What is cheek augmentation?
Cheek augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure which involves lifting and adding volume to the cheeks for a fuller appearance or more defined facial contours. Chin augmentation is usually done by inserting implants into specific areas in the cheeks to achieve the desired effects.
Why cheek implants?
As we age, our facial skin becomes thinner and many of the dermal support structures degrade. Over time, the skin loses elasticity and begins to sag. Moreover, aging often cause the face to lose volume. The combined effects of these 2 creates a stereotypical “sunken” appearance usually associated with old age. Also, some individuals might have been bothered by flatter cheeks since birth, making them look older than they are. Cheek implants can help solve this problem by replacing the lost volume, giving a younger and more rejuvenated appearance.
On the other hand, cheek implants can also be used to make the cheekbones more defined, giving the face a sharper look.
Different types of chin implants
Chin implants are usually made from medical grade silicone. A composite material that will naturally fuse with the cheekbones may be used sometimes.
Depending on the patient’s conditions and expectations, cheek implants usually have 3 main shapes:
Malar implants (“Malar” is medical term for the area around the cheekbones) are placed directly on your cheekbones. This is usually done to give re-contour the face and give the cheeks a sharper, more defined look.
Combined implants, like the name suggests, combines both malar and submalar implants in a single procedure. The combined effects of re-sculpting the cheekbones and volumizing the cheek tissue will usually give the face a younger and more refreshed look.
In general, cheek implants may be suitable alternatives for patients who wants to achieve a more long-lasting, perhaps permanent “facelift”.
Procedure of cheek augmentation
Cheek implants are usually inserted from an incision inside the mouth or from inside the upper eyelid, depending on individual conditions and the surgeon’s preference. The inserted implants are then adjusted and repositioned as necessary, before the incisions are closed with sutures. The whole procedure will be performed under local or general anaesthesia.
Cheek augmentation procedures usually take 30 to 90 minutes to complete, depending on the individual conditions and the type/size of implants used.
Possible risks and complications
As with all plastic surgery procedures, cheek implants have some potential risks and complications. These may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Damage of nerves, leading to altered vision and other senses
- Inflammation and infection
- Damage of facial muscles, permanently altering facial expressions
- Facial asymmetry
Most, if not all of these can be avoided with good surgery technique. Be sure to consult a experienced, skilled and reputable plastic surgeon for your cheek implants.
Follow the post care instructions given by the doctor closely. You will be required to wear a compression bandage around the cheeks for up to 3 days after the surgery to reduce swelling. There may still be some swelling after the bandage is removed, which will completely subside in about 2 to 3 weeks.
The cheeks are expected to feel slightly tight and sore for 2 to 3 weeks during the recovery. The doctor will usually prescribe painkillers to help with this.
Sedentary activities can resume after about 7 days, but strenuous exercise should be avoided for 2 weeks or more.
If incisions were made in the mouth, you should avoid spicy or irritating foods for several days. You may be required to consume only soft, easy to chew foods for this period and gargle with and antiseptic mouthwash.