Cheek Augmentation / Cheek Implants Surgery
Cheek implant can enhance the contour of your face and can provide symmetry to your facial features. It is performed to correct congenital defects and facial traumas as well.
The cheek “correction” may provide a harmonious balance with your other facial features so that you feel happier with your look. However, cheek augmentation is aimed for one’s look improvement rather than for its perfection.
Who can benefit form this kind of surgery?
- young patients with an inherited deficient cheek structure
- older patients with signs of ageing in their cheeks (hollow, aged appearance in the lower face and under the eyes)
- patients who experienced accidents and need cheek reconstruction
A cheek implant can be successfully combined with other procedures such as face lift.
The cheek augmentation benefits are more of a psychological nature, involving emotional and social adjustment. The best candidates for this kind of surgery are the healthy and psychologically stable persons.
A few of the benefits of cheek surgery are below:
- correcting deficient cheeks that make your face appear drawn and gaunt
- providing symmetry with the other facial features (nose, eyes, ears)
- correcting facial trauma following accidents
- enhances patient’s self-confidence and life enjoyment
Cheek augmentation is a rather simple procedure but with permanent and satisfactory results. The surgery success depends on the surgical artistic skills and on the proper selection of your implant by the surgeon, as well.
In order to get a better picture of cheek implant we have answered several questions concerning the surgery itself. Please take a look below:
Where are the implants placed?
The implant is placed directly on top of the cheek bone (or right below it). It is possible that it may be repositioned several times during the operation. Sometimes, a small titanium screw is used to attach the implant to the bone.
What kind of implants can be used?
The implants are made out of both solid and semi-solid materials. Nowadays there are many materials used for cheek augmentation, including, injectable fillers and implants. However, due to the various options and advantages/disadvantages you should discuss with your surgeon what he recommends to you and why.
Where are the incisions placed?
The small incisions can be placed:
- either at the top of the upper lip, near the gums
- Or on the outer cheek, slightly below the lower eyelid.
It is advisable to advise with your surgeon the incision placement before the operation.
What can you tell me about sutures, procedure duration, anaesthesia and hospital stay?
Depending upon the augmentation technique or implant used, cheek surgery can last about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.� In the case of cheek reconstruction following accidents (where bone grafts may be needed) the procedure’s duration may be extended to several hours.
The implant can be either sutured or screwed into the bone. The incisions are closed with dissolving sutures
Cheek augmentation is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthetic or local anesthetic with sedation.�If the implant is performed in conjunction with other plastic surgeries, a hospital stay may be necessary.
As with any surgery, there are possible risks to consider. It is well known that surgical complications happen rarely. Although they are more likely in patients with compromised immune system, bleeding disorders or conditions that interfere with wound healing, the patient should be aware of them.
The common risks that may occur to any surgical procedure include:
Bacterial infection can occur more often following this kind of surgery. In some cases, infection requires that the implants be removed during an emergency procedure. If the patient experiences pain or redness following the surgery, the surgeon should be notified immediately. The infection can be prevented by prescribing antibiotics before and after the surgery.
Bleeding and haematoma
It occurs immediately after the operation and is expected to stop in a few hours. This is normal bleeding. However, a blood clot (known as a haematoma) may accumulate under the skin or in the pocket created for the implant. As a consequence, the area may swell and become increasingly painful. A return visit to the surgery is necessary then.
The scar will be small and will remain more or less visible, depending on each individual’s capability to heal. There are several methods used to better heal the scars such as: using micro-pore tape, moisturising creams, massage, vitamin E, steroid injections, silicone sheeting. Not all therapies will give results for every patient. However, please discuss your options with your surgeon.
Procedure specific complications include:
Implant moving, or shifting out of alignment
In rare cases, implants may shift to a new place so that a second operation is necessary for repositioning.
The implant may be rejected by your body due to a “foreign object” immune system response. Implant removal will be necessary then.
This risk is very infrequent. It is a result of tightening of the scar tissue surrounding the cheek implant. If this becomes painful or causes a mis-shape in appearance of the cheek, additional surgery to release the scar may be needed. The surgeon may suggest taking certain anti-inflammatory medication that can soften the firmness.
Some patients may experience diminished sensitivity. Return to normal may take up to 3 months.
There is a slight chance of asymmetry from tissues healing at different rates and bone reabsorption. If the unevenness is noticeable enough and may be annoying for the patient, a new operation is possible.
A consultation should occur between you and the providing surgeon before surgery performance. You should ask your cosmetic surgeon to provide you information related to: benefits, risks, various surgical techniques, implant types, incision placement options, etc.
It is recommended that you look at before and after photos, advise with previous implant patients and get answers from your surgeon.
Please find below several questions common to any cosmetic surgery:
- What is the duration of the surgery?
- What kind of anesthesia will be used?
- What is the surgeon’s policy in regards to correcting or repeating the procedure if the implant does not meet the initial goals?
- Will I experience deep pain or swelling during or after the operation?
- What percentage of patients experience complications following the surgery?
- What are the side effects and risks of this procedure?
The questions specific to cheek implant:
- Will cheek implants improve the drawn and gaunt look under my eyes?
- Are the results I desire realistic?
- Will cheek implants get rid of my facial wrinkles?
- Where is the cheek implant performed?
- What technique and type of implant are most appropriate in my case?
- What kind of incisions will be used and how will the scars look?
- How much do cheek implants cost? Does cost depend on the type of material used?
- What is the surgeon’s level of experience in performing cheek augmentation?
- What is Arnica montana? I have heard that it reduces swelling and bruising.
- What about Bromelain?� Does it also help with bruising and swelling?
- What happens if the body rejects the implant?