Cheek Implant Overview
The foundation of facial contour lies in the underlying bone structures. When the zygomatic bone, more commonly known as the cheekbone, lacks projection, it can cause the cheeks to appear flat or recessed, rather than full.
In these cases, synthetic cheek implants can be surgically inserted through a small incision in the mouth or lower eyelid to increase the prominence of the cheekbones and create a more flattering facial contour.
Before undergoing surgery to receive cheek implants, a patient should stop taking certain blood-thinning herbs, vitamins, and medications (such as aspirin) for at least two weeks before the procedure. If you smoke, you should be aware that it puts you at risk for a longer healing process, and you should quit for at least two weeks before and after surgery. If you are over the age of 45, you may need to receive medical clearance from an independent physician prior to undergoing cheek implant surgery. Dr. Vallecillos will provide you with a comprehensive pre-operative plan at your consultation.
Most patients will receive general anesthesia for this surgery, although in rare cases a local anesthetic with sedation may be used.
- During your consultations, Dr. Vallecillos will discuss your options for implant size and placement to achieve the desired outcome. Based on these considerations, incisions may be made either in the mouth or the lower eyelid. Dr. Vallecillos will then create a small pocket in the tissue that overlays the zygomatic (or cheek) bone, insert the implant, and affix it to local structures. The incisions are then closed and the process is repeated on the other side.
Although they may be initially hidden by swelling, results should be immediately visible and include increased facial fullness, better facial proportion, and a reshaped and more prominent cheek area.
Cheek Implant FAQ
Who is a candidate for cheek implants?
You should consider cheek implants if you feel that you have a disproportioned or gaunt face, especially due to a recessed zygometic bone structure or lack of prominence in the cheek area. These synthetic inserts are surgically implanted into the face to permanently increase the prominence of the cheeks.
What is the recovery time for cheek implants?
After undergoing cheek implant surgery, patients should expect to experience some numbness and tenderness throughout the facial area for several days, and swelling may persist for several weeks. During this time, it is recommended that only liquids and soft foods are consumed, to limit discomfort that may be caused by chewing. Facial movements may be temporarily limited, and strenuous activity and physical contact to the cheek should be avoided until healing is complete.
Are there risks with cheek implants?
Risks of cheek implant surgery, like all surgeries, include infection, scarring, and bleeding. Less common risks may include temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the cheek area, firmness in the cheeks, the development of internal scar tissue around the implant, and shifting of implants. Dr. Vallecillos will discuss all possible risks and side effects with you during your pre-operative consultation.
How long do the results last?
For most patients, the results from cheek implants are long lasting.