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Cheek Augmentation Related Terms:
Buccal Fat Extraction, Buccalfat Pad Excision, Cheek Fat Removal, Cheek Implants, Cheek Implants, Cheek Lift, Cheekbone Augmentation, Cosmetic Surgery, Face Procedures, Jaw Surgery, Malar Augmentation, Malar Augmentation, Plastic Surgery, Submalar, Surgeon
Cheek Augmentation (or cheek implants) (known to physicians as submalar and malar augmentation) is a general term that describes surgery to enhance the appearance of one’s cheeks. This is a relatively minor procedure that restructures cheekbones, balancing facial features and restoring a youthful and vibrant appearance. The desired effect is to change the shape or size of the cheek or to correct flaws caused by birth defects or injury. The surgery is generally simple, fast, and uncomplicated. Cheek Augmentation (Cheek Implants) helps to boost self-esteem. This procedure gives the face a more proportional and balanced appearance. Cheek implants on older patients allow a face a fuller look, especially if the face is looking sunken in, drawn, or aged. Younger women that have flat cheekbones go for cheek implants to get the chic high cheekbone look of fashion models. Underdeveloped cheekbones make other facial features appear more prominent. This procedure is often performed in combination with Rhinoplasty, Neck Liposuction, and/or Chin Augmentation.
Cheek augmentation, includes the surgical insertion of cheek implants or injections of fat or other fillers. Cheek implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes so that they can be customized to fit each individual`s face. Implants are made of safe, non-reactive, and permanent materials that can always be easily removed or changed at a later date, if so desired. Cheek implants are made from several different types of materials. One commonly used type is made from solid silicone, but other types of cheek implants are made from expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) and polyethylene. You should discuss with your doctor which implants he or she prefers and why.
Cheek implants can be implanted laterally, frontally, or sometimes even both. The first consultation a patient has with the surgeon will identify what is required for her/him to get the desired look. It can take as little as 30 minutes to perform and most plastic surgery practices will do it.
Cheek augmentation can be performed in different methods. The needs of each patient will be the final factor as to what method the surgeon settles on. In general, what occurs during cheek implant surgery is that a “pocket” is created over the tissue of the cheek, which enables the implant to properly fit inside. The implant incision is put in one of three places- the conjunctiva (or inner surface of the eye), inside the mouth or in the crease lines outside the eye. The cheek implants may be either solid or porous, and that depends on the patient also.
Avoid taking any medicines containing aspirin or ibuprofen during the two weeks prior to surgery.
Be certain you do not have a cold or sunburn the day of surgery.
Eat a balanced nutrient-rich diet before and after surgery. A healthy diet will help speed recovery.
Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery, unless instructed differently by our anesthesia provider.
Do not wear make-up or contact lenses to surgery.
Arrange to have someone take you home after surgery and stay with you that evening and, if possible, help you around the house for a few days while you recover.
Cheek augmentation typically takes one to two hours depending on the extent of the procedure. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Patients are given general anesthesia during this procedure.
The surgeon makes two incisions inside the mouth between the upper gums and cheek.
Then he creates a small pocket over the cheekbones.
The surgeon inserts the implant through the incisions and slides it into place.
Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures and a compression bandage is applied.
After the procedure, patients may experience some numbness, swelling or discomfort at the incision sight. This is normal and will pass with time. Incision site pain is usually minimal, but can be controlled with medication if necessary. Some temporary swelling and bruising of the face are to be expected; however, keeping the head slightly elevated when reclining and applying cold compresses may help reduce swelling. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection. Chewing may be difficult for about two weeks, and tightness or numbness around the treated area may occur for a period of time. Eat only very soft food and liquids. Brushing the teeth is often difficult for several days. Sutures are removed within a week.
Most patients resume regular activity within a few days following surgery. Most swelling diminishes within two weeks. As the tissue heals, supportive tissue forms around the implant. After a few weeks, there will be little difference between the implant and natural bone structure. New facial contours emerge within four to six weeks.
Cheek augmentation is a very safe procedure, but no surgery is without risk. There is a chance of infection, bleeding and numbness from nerve damage. Also, bruising, scarring and swelling are an issue with any operation undertaken. The risks specific to cheek augmentation include the possibility the cheek implant could spontaneously shift location in the face. Should the implant become slightly misaligned, a second procedure may be necessary to reposition it.
Many people return to work (with the help of cosmetics to camouflage any bruises) about 5 days after their implants are put in. People who have injections of filler may be able to return to work earlier than that. You can expect to resume regular activities in 1 to 2 weeks. Avoid strenuous activity and rough contact in or near the area of the implant for at least four to weeks. Swelling can be quite pronounced after cheek implant surgery, and there may be bruising. . Patients with gum or dental problems should consult with their dentist and ask if the incision through the mouth will cause any complications. It may be normal to experience temporary difficulty smiling and talking after the operation.
The bulk of the swelling should resolve in a week or so after the implants are inserted and you should be able to see results then. Because of the swelling, you may think your implants are too large at first. For most people, final results can be seen about 7 months after surgery. An implant shifting or asymmetry could require additional surgery to fix. You may not like the results, which could lead to your deciding to have them removed.
The scars are usually on the inside of your mouth where they are never visible, regardless of their appearance. The stitches used to close your incisions are usually absorbable and will not require removal.
Standard solid cheek implants are designed to last for the rest of your life.
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