Cheek Implants- aka malar augmentation, cheek augmentation
What is it?
Cheek implant surgery is a cosmetic procedure where a material is implanted into a patient’s cheeks to alter facial appearance. There are numerous types of material that can be used for cheek implants, giving patients several options to select from.
Cheek implant surgery typically takes between 30-45 minutes to complete. It is common for cheek implant surgery to be performed in combination with another cosmetic procedure. An incision will be made in one of four locations where an implant will be inserted into a pocket created by the surgeon. In some cases the implant will be adhered to the facial structure, while others it will simply rest in the created pocket. Once the implant is in place, the incision will be closed and the patient will move into recovery.
Alternatives to Surgery
In most cases cheek implants are used to create a different facial appearance all together or to replace damage from facial trauma. There are not currently non-surgical procedures that will achieve the same outcome.
Before the Operation
One of the primary things that will be discussed prior to the cheek implant operation is the location of the incision. Many surgeons will have a professional preference of what they would like to use for an incision site, so it is important to fully discuss and ask questions so that you can figure out what the best option for you will be.
There are 4 primary incision sites or types, including:
- Coronal- This incision is the oldest type and is used less often, although it is commonly used when the patient is having both a cheek implant and a face lift done simultaneously.
- Subciliary- This is an incision that is done through the eye. The incision is made in the lower part of the eyelid right above the cheek.
- Intraoral- This is an incision that is placed in the upper portion of the inside of the patient’s mouth. The actual incision spot is between the upper gums and the cheek. This type of incision is actually the most preferred among plastic surgeons performing cheek implant surgery.
- Perauricular- This incision is placed near the ear and is made along the hairline and hidden by the ear lobe.
In addition to incision site choices, the type of cheek implant will be discussed. There are a variety of choices, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Also, there will be specific pre-operative instructions that each patient will need to adhere to.
After the Operation- In the Hospital
The period at the hospital following the operation is focused on recovery from the anesthesia. Once the patient is stabile, they will be allowed to go home for continued recovery. There will need to be someone there to drive the patient home. And, each medical facility and physician will have specific requirements that the patient will need to meet before they are allowed to leave the hospital or medical facility following a cheek implant surgery.
After the Operation- At Home
The plastic surgeon will give each patient instructions about the care that should be taken following the surgery. It is important that all of these instructions be followed to ensure that recovery is rapid and smooth. It is also important to follow the post operative instructions to avoid any potential surgical complications. In many cases, the stitches that were used for the incision will dissolve, depending on the incision technique used.
With any surgery, there are possible complications and risk factors to consider. While they may not have an impact on each patient, they are a possibility and can include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Implant shifting from its original position
- Extended loss of facial sensation
As with any cosmetic surgery, it is advised to become fully informed of all of your options and all of the possible risks. Also, interview several surgeons so that you can select someone with the training and temperament that you are searching for so that you can have the best possible outcome. Also, as cosmetic surgery is a permanent procedure, be sure that you are prepared for the visible changes in your appearance following the surgery.
Estimated Cost for Cheek Implants