Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery • Dr. Raymond J. Haigney II • 9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
What Do Cheek Implants Do?
Cheek implants, which can also be called cheek augmentation, are inserted with the goal of enhancing the cheekbones or to give the cheeks a fuller appearance. Similar to other plastic surgery procedures, cheek augmentation can give your face a more youthful and balance out your facial features. They can improve your self-confidence and make you feel more attractive.
Cheekbone implants were first used in 1956 and have a history of being safe. Cosmetic surgeons are able to perform the surgery on its own or in addition to other facial plastic surgery procedures, such as rhinoplasty, a facelift, brow lift, or eye lift.
Cheek implants have three general shapes which include:
- Combined: Combined implants augment the cheekbones and the cheeks alike.
- Malar: The implants are placed directly on the cheekbones and provide a higher projection
- Submalar: This type of implant provides fuller cheeks and helps to round out a gaunt, or sunken in appearance.
There are a variety of materials available to be used for check implants. The ideal material to use is silicone because it offers many advantages. It is biocompatible, can easily bend to the contours of the face, can be easily penetrated with fixation screws and can be easily trimmed. One of the most important qualities is how easily silicone can be removed. While it is not common to need to remove cheek implants, in the event it become necessary, silicone implants can be quickly removed. Plastic and polyethylene are not nearly as forgiving or easy to work with. They are not bendable, can easily fragment and are challenging and sometimes impossible to remove. Additionally, they can damage the surrounding tissues which can tear or detach from being ingrown to the implant.
Cheek Implant Surgery
The scarring patients experience with cheek augmentation surgery is minimal. This is because the incisions are usually made inside the mouth or on the lower eyelid. If the procedure is being done along with another procedure such as a face lift, rhinoplasty, brow lift, or eye lift, the plastic surgeon can use the existing incisions for the implants. Some patience opt for an injectable filler which uses your own fat or a soft tissue filler.
Cheek implant surgery is an outpatient procedure. Patients are given a local anesthesia and sedation during surgery.
Cheek Implant Surgery Recovery
Following the surgery, there will likely be some swelling and minor bruising. It is common for the plastic surgeon to provide you with pain medication to use immediately after the surgery. You will also need to limit some physical activity for a few weeks. Patients are usually able to return to work and other normal activities within a week.
While uncommon, there can be some complications associated with cheek implants. The initial risk is having an adverse reaction to the anesthesia used for the cheek implant surgery. There is an association between complications from anesthesia and the use of tobacco, antidepressants, or other substances. It is important to communicate any substances you take with your surgeon before the surgery.
Following the cheek implant surgery, there can also be a risk for infection. This is commonly treated through the use of an antibiotic. When a cheek implant is incorrectly placed, it can result in shifting of the implant which causes asymmetry. In cases where the implant shifts, a follow up procedure may be required to ensure correct alignment of the implant. To lower the risk for complications, it is important to select a well-trained and qualified plastic surgeon for the procedure.
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