form around breast implants, however, they do not affect cosmetic results.
How Are Cheek Implants Different From Facelifts?
Many patients often debate about whether cheek implants are better than a facelift. While the choice of which is the better option may be subjective, it also depends on each person’s unique needs.
Cheek implants are made of materials that are compatible with human tissue. These are designed to help enhance a person’s cheekbones by adding more volume.
Cheek implants are removable, so you can alter your facial appearance if you desire to at a later point. In some cases, cheek augmentation can be as helpful as a facelift, but this depends on the patient’s level of skin laxity (sagging) and the desired results.
Facelifts are a cosmetic procedure to help people maintain a youthful appearance. This is achieved by pulling back the skin on a patient’s face and removing any excess skin to reduce sagging. Unlike cheek implants, facelift procedures are permanent, so you must make a careful decision about getting one.
Overall, cheek implants can improve volume around the mid-face region that appears hollow, but they do not address overall skin laxity, particularly around the jawline. Patients with prominent jowls will likely want to consider a facelift.
How Long Do Cheek Implants Last?
Cheek implants are permanent, but your underlying facial structure will change as you age. This means your body will start losing natural volume. Getting cheek implants can help replace that lost volume, which allows you to maintain your youthful appearance as you grow older.
If you are looking for cheek implants in Sherman Oaks, Dr. Elias can provide you with long-lasting results with masterful surgical precision.
Are There Different Types of Cheek Implants?
Yes, there are multiple variations of cheek implants. These types include malar, submalar, and combined. Malar cheek implants are inserted directly into the cheekbones, which is what helps protect them. Submalar cheek implants are meant to help make the cheeks appear fuller and reduce gaunt or sunken appearances. Combined cheek implants are meant to augment the cheeks as well as the cheekbones.
Schedule a Consult Today
If you are interested in cheek implants, please visit us at the Southern California Center for Surgical Arts! Dr. Elias would be happy to meet with you and discuss your candidacy for treatment. As an accomplished surgeon, he can provide the greatest level of care to help you achieve your goals.
Please book an appointment at our Sherman Oaks or Pasadena, CA, location. You can contact us online or call 626-440-0099 to request an appointment.