A flat midface is a masculine feature, and women typically have a fuller cheek fat pad as well as a more rounded underlying bone structure. We we age we all lose cheek volume – both fat and bone – and we all look more masculine from one decade to the next. Restoring cheek volume creates a younger more feminine looking face. Volume restoration is accomplished either with fat grafting or with cheek implants.
Cheek Implant Consultation
At your consultation your surgeon will ask you about your goals and to point out the features of your cheeks that you would like to improve. They will discuss the different areas of the cheeks that we can volumize, how each area affects appearance, and the reasons we would treat one area more than another. They will review the pros and cons of fat grafting vs implants, and the various types of implants available.
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What Type of Cheek Implant is Best?
There are two general types of cheek implant, porous and smooth. The porous implants allow tissue to grow into them, and surgeons who use this type of implant often say that that helps to hold the implant in place. Smooth implants are typically made of silastic (a rubbery plastic material). They are held in place by the capsule of scar tissue that forms around them, the same way a breast implant is held in place. At Omni we typically favor this type of implant as they tend to stay in place just as well as a porous implant, but are much easier to remove it the need ever arises. Both types of implants have a long history of safe and effective use.
How is a Cheek Implant Inserted?
Your surgeon will carefully review the plan with you again on the day of surgery and answer any questions you might have. Implants are often placed in the same surgery as several other procedures, and so are most often placed under general anesthesia. If cheek augmentation is the only procedure being performed, it can be done under local anesthesia with numbing medicine. A small incision is made in the mouth between the upper teeth and the upper lip. A pocket is made in the soft tissue and the implant is gently positioned in this pocket. Sometimes a small metal screw is used to hold the implant in place until the scar capsule has formed.
How Long Does it Take to Recover After Getting Cheek Implants?
Cheek implants are placed as an outpatient procedure, and you can go home the same day. Your upper lip will be a little numb for at least a day, and can be numb for several days. Your cheeks and mouth are typically sore for 3-4 days. There are no firm diet restrictions, but with the numbness and soreness it will take most patients a few days to get back to eating normal meals. Your cheeks will be significantly swollen for a few days, and slightly swollen for a couple weeks.