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Cheek Implants

Cheek Augmentation (shaping/implants)

A balanced bone structure is the framework for ideal beauty. Facial implants are typically used to create the desired balance to the existing features of the face. It is also used to correct asymmetries and congenital defects. The most frequent types of implant procedures are performed in the cheek and chin area. Cheek shaping may increase the projection of the cheekbones and rejuvenate the mid-face region. The use of synthetic implants or reshaping is a safe and effective means of augmenting various regions of the face to achieve a more youthful and attractive appearance. The implants are made out of both solid and semi-solid materials that have been used successfully for years. Cheek augmentation is often performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as a rhinoplasty, facelift, or chin augmentation to improve the overall balance between the cheek and other facial features.

How is a Cheek Augmentation surgery performed?

If your cheek shaping is performed in conjunction with a facelift, your implant will be inserted through the facelift incision. If it is performed separately, two small incisions will be made inside the upper lip, directly below the cheekbones. Your surgeon will then create small "tunnels" from the incisions to the cheekbones and insert an implant through each tunnel. Each implant will be fitted against your cheekbone, underneath the soft tissues of the cheek. Alternatively, an incision may be made inside your lower eyelid and a pocket is formed and the implant inserted there. After your implants are solidly in place, the incisions will be closed using dissolving sutures (stitches). A dressing will be applied to minimize discomfort and swelling.

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How long does a Cheek Augmentation surgery take?

A cheek implant typically takes about one hour to perform.

What type of anesthesia is used?

Cheek shaping is usually performed using local anesthesia along with a light sedative to make you feel drowsy and relaxed. If you are having additional procedures performed, you will receive general anesthesia, which will cause you to be asleep during the whole procedure.

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Where is the procedure performed?

Cheek shaping is usually performed in a surgeon's office-based surgical suite, an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital.

When can I return home and resume normal activities?

Cheek shaping is done on an outpatient basis. However, it is necessary that you have someone to pick you up after the procedure, take you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours. Most individuals return to their usual activities in one week.

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How do I prepare for a Cheek Augmentation surgery?

During your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the changes that you would like to make to your appearance. Since the appearance of your cheeks is a matter of personal perception and preference, you will need to discuss your concerns in detail so your surgeon can determine the appropriate alternatives. Your surgeon will evaluate and assess the position of your cheekbones to determine facial symmetry and balance. Your surgeon may also point out other problems areas. For example, most people who consider cheek implants may also be a candidate for rhinoplasty, in order to create a more harmonious appearance. You also should make arrangements ahead of time for someone to drive you to and from your procedure and to assist you with your daily activities during your recovery period.

Prior to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will perform a complete health history and physical. Knowledge of your allergies, medications and previous surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention at this time. Smoking cessation is advised for at least three week prior to and two weeks after your surgery. Smoking inhibits blood flow to your skin and may delay the healing process of your incision areas. Specific instructions to assist you in preparing for this procedure will be given to you after the health history and physical is complete. Depending on your individual health status, the instructions may include guidelines regarding your diet, alcohol intake, smoking and which medications to take or avoid. Your experience will be much smoother if you remain compliant with your surgeon's instructions.

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What precautions are necessary during recovery?

It is normal to experience some discomfort and swelling in the affected area for several days. You will probably find it difficult to smile and talk much within the first few days. Black and blue marks may be visible around your cheek, so plan your clothing choices with that in mind. Your surgeon will give you very specific instructions regarding dental/oral hygiene, eating a soft food diet, sleeping positions and activity restrictions.

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What are the possible complications after a Cheek Augmentation surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, small sensory nerves near the surface of the skin may be interrupted and consequently, you may feel some numbness or have less than full feeling. Sensibility returns over several months, but some diminished feelings may last indefinitely. Facial nerve injury with weakness of a part of the face can occur on a transient or permanent basis, however this is very rare. Other complications not listed here, can occur but are exceedingly rare. The shifting or imprecise of positioning of an implant, or an infection around it, could require a second operation or removal of the implant. Rarely, excess tightening and hardening of scar tissue around an implant can cause an unnatural shape. It is always important to be informed about the possible complications before any surgery. Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your surgeon.

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What results can I expect after a Cheek Augmentation surgery?

Upon awakening from the anesthesia, you may experience some pain that will be relieved with medication. If you experience continued discomfort, you will be given additional pain medication. During the healing phase, particularly during the first three to seven days, your activities and diet will be restricted. Your ability to smile and talk will be limited at first. Give your face an opportunity to heal and you will be rewarded in time. You may not be able to accurately evaluate your newly shaped cheeks for several weeks or months. Give yourself the opportunity to get used to your new look.

Surprisingly, others may not even recognize that you have had a procedure; they just think you look better, more refreshed. Be sure to address any questions or concerns about this procedure to your surgeon immediately.

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Choosing the right surgeon

To obtain further information regarding Cheek Augmentation surgery, we advise you to consult with a qualified and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Regardless of the type of procedure you are considering, it is crucial to choose the right surgeon for your individual goals. To receive a complimentary consultation with a specialist in your area, simply fill out our Online Referral Form or call Toll Free 800.449.1884.

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