Having prominent cheekbones and full cheeks allows both men and women to look younger and more attractive. Whether through the process of aging or genetic factors, some people have cheeks and cheekbones that are less than desirable to them. In this case, a plastic surgery procedure called cheek augmentation may be an option. This process, also called malar augmentation, provides the face with greater contour. That means it changes the proportions of the face to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
It is normal for people to lose fullness in the face as they get older. This is the most common reason that people seek a cheek augmentation. Others have tried dermal fillers in the past and liked the way the procedure temporarily changed the appearance of their face. A cheek augmentation offers similar effects, except that they are longer lasting. Some patients even enjoy permanent cheek fullness and facial contouring after undergoing this procedure.
The Cheek Augmentation Surgical Process
After getting medical clearance to go ahead with the procedure, it is important for patients to make sure they get enough rest, follow a healthy diet, and refrain from smoking. The surgeon will also advise patients to follow certain dietary restrictions depending on whether they are having intravenous or twilight anesthesia. The type of anesthesia determines whether patients need to arrange for a ride home after the cheek augmentation procedure.
Patients can choose to have a cheek augmentation as a single outpatient procedure or as one of several types of plastic surgery performed at the same time. Having it completed at the same time as a face lift, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, jaw implant, or chin implant is especially popular. Prior to the day of surgery, the patient and surgeon will decide on the right size and shape of the implants. Cheek implants are made from biocompatible materials like polyethylene or solid silicone.
For patients who are only having a cheek augmentation performed, the surgeon makes a small incision where the cheek meets the gums in the back of his or her mouth. This makes it possible for the cheek implants to go in through the mouth. The final step of a cheek augmentation is for the surgeon to close the incision site. From start to finish, it typically lasts no longer than 30 to 45 minutes.
Recovering from Cheek Augmentation Surgery
Because of its short duration and relative ease in completing, the recovery time from cheek augmentation is among the quickest of all plastic surgery procedures. Most people feel only mild pain and swelling on the day of the surgery itself and up to a few days later. Even those who feel perfectly fine when going home should plan to take it as easy as possible for at least a couple of days.
The cheek area may also feel tight due to the increased volume of the new implants. Additionally, the upper lip may feel numb from the stitches inside of the mouth. The sensation resembles receiving anesthesia for a dental procedure. Keeping the head elevated for the first few days after cheek augmentation helps to minimize the initial swelling. Following a bland, soft foods diet while the mouth incision heals will help recovery go faster as well. It is important to rinse the mouth regularly to keep food debris off the sutures. These sutures eventually dissolve on their own.
No visible scarring should be present when the surgeon goes through the mouth to place the cheek implants. Many people schedule the procedure for a Thursday or Friday and feel good enough to return to work and their other regular activities by the following Monday.