When you think of the focal points of the face, the cheeks might not be the first feature you think of. While it is true that when meeting someone people tend to notice eyes or nose first, the cheeks play an important role in facial balance, overall appearance, and first impressions. Cheek contour can change over time, and the area often starts losing volume with age, negatively affecting the facial appearance. Even in young people, poor cheek contour can mean discord in facial harmony and dissatisfaction with one’s own appearance. In these cases, cheek augmentation may be a good option for some people. But why choose cheek augmentation?
Why Cheek Augmentation?
While cheek augmentation is growing in popularity, it is still not as well-known as procedures such as rhinoplasty, facelift, or eyelid surgery. However, cheek rejuvenation can have a huge impact on facial aesthetics.
Cheek augmentation can be a good idea for a couple of different reasons. The first is enhanced cheek contour. Most women covet the appearance of high cheekbones, as this is a physical attribute that is well-regarded in most cultures. High cheekbones are often a component of good facial symmetry, which is a big part of how we regard attractiveness in others. Cheek augmentation can create the appearance of a higher cheekbone area, improving overall facial aesthetics. This type of augmentation can be done on adults of almost any age.
The second reason for cheek augmentation is the aging cheek. With volume loss, the cheekbones can become more prominent. This is generally a positive change, but it can go too far and make the face appear hollow and gaunt. Cheek augmentation can replace some of that lost volume for a rejuvenated appearance.
A permanent option for cheek augmentation, cheek implants are a safe and effective option for many patients. The implants used are very small, and are typically inserted through small incisions inside the mouth or eyelid, in order to avoid visible scarring. The procedure itself is usually brief, taking only 30-45 minutes, and may be performed using only local anesthetic. Initial recovery from cheek implant surgery typically takes about one week, though residual swelling and bruising takes longer to resolve.
Injectable Options for Augmentation
For patients who simply wish to restore lost facial volume, injectable fillers or facial fat transfer can be better options than implants. Injectable fillers are a temporary solution to reduced fullness in the cheeks, while facial fat transfer can be semi-permanent.
Synthetic fillers, which are often used to fill in wrinkles, can be used to add subtle volume to the face in a non-invasive treatment under local anesthetic. The filler is injected during a brief session (as short as 15 minutes) and there is no downtime involved. Patients may notice some swelling and bruising, but this should subside quickly. Depending on the filler used, results can last anywhere from about six months to two years.
Fat transfer is a bit more involved than augmentation with injectable fillers, but it uses the patient’s own fat to restore volume and rejuvenate the cheek area. Fat is harvested from an area of the body such as the stomach, hips, or thighs using gentle liposuction techniques. The fat is then injected into the face for a safe and effective anti-aging result. The area is typically overfilled a bit, as some of the fat will not survive long-term. However, after about six months, remaining fat should be established and may survive indefinitely. Recovery from the procedure depends on the patient, but most people feel well enough to resume work by about a week following treatment.
There are varying requirements for each type of cheek augmentation procedure, and you will get an assessment during your consultations with prospective surgeons. In general, the more invasive and permanent the procedure, the more rigorous the requirements. Here are some of the basic requirements for surgical patients:
- General good health
- Realistic expectations
When discussing your procedure, be honest about any medications and health issues that could compromise your safety during your cheek augmentation.
Choosing a Plastic Surgeon
It can be difficult to know which procedure will be best for you without speaking to a knowledgeable plastic surgeon, as he or she will have a great deal of experience making assessments and analyzing the results of surgery. During your consultations with prospective surgeons, you will discuss your goals and possible choices for achieving those goals, according to your lifestyle, budget, and current facial aesthetics.
In order to get the best results, you will need to have your surgery with the best facial plastic surgeon you can find. Plastic surgery involves a combination of skill, knowledge, artistry, and experience, and you will need to do careful research in order to find a surgeon who possesses these qualities.
If you would like to speak with an expert in the Toronto area, come to Revesse and meet with board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Robert A. Mounsey. Dr. Mounsey is an acclaimed surgeon who places emphasis on helping patients get beautiful, custom, natural-looking results. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mounsey, call Revesse today at 416-438-2499.