Cheek Augmentation

Prominent, well-defined cheekbones are one of the most striking signs of youthfulness and beauty. Because of heredity, some people simply don’t have well-developed cheekbones, or their cheekbones may not be in balance with their other facial features. Others, who had well-defined cheekbones when younger, have lost this definition as the cheek soft tissues have started to droop with the aging process. Today, plastic surgeons in Akron, Ohio have several options to create or recreate this cheek definition-cheek implants or repositioning of the fallen cheek tissues with a facelift.

Cheek implants are made in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing our doctors to customize this Akron, OH cosmetic surgery procedure for each individual’s needs.

What will happen at the initial consultation?

The initial consultation will begin at our office in Akron, Ohio, with a complete medical history and exam. Click here to Request Your Consultation at Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons. During the consultation, you should tell your doctor if you have other medical conditions that might make you less likely to tolerate a cheek implant, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or severe dental disease. You may be asked to look into a mirror and point out those areas that you would like to see improved. You should be very frank in discussing what you hope to achieve with surgery. This will help us understand your expectations and determine whether they can realistically be achieved. Other options available to you will be discussed along with risks and limitations.

Who should have Cheek Implant Surgery?

Cheek implants can be used in children and adults. Children with congenital deformity of the cheekbone, also known as the malar bone, often have repositioning of the cheekbone or the addition of bone to the malar bone to make it more prominent. In adults where the cheekbones have developed normally, cheek implants are generally the preferred way to enhance this area in the most predictable way.

The location where the surgery will take place, the estimated duration of the procedure, the type of anesthesia required and the costs of the surgery will be explained. “Before and after” photographs of patients will be available for your review. Your photograph will be taken and can be viewed with the computer imaging system if you wish. You will be able to view samples of implants and see the different sizes and shapes.

Alternative Treatments

Other techniques for enhancement of the cheeks include cutting the cheekbone and repositioning it as a complete unit (orthognathic surgery), adding bone from your skull to the surface of the cheekbone (bone grafts), adding soft tissue from other areas of your body (dermal/fat grafts) or repositioning the fallen cheek tissues (facelift).

Juvederm®, Restylane®, or Perlane®

Many people are looking for a slightly fuller shape for their chin. Just a touch of additional volume can make an enormous difference, giving the face a fuller or more defined appearance. Or perhaps you want a rounder, more sensual line along the cheeks to bring out that youthful innocence?

Injected into the skin, Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane correct deep folds and lift up the skin from the cheeks and chin, giving a new shape to the facial contours.

Facial Fat Grafting (Liposculpture)

Rather than use a manufactured product (filler) that is will need to be touched up in 6-24 months, some patients prefer a longer lasting filler using their own tissues. Fat grafting or facial liposculpture is an excellent option for enhancing facial aging without invasive surgery. Fat from an area of excess, usually the abdomen, is injected into the face and cheek tissues to give long-lasting fullness, contour, and lift.

Risks and Limitations

Significant complications from cheek implants are infrequent. Every year, many thousands of people undergo successful cheek augmentation with implants and experience no major problems. However, anyone undergoing any type of surgery must be aware of both the benefits and the risks. The philosophy of Crystal is to keep you well-inside and out. For some patients with medical conditions, we may ask you to have a complete preoperative medical exam by your primary care doctor.

As with any surgical procedures, there are risks of bleeding and infection. Both of these complications are infrequent. Antibiotics are used before and after surgery to minimize the risk of infection. If an implant becomes infected, it will need to be removed. The implant can be replaced three months later. Improper positioning or shifting of the implant may require a second operation to correct. The details and frequency of occurrence of these potential problems are best discussed with your doctor in person. You can help minimize certain risks by following their advice and instructions, both before and after your surgery.

How should I prepare for cosmetic surgery in Akron, OH?

If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Certain medications, such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and many vitamins and supplements, can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. If surgery is to be performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery. The week before surgery, get the medications and supplies you will need after the surgery so that you will have them at home. These will be provided by Crystal staff.

How is Cheek Implant Surgery performed?

An alternative approach involves inserting an implant between the bone and chin tissue through a short external incision under the chin or through an incision made in the mouth between the lower lip and the gum. Similarly, in some cases the cheekbones may be built up by placing an implant over them as shown. The postoperative patient with balanced profile and slight scar under the chin.

An alternative approach involves inserting an implant between the bone and chin tissue through a short external incision under the chin or through an incision made in the mouth between the lower lip and the gum. Similarly, in some cases the cheekbones may be built up by placing an implant over them as shown.

The postoperative patient with balanced profile and slight scar under the chin.

There are a variety of techniques used for placing cheek implants. After your consultation with the doctor, the final technique can be determined.

Common techniques used for cheek implant surgery include:

  • Transoral-through the mouth
  • Transpalpebral-eyelid approach

Facelift approach

Transoral Approach (mouth approach)

This is the most common approach to placing cheek implants when it is an isolated procedure. The incisions are made inside the mouth above the upper teeth on each side.

Transpalpebral Approach (eyelid approach)

Certain cheek implants that are not too large can be placed through an eyelid incision.

When cheek implants are placed in conjunction with other facial procedures-most commonly a facelift-the implants may be inserted through the same incision.

Will I need to stay in a hospital?

Cheek implant surgery may be performed safely in an office-based surgical suite, an outpatient surgery center or a hospital. The surgery can be performed under general anesthesia-in which case you are completely asleep-or local anesthesia with sedation, in which case you remain awake, but drowsy and relaxed. You will not feel pain, but you may notice some gentle tugging.

The surgery takes one to two hours. If only cheek implants are placed, most patients return home after the procedure. If other procedures are combined and the surgery time lasts longer than five hours, we usually recommend that you stay overnight.

What can I expect after Surgery?

There is surprisingly little pain from the procedure. Of course, you will be provided with pain medication in the postoperative period. You should keep your head elevated 45 degrees for the first three days to help relieve the swelling. Cold compresses used 10 minutes every hour while awake for the first three days will help reduce swelling. Avoid a heavy compress. A Ziploc bag filled with frozen peas works well. In addition,your doctor will prescribe supplements that will help minimize the bruising and swelling. If the implants are placed through the mouth, we will also prescribe an antibiotic mouthwash and antibiotics to take by mouth. There will be bruising and swelling in the cheeks and around the eyes which will start to improve after three days. You may start wearing makeup within the first few days after surgery. The stitches inside the mouth will dissolve in 10 to 14 days. Most people will face the public in a week to 10 days.

You can expect certain conditions after surgery:

Bruising and swelling-Remember, this may get worse before it gets better. In most people swelling starts to improve after the third day. The bruising will subside in seven to 14 days.

Tightness in the cheeks-This sensation is produced by the swelling and will improve as the swelling resolves.
Numbness of the cheeks-Numbness of the cheeks is an expected temporary symptom. Generally, sensation returns fully within six to 12 months.

You may resume non-strenuous activities within the first week. You should avoid straining, bending and lifting during the early postoperative period, the first seven to 10 days. You will be advised to wait two to three weeks before resuming strenuous activity and exercise. You will be placed on a liquid diet for the first few days. You will then be allowed to gradually progress to your normal diet.

What is the long-term outcome for most people?

Cheek implant surgery is the most predictable way to enhance the cheek area. Due to the swelling from the surgery, it may take three to six months before the maximum definition is achieved.

The results of cheek implant surgery are long lasting. Since cheek implants are made from synthetic material, it is possible that they may need to be revised in the future. However, unlike breast implants, most people do not have to have these replaced in their lifetime.