Depending on the surgical technique used by the surgeon, cheek augmentation surgery is performed to add prominence to the cheekbones, fill in the hollow cheeks and also create subtle and dramatic differences in facial contours. Materials used in cheek augmentation are:
- Synthetic implants
- injectable fillers
- Natural donor tissues
Cheek augmentation surgery: A step-by-step guide
Cheek augmentation surgery takes between 30 minutes to 2 hours. The surgical procedure is generally explained in the following.
- Cheek augmentation is performed under general or local anesthesia.
- To avoid any exterior scar, the surgeon might make the incision in the lower eyelid or inside the mouth.
- Through this incision, the surgeon can insert the silicone implant or the natural donor tissue such as bone graft or excess fat taken from other parts of the body. The silicone used is solid, yet also flexible. It is designed to lift the underlying facial bone structure at both sides and adding prominence to the cheeks.
- Once the materials are inserted inside the cheeks and shaped by the surgeon, the incision is closed with stitches.
Injectable fillers such as Radiesse, Restylane and Scluptra, are also used for cheek augmentation. They are injected through a syringe, with no need for incisions thereby requiring shorter recovery period. However, these injections do not make any significant change compared to implants and natural donor tissues.
After surgery, most patients take almost a week off from work and social activities to recover. During this time, you can expect pain, swelling and bruising. These bruises may even extend beneath the eyes. Until your cheeks heal, you may find chewing, laughing and yawing hard to do. It is important to keep your head elevated for the first few days in order to prevent the implant from being shifted out of place.
Benefit of performing cheek augmentation along with other procedures
When cheek augmentation is done along with other facial surgeries such as face lift, eyebrow lift, rhinoplasty or eyelid surgery, the implants can be inserted through the same cut as the other surgery. When the surgery is not combined with other procedures, the cheek prosthesis is inserted through a small incision made inside the mouth or the lower eyelid and is adjusted in its place, which is created by the surgeon inside the tissues of the cheek. Sutures used to close the cuts are removed after 10 days, or if the cut is made inside the mouth, they will be absorbed during this time.